Tagum mayor resents high-level corruption while his city makes do with measly budget

Mar. 08, 2008

Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy said that he was very upset about the high-level corruption in the government as shown in the ZTE-NBN broadband scandal while he and his officials had to make do with a measly 430 million peso budget.

He said he was frustrated that Malacanang could easily get loans when local government units are not even allowed to have deficit spending and have to pass all loans through the city council for approval.

Uy made headlines late last month when he called on GMA to conduct snap elections and had a huge tarpaulin with that call prominently displayed in his city. This was around the time that the Mindanao group of the League of Mayors presented GMA with a resolution stating their all-out support for her leadership.

The mayor said he made the call because GMA’s involvement in the scandal-ridden ZTE broadband deal was quite clear. He said the fact that the Makati Business Club – a group privy to equipment costing – had joined calls for GMA to step down seemed to support his claim.

He also said that the ZTE broadband deal may not be the only questionable contract that Malacaang has entered into.

“Marami pa dyan! (There are a lot more out there!), Uy said when asked whether he believed the ZTE broadband deal to be the first questionable contract that dragged the name of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the First Family.

Uy said that Tagum city vice mayor Allan Rellon did not share his views but the city council joined him in calling for snap elections.

He also said he was disappointed that GMA did not allot time to consult with mayors and governors in the Davao region in her seven years in the Presidency. Uy said he was hoping this would happen when the President was in Tagum in February to attend the Local Peace Security Assembly but Uy said the President seemed only interested in photo opportunities with the media.

He said that consultations with LGU officials would have been useful because Malacaang cannot really see what is going on in the countryside, the way governors and mayors have seen it. He lamented that the President only seemed to favor members of the House of Representatives.

Asked whether he believed Vice President Noli de Castro to be capable of taking over the top post, Uy answered in the affirmative. “Everyone is qualified as long as they are sincere.” (CJ Kuizon/davaotoday.com)

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