When Provincial Board (PB) member Arleigh Sitoy takes to the podium during the board’s session sometime this morning, he won’t resort to “girly talk” similar to what he accused Rep. Pablo John Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district of doing recently.
“What real men talk when they mean business. Not talking about collateral issues. (My privilege speech) will serve as a spring board to more PB measures,” Sitoy said in relation to last week’s visit to the Balili property.
He declined to elaborate what these measures are. Rather, Sitoy took exception to Garcia’s insinuations that he flunked the bar exam, saying that it was “irrelevant.”
“The statement of Congressman Garcia about my failure is girly talk. Only the likes of Boy Abunda can resort to such squid tactics. Just because I’m not a lawyer, doesn’t mean that I don’t know what is just or unjust, what is proper or improper,” he said.
Sitoy said Garcia’s resorting to sarcastic innuendos is “girly talk.” The congressman earlier chided Sitoy and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale for visiting the Balili property in Naga City, saying it was a publicity stunt.
The congressman who attended a press conference called by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia in response to last week’s Balili property visit said the backfilling of limestone in the property was a “restoration” and not a reclamation.
Magpale questioned why P27 million was being spent in reclamation work for the site.
She said she was told about this by Capitol Engineer Adolfo Quiroga, who said a contract for that amount was already approved.
The vice governor said the P27 million contract didn’t pass through the board and it should be explained to them since they are deliberating on next year’s annual budget.
Quiroga told CDN that he has not received any invitation from the PB.
“An invitation from the PB is coursed through the governor’s office because we are under the executive and it’s the governor who will approve,” he told Cebu Daily News.
The governor earlier allowed the appearance of her department heads on the condition that this will be in relation to the 2013 budget deliberations.
The PB passed several resolutions inviting the Capitol’s department heads but none of them appeared in the sessions.
The governor said she would invite the local media, government heads and groups from the private sector soon to elaborate on the Capitol’s plans for the controversial property.
Last Aug. Governor Garcia and seven others were charged before the Sandiganbayan with two counts of graft and one count of illegal use of public funds for the Capitol’s P98.9 million Balili land purchase.
A survey by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) showed that most of the property was submerged and classified as timberland.
The Capitol is pursuing a P38 million refund from the Balili heirs in court. /Carmel Loise Matus, Correspondent