ILOILO CITY, Philippines - The attacks issued by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas on the five Governors of Western Visayas earned the ire of the Freedom from Debt Coalition-Iloilo Chapter.

In a statement the group branded Treñas as being "parochial, arrogant, and the chief meddler" on the issue of the proposed 164-MW coal-fired power plant.

The past days , exchange of words have ensued in the media between Mayor Treñas and Antique Governor Zalvacion "Sally" Zaldivar-Perez after the Governors of Western Visayas submitted to Mrs. Arroyo a petition urging her to recall and revoke the environmental compliance certificate issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to the project proponent.

The proponent is the Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC), a subsidiary of the Metrobank Group of Companies. The GBPC owns the Panay Power Corporation, a private independent power producer that generates electricity for Panay Electric Company, the sole power distribution utility in Iloilo City.

Treñas criticized the stand of the Governors especially Gov. Perez for meddling on the affairs of the City Government and for not observing inter-local government courtesy.  

"Now look who is talking," quipped FDC.  

Meddling

"If there is anybody responsible of meddling on the issue it is the Treñas administration starting from the Mayor, to Vice-Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, and down to the City Councilors," said FDC.   

The group enumerated the following as part of its meddling initiatives.

First, by portraying the role of a spokesperson for the proponent and by taking the cudgels of defending GBPC from public criticisms (and from the petition of the Governors) Mayor Treñas is clearly meddling on the issue.  

Second, our local politicians have been meddling on the issue after they repeatedly endorsed the project in spite of the ongoing process of its environmental impact assessment before the issuance of the ECC.

The environmental impact assessment is an important process in order for parties to obtain an objective environmental impact statement report, a requirement before an environmental compliance certificate is issued by the DENR.

Third, it can be recalled that most of our local politicians went to Taiwan for an 'exposure tour,' allegedly to inspect if coal-fired power plants poses danger to the environment and people's health notwithstanding the admission of Mayor Treñas that trip was a proponent sponsored.

"If this is not meddling, then what word could better describe its actions," asked FDC

Lack of courtesy

Mayor Treñas likewise accuse the Governors of Western Visayas for lack of courtesy.

"Mayor Treñas demands that he be accorded proper courtesy while he seemed unaware of his own discourteous practices against the public that voted him to office," criticized FDC.

FDC points out that "by acting like a spokesperson and releasing statements favorable to a private company, Mayor Treñas is not only being discourteous; he is being unethical. By doing so he is committing a great disservice to the people whose interest he vowed to uphold and protect."  
"Mayor Jerry Treñas is obviously protecting the interest of big business. He has been doing this, not only for the proponent of the coal-fired power plant, but also for the management of Panay Electric Company," added FDC.

"We would like to encourage the good Mayor to make true with his famous slogan – "Think Big, Think Iloilo" – by acting like a courteous chief executive and not like a brainless politician," concluded FDC. -30-


Freedom from Debt Coalition - Iloilo Chapter
Apt D., Gerochi Law Office Compound, La Paz District
5000 Iloilo City, Philippines
Telefax: (63-33) 509-2028 *Email: fdciloilo@gmail.com / ted.fdciloilo@gmail.com

Contact persons:
Atty. Romeo P. Gerochi, Chairperson, @ +63 919 575 5658                                          
Ted Aldwin Ong, Secretary General, @ +63 915 774 7413

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