Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso has assured the Church of his same faith in human good advancement over the proposed electronic bingo (e-bingo) entry toÂ TagbilaranÂ City, seat of one of only two dioceses inÂ Bohol.
The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) which he presides over â€œshares the same devotion to promote the goodness and betterment of the human person,â€ Veloso told Bishop Leonardo Medroso of the Diocese of Tagbilaran.
In his both personal and official capacity, the vice mayor on Tuesday wrote to the Church leader also to clarify any public misconception of the referral to the city council of the electronic gaming facility proposal.
Velosoâ€™s letter is considered a â€œdead endâ€ for a private application in 2013, which was reiterated this year, to put up an e-bingo boutique in the city.
His formal statement addressed to the bishop is specifically considered a prelude message that the proposed e-bingo cannot â€œBingo!â€ the approval of the SP.
The Church assailed the e-gaming as a gambling, per se, and, therefore, immoral based on an earlier letter from Medroso himself to the city government.
â€œWe had received your letter and we were further enlightened by the moral teachings and pastoral imperatives denouncing any form of gambling that is organized, widespread and systemic, whether it is legal or illegal,â€ the vice mayor told the bishop in his response.
The e-bingo was first proposed by the Diamond Millennium Corporation, which is based in Cagayan de Oro City and represented by Engr. Lorenzo Limketkai, in 2013 and reiterated in January this year.
Both applications were endorsed by Mayor John Geesnell Yap II in two separate letters, dated October 9, 2013 and January 23, 2015, to the SP for â€œdue considerationâ€ while at the same time â€œanticipatingâ€ for the councilâ€™s â€œall-out support and favorable cooperation.â€
In his letter to Medroso on August 25, 2015, Veloso thanked for the bishopâ€™s â€œappreciation of the unwavering commitment of the SP in order to serve our people and advance the interest of the public in accordance with the principles of law, justice and good governance.â€
But with the circulated media reports insinuating him as solely responsible for reconsidering the e-bingo opening and e-gaming facilities in the city, Veloso said to the bishop that he â€œfelt to redeem and clearâ€ his name from â€œfalse accusations.â€
The vice mayor said there was a similar proposal from another private investor, the One Bingo Pavillon, Inc. which, together with the Diamond request in 2013, was referred to the SP as a Committee of the Whole.
On May 20, 2015, and after lengthy discussions, the SP â€œrejectedâ€ the requests of the two proponents to issue a certification of no objection, Veloso told Medroso in his letter.
In January this year, the mayor endorsed to the SP the reiterated request from the Diamond and one more proposal, this time from the Jo-E Gaming and Amusement, was received by the council.
These two proposals likewise underwent a Committee of the Whole scrutiny last August 14 and no favorable SP action had been taken until the bishop wrote to the city days later of the Church stand against the e-bingo and e-gaming.
â€œWe understand and respect the Catholic Bishopsâ€™ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) stand and conviction regarding the issue of gambling,â€ the vice mayor said in his letter to the bishop.
The Church official was clarified that the â€œresurgenceâ€ of the issue was â€œmainlyâ€ due to the â€œmayorâ€™s request for consideration and not because of any vested personal interest of any member of the SP.â€
Apart from the e-bingo issue, Veloso was also hit by intrigues about his alleged meeting with former Mayor Dan Lim on the birthday of Manga captain Lida Saco two weeks ago and that the vice mayor already coalesced with the uncle of the incumbent mayor.
City Kag. Agustinus Gonzaga was also accused of being with Veloso on that supposed occasion even if both were actually not there because they were not invited in the first place.
Talks turned out to be indeed lies and City Administrator Leonides Borja even denied a media information tagging him as one of the brains of the intrigues.
One radioman said it was Borja who fed him about the â€œbirthday incidentâ€ that otherwise never took place.
Borja and Kag Bibiano Inting were named by certain radiomen to have further caused the intrigues to spread using their paid hacks in print and broadcast.Â Borja denied it, too.
Sources said the intrigues, printed in a Wednesday paper although already in a version of Velosoâ€™s denial, were so tailored and intended to be â€œhot reportsâ€ to DILG Sec. Mar Roxas.
This could put Veloso and Gonzaga in a bad taste to the national LP.
A copy of the newspaper provided to Roxas could already serve as a supposed â€œhard proofâ€ against Veloso and Gonzaga, sources said, addingÂ â€œmaayo gyung pagkaduwaa.â€
Roxas met on Wednesday with a non-LP group which was used by the city mayor as his political party in the 2013 election.Â (Ven rebo Arigo)