By Janice Hidalgo
STA BARBARA- Municipal administrator Albertini De Guzman belies all allegations that former Mayor Carlito Zaplan expounded last Wednesday against incumbent Mayor Reynaldo Velasco.
De Guzman in an exclusive interview told PangasinanToday that this might be one of Zaplan’s way of emphasizing his intentions to run again for Mayor in the next 2010 elections.
The administrator also questioned the timing of Zaplan’s pessimistic statements against Velasco since the Mayor is out of the country and asked why not made these statements while the Mayor is here.
De Guzman also explained point by point some facts that Zaplan has said over the radio in the past few days.
“Sa mga sinasabi nyang mga proyekto na sinansabi nyang kini claim namin like the Maramba Bridge, Sinu ba ang nag pagawa noon siya ba?”He said.
He said that while the project was built by the national government.
He has also explained that what they have been doing at present is implementing projects that the town needs.
“We have seen that this town has no fire truck, the old fire truck that this town used to have is not at a running condition instead it is just park along the road so what we did is find a way to have a new fire truck and gave the fire department a budget in order to rehabilitate the old fire truck to equipped this town a functioning fire response team during emergency for the town and its nearby town. He added.
De Guzman also explained that the V sign in some of the projects of Velasco does not necessarily mean Velasco instead it’s a sign of his battle cry against poverty and victory against poverty and victory over ignorance.
“This has been the battle cry of Mayor Velasco from the time of his first campaign up to now and it means Victory since the program of the Mayor in education is to elevate the education system of this town at least to equal the private education by improving the educational facilities of both elementary and high school education of this town.”
He said that the Department of Education ( DepEd) has already acknowledged the tremendous increased in the enrollment at all of their public schools which he said is a sign that the parents are now confident that the public schools in this town may now equal to what the private schools have in terms of educational facilities.
He added further that not all school buildings have the V markings like the projects that were built by congresswoman Rachel Baby Arenas instead he questioned the LSZ markings on the municipal Plaza which clearly means Lito Zaplan and the name embossed at the street lights which read Jinky Zaplan.
He has also belied the allegations of Zaplan regarding the putting up of an international airport, He said that this idea was an initiative of the former third district congressman Gener Tulagan approved by the Department of transportation and Communications (DOTC) then and was endorsed by almost all congressmen except for Congressman Arthur Celeste and it was never an initiative of Zaplan,.
And it happens now that Mayor Velasco was the one who told President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that there was a pending bill in congress for putting up an airport in the said town after the President announced that Hundred Island will soon have an airport.
” The Mayor is working hard for the realization of this project so he has talked with the Department of transportation and Communications (DOTC) and they have instructed the local chief to find for an investor and that it is now quite possible as American financiers have shown interest in making a free feasibility study which could later turn into a realization of the project.” He said
He also said that there was never an incident to the claim of Zaplan that Velasco was getting personal over his private business,.
“What he was saying was the time when he was caught quarrying in some parts of Sta. Barbara when the Mayor was looking for necessary permits allowing him to quarry in this town when the Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR) has said it clear that quarrying is not allowed in this town so the Mayor has to stop him from what he is doing and ordered him to vacate his heavy equipment uinits.” De Guzman explained
Moreover, there were some instances where the areas where Zaplan quarried and used it for his personal business are now presently irreparable so what the local government did was to make it a livelihood area for the residents like turning it into a fish pond for tilapia culture
Furthermore, He said that there is no truth on Zaplan’s allegation that Velasco has been bringing home the old school building materials at his farm in Batangas.
Meanwhile the administrator has assured the public that Velasco will be ready with his answers as soon as he gets back from the US and said that they will be working on the agenda’s of Velasco’s administration which they are bent to pursue in order to show the people that they mean business now and not politics within the next eight months.
Vice Mayor now OIC Mayor Ruben M. Jose told Pangasinan Today that he was saddened by the facts that this things has to happen now and said that he has not yet thought of the coming 2010 elections and instead he has focused himself in working harder to think of what else could be donje in serving the people of this town by presiding in the Sanguniang Bayan and instill discipline in the hall as the leader of the council and a role model being a chairman of the vice mayor’s League in region 1.