Mayor’s Lackey Threatens Bulan Bus Terminal Oppositors with Reprisal
Days after a Petition for Mandamus was filed compelling a town mayor to produce all records, documents and papers pertaining to what many believed as an “overpriced” bus terminal in Bulan, Sorsogon, Antonio Gilana, a self-confessed apologist of then mayor Guillermo De Castro and his conjugal successor, Helen De Castro, arrogantly threatened the petitioners with reprisals, vowing in the process, to harness the resources of the municipality in “getting back” at those who signed the said petition.
Speaking over a weekly radio program sponsored by the local government of Bulan, Sorsogon, Gilana said:
“Sa entero na nagsang-at san kaso na ini (Petition for Mandamus), hulaton niyo an balik namo sa iyo, hulaton na lang niyo an bweltada san munisipyo (sa iyo)”.
True to his words, after Gilana made this threat, ex-mayor, now first gentleman, Guillermo De Castro’s henchmen rounded-up the named petitioners, except for La Fuerza Del Pobre’s Ruding Gogolin and ex-vice mayor Nonong Guyala, and “pressured” them into withdrawing from the petition.
At first, the henchmen promised petitioners with favors from the “first gentleman”, especially those who have won in the last barangay elections. But when they refused the offer, a stern warning, couched in a much “persuasive tone”, came, “Diri kamo magbasol kun buweltadahan kamo ni Mayor” (Don’t blame us if the mayor gets back at you).
De Castro’s frantic reaction was apparently triggered by the Order issued over the weekend (Oct. 26) by Regional Trial Court Judge Adolfo Fajardo to the petition’s public respondent, Helen De Castro, to file within 10 days from receipt (of the Order) her comment on the petition.
Many observers, however, were surprised with the way the LGU was reacting to the petition. A perusal of the purpose of the civil action for Mandamus filed by the petitioners would reveal that they (the petitioners) are merely asking for the records and/or documents regarding the establishment and construction of the centralized bus terminal by the LGU.
“These are public documents that are supposed to be open to the public. Making it “public” by the court will not change it’s (the documents) nature from being a public document”, the observer who requested anonymity said. “Take, for instance, the deed of donation of the property used as the bus terminal site, its donor has been announced by no less than Geming De Castro himself as his mother, Aniceta Ocampo De Castro. What’s the big deal about it? So what if the petitioners were furnished a copy of this? Or the Certificate of Land Conversion from the Department of Agrarian Reform, this was issued by a public agency of the government, why can’t it be furnished to all who are interested to see it?”
The more they keep mum about these documents, the more “questionable” the CBT project seemed to appear to the public, the same observer said. It would seem that the facts about this project are not what the LGU is saying what it is.