Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio offered an hour of airtime to former Cabinet secretary and gubernatorial bet Leoncio Evasco, Jr. for him introduce himself during the Capitol’s weekly media briefing, “Kita ug ang Gobernador.”
Damalerio’s invitation was an apparent swipe at Evasco after the latter begged off from joining the only gubernatorial candidates’ forum in Bohol due to “limited” time for him to introduce himself and asked for a 30-minute time allocation for introduction during the event which was organized by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).
“Dili lang 30 minutes. E-introduce niya ang iyang kaugalingon for one hour. Atong e-offer ning maong program Kita ug ang Gobernador sunod Biyernes,” said Damalerio during the media briefing’s last edition on Friday last week.
“Mananghid ko ni Governor Edgar Chatto bahin ani ugma na atong e-offer ni for one hour. Wa pay plataporma na, introduction lang,” he added.
Kita ug ang Gobernador is aired live over stations dyRD and dyTR every Friday morning.
Before making the offer, Damalerio questioned Evasco’s need for 30 minutes to introduce himself as people likely already know him, particularly as the former Cabinet secretary of President Duterte.
“Ngano hilanglan man ka’g 30 minutes na mo introduce sa imong kaugalingon nag a sige na man og kadungog ang mga taw nimo,” he said.
Damalerio, campaign manager of gubernatorial bet Arthur Yap, earlier called Evasco a “coward” for skipping the forum which was attended by Yap and other candidate Roberto Reyes on Tuesday last week.
Evasco has repeatedly defended his absence from the forum with multiple reasons.
Prior to to the gubernatorial forum, Evasco, through a letter to the BCCI, said he had “reservations” over the “limited” time allocation for candidates to answer the forum’s introductory question “why should the Boholano people vote for me.”
After the forum however, Evasco raised several other concerns including allegations of partiality from the organizers.
According to Evasco, he would have been treated unfairly at the event, as he accused the BCCI of favoring Yap and other members of the latter’s coalition.
The event which was held at the University of Bohol gymnasium in Tagbilaran City was a “trap” for him, Evasco said.
“Kadtong ilang gibuhat nila na pasudlon ko, laang to sa akoa. Katigulang na nako aning kalibutana unya malaang pa ko, boang,” he said in an interview with media on Thursday.
“Daghana membro niana [BCCI] na di man g’yud na makahatag sa ako og usa ka makiangayon na panahon, makiangayon na hukom tungod kay sila dapig na man ni Art Yap, dapig naman ni Rene, dapig naman ni Chatto,” he added.
However, the same questions were given to all the candidates who joined the series of fora. They were also allotted exactly the same time to answer each of the questions at three minutes.
The BCCI’s gubernatorial and congressional fora—which, as organizers have repeatedly explained, are not debates—have been applying the same mechanics since 2010. Evasco was the first to have “reservations” over the rules of the event.
“Mao nana atong mechanics sukad pa sauna. Sa akong gisulti ganina sa akong welcome remarks nga ika upat na ni na naghimo kita aning candidates’ forum sa upat na ka election ug wa man yamoy issues ani bahin aning introduction,” said Albert Uy, president of the BCCI, during the congressional edition of the forum on April 16.
The event was attended by Third District congressional bets Vice Governor Dionisio Balite, retired judge Carlos Fernando and Board Member Alexie Tutor. Former Carmen mayor Cheche Toribio-Delos Reyes skipped the forum due to a prior commitment that required her presence in Manila.
The fora for First District and Second District Congressional bets which was supposedly to be held in one event was cancelled as only First District candidate Governor Edgar Chatto and Second District candidate Board Member Agapito Avenido, who both belong to Pundok Padayon Bol-anon, agreed to join the activity.
Organizers decided to cancel the forum as there was no representation from Pundok Tinuod Bol-anon as partymates Rep. Aris Aumentado and former Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Lim who are running for Second District and First District representatives, respectively, were not available during the set date for the event.
According to Uy, the BCCI is impartial and is not favoring any candidate.
The series of fora was organized for the public to be guided on who to vote for during the midterm elections, he added. (rt)