“Let the one who has not sinned cast the first stone” (John 8:7)
When I was painted a criminal for baseless cases that could be explained, I kept my peace.
When pictures of me being hand-cuffed and arrested, or that I suffered a stroke circulated, I kept my peace.
When fake Pulse Asia results were made to look genuine, I kept my peace.
When my posters were destroyed and stolen, while thousands of illegally over-sized posters of my opponent stood un-molested, I kept my peace.
When the electoral contest was painted as a fight between the rich and the poor (which of course it was not, since the elections was all about performance), I kept my peace.
When he rallied the old political families of Bohol to his side, I kept my peace.
When inclusion in the drug matrix and narco list was used to threaten officials and citizens alike to campaign against me, I kept my peace.
I thought that the final vote count would settle the issues. I am unfortunately wrong.
Unable to accept the reality that he lost the electoral contest, my opponent intends to be a troublemaker for Bohol.
He is throwing mud at everybody without looking at himself. He casts stones as if he has not sinned. How can he say that this is a fight of the poor against the rich when his campaign was well funded by the rich of Bohol, Cebu and Davao, in social media, radio, and newspaper publications? Did he not have a big and organized parallel organization? Who was paying for all the transport expenses, food, allowances and black propaganda hurled against me and Pundok Padayon Bol-anon?
Did it not show on Facebook how many times he met his candidates to give them financial support? Are there no pictures of his name with money clippings in social media?
Was there not a Party List Group that clipped money with my opponent’s name?
Who bought votes? Who sold votes? For a sale to happen there must be a buyer and a seller.
Are not intimidation, threats, distribution of food, rice and other goods vote buying as well?
So many supporters from Pundok Padayon Bolanon were harassed, terrorized and intimidated, not just by bonnet wearing individuals but in some instances, by law enforcement officials themselves. Two of our leaders (from Buenavista and Clarin) were killed while our Buenavista candidate for Mayor survived an assassination attempt.
It is wrong to paint Pundok Padayon Bolanon as the aggressor when we were not the Administration backed candidates. A good number of businessmen, contractors and key government agencies were with them and not with us.
Now instead of unifying Bohol, they are doing their best to further keep the wounds and the hurt alive.
When will this end? Will we ever move on? Will we discuss politics everyday or should we not concentrate on nation building?
I have made a decision to leave my opponent’s tantrums to my lawyers. I will not be distracted from our common mission to bring aid and development to Bohol.
Together with our Team, we will move full speed ahead to meet, plan and execute programs aimed at bringing prosperity and opportunity to Bohol. All well meaning people, even those from my opponent’s camp, are welcome and encouraged to join us.
Our fight is not for us. We stand for our children who look to us for leadership and their future.
I appeal to one and all to unite and work together. Let us leave the political noise behind and show the best to the world that here in Bohol, we can agree to disagree in peace, but we are always united as one in working for the future prosperity of our people.
“It is better to stop blaming and bashing but to move on to help one another and heal our country through peace, prosperity and unity,”
(CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People chairman Bishop Ruperto Santos.)
Deputy Speaker Art Yap