Monday, October 29, 2007

Political Malnourish in Biliran Province

Posted CNPBNews - 11 04 2007
Aquarius Says: (alias - Atty Ondo Delfin) April 8th, 2007 at 12:11 pm
Biliran and the Espina Dynasty

The importance of this coming May 14 2007 Elections cannot be understated. The survival of Biliran is primarily dependent on the outcome of these elections.

The presence of a family political dynasty in the infancy stage of Biliran has contributed to its negative growth which has resulted to Biliran being ranked as Number 9 among the top ten poorest provinces, Number 1 most malnourished province; and included in the top 20 hungriest provinces in the entirePhilippines. This is compounded by the complacency of the Biliranons in its state of political and economic affairs.

The Espina Dynasty has succeeded in maintaining tight control over Biliran due to the lack of active and political opposition in the past. Moreover, the occupation of the members of the Espina Dynasty of the top elective positions has totally eliminated the check and balances good governance must have to be effective.

The underdevelopment of Biliran is primarily caused by the unprecedented scale of graft and corruption and wanton abuse of power perpetrated by the Espina Dynasty.
The Espina Dynasty has also caused the loss of independence of Biliran’s public institutions including the Department of Education, to discharge its functions of serving the public.

The heavy reliance on political patronage has resulted to hiring employees on the basis of its political support to the Espinas. Employees for example, are hired on what they call “15/30″ wherein the hired employees only report for work twice a month. That is on the 15th and 30th of the month to collect their wages. That without rendering any form of work.

Biliran is littered with unfinished projects. It is alleged that a total amount of P1.77 Billion pesos have been granted to Biliran over the 12 years of the Espina Dynasty rule and yet not even 30% of the equivalent amount of funding is translated to completed projects.

Standard Operating Procedure, commonly termed as SOPs account for the misappropriation of government funds from a minimum of 25% to as high as 60%. It means, for a project costing P100 Million pesos, a minimum of P300 Million are already lost even before the project implementation starts.

The Espina Family came to Naval, Biliran 12 years ago with virtually nothing like what they are now. In a span of 12 years, the Espina Dynasty has turned themselves to multi millionaires as evidenced by their ownership of the following:
0. Mansions
1. Resorts
2. Construction business
3. Retail Business
4. Lotto Outlet
5. Commercial buildings
6. Agricultural properties
7. Condominium units
8. Lending and investment company
9. San Miguel and Coca Cola Distribution
10. Fleet of luxury vehicles including jet skis.
Congressman Gerryboy Espina drives a P8 Million pesos Corvette sports car.
11. Undisclosed amounts held in banks and shareholdings.

All these after only 12 years, In contrast, Biliran is
No. 9 poorest province,
No, 1 most malnourished and among the top 20 most hungry province in the entire country.

The Espina Dynasty is currently under investigation on a pending case of graft and corruption filed byAtty Glen Chong in October 2006. In spite of the Espinas’ devious effort to get an alleged clearance certificates from the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City in March 2007, the fact remains that those certificates should not have been issued in the first place as the Espinas are awaiting trial for graft and corruption which will later be escalated to plunder, in the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas, where Biliran is under its jurisdiction.Gerry Espina Sr, the head of the Dynasty has used his influence to get those dubious clearance certificates.

The current struggle to remove the Espina Dynasty from Biliran started with the assassination of Ex Governor Atty Danilo Parilla in September of 2006. The uproar caused by his death has snowballed into a freedom movement headed byAtty Glenn Chong and the Konsiyensiya, a civic minded group which was originally involved in the movement to lobby for the provincehood of Biliran back in 1986. Biliran was declared a province in 1992.

Now the freedom struggle has involved the Biliranon Freedom Fighters, Biliranon OFWs, and Biliranon in various parts of thePhilippines, and Biliranons abroad.

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