Governor Arthur Yap and Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) Director Joselito Clarito came under new criticism on Wednesday over the latter’s recommendation that the case against Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero be “dropped and closed,” which the governor posted on his Facebook page.
On Wednesday morning, the governor published a post on his Facebook page which bannered the heading: “BPPO Investigation On Mayor Nila Montero’s Trip to Cebu”.
The post went on to state, “Good Morning Bohol. Yesterday, at 5pm, my Office received a copy of the 8 Page Investigation Report regarding Panglao Mayo Nila Montero’s trip to Cebu and back to Bohol last month of September. PNP Provincial Director Joselito L. Clarito being the Head of the BIATF Security Cluster, and who conducted the investigation, recommends that: ‘… the case against Mayor Montero and company be Dropped and Closed.’ Furthermore, he recommends that ‘ALL’ the members of the Bohol IATF, ‘convene and to harmonize the variations on the issuances from the Local and National IATF.’ That being his recommendation, I have ordered that copies of his investigation report be furnished to BIATF members, and for the BIATF to convene on Friday at 1:00 pm at the Provincial Capitol, to allow Colonel Clarito, to present his investigation findings to the body, and to point out to the BIATF, what legal issuances need to be harmonized, if any.”
The governor’s post, which is found on https://www.facebook.com/artcyap/, ignited a firestorm of public outrage with one Facebook user under the profile name Rene Luspo saying: “Gov. Yap, puslan man nag-post ka sa imong FB account bahin sa kasong imong gipa-imbestigar sa PNP provincial director, ngano man nga ang rekomendasyon ‘to drop and close the case’ ra man ang imong gi-mention. Ngano man way mention unsay FINDINGS nga maoy gibasehan sa rekomendasyon aron masabtan sa mga katawhan ang maong rekomendasyon kung logical ba o dili? Ipa-convene ang BIATF aron mag-harmonize? That is the least of the people’s concern at this point. Palihug ipahibaw sa katawhan ang FINDINGS aron makita ang katag!!!”
This comment elicited a response from Ellen Simbajon who asked, “Mag convene pa unja nganong ‘idrop and close the case naman?’ later na gud unta na. Correct ka Sir Rene, we need to know the findings.”
To recall, the governor ordered the investigation of Montero for allegedly failing to observe health protocols and quarantine measures when she and her 16 companions went to Cebu and back to Bohol sometime in September.
Another Facebook user, Emerson Caayohan, called out the governor for not making a stand on what seems to be a clear violation committed by Montero, saying, “Gob please stand as you are the provincial father.”
Similarly, Annedrew Gamay addressed the governor, “Gov. Art Yap, please take action on this. Kay di ni joke. This can ruin leaders’ reputation!”
Ka-el Ganzon, also a Facebook user said, “You as the Governor still allows to convene it? HAHAHA! Like really? If pobre or ordinary na tao pana naa nay kaso dayon ug na priso na.”
Roel Requina also posted a comment saying, “RECOMMENDED? CONVENE? when was the last time these were applied to ORDINARY CITIZENS?”
A Facebook user with a (Russian) profile name Μάρτιν Τόμας Βερς Λαγκούρα criticized how the investigation on Montero and company was handled, “With all due respect Gov., ngano ang hepe pa man sa Panglao ang nag investigate sa mayor sa Panglao. Is it not a conflict of interest? Binuang man ni. Kami wla man gani uli uli sa Bohol kay ni sunod mi sa balaod ug dili mi gusto iquarantine unya naa diay palusot. Wla nalang quarantine aron makauli pod mi. Faeta”
Mathias Turri also called on the governor, saying: “Dear Governor, if you want to show changes on corruption and favoritism on this government you should start from here. If this meeting was so important she could have process the permit following the Covid 19 regulation with quarantine etc… but instead of giving good example to the citizen she decide to brake the law. Dropping charges will teach the population that the law can be broken at anytime, do you think is fare?”
Mathias Turri went on to say, “Then? That’s it! Can you go to Cebu overnight and come back? No you can’t like everybody else, is against the law. So that is your answer.”
Turri’s comment generated a response from Fidel Butron Vallente Jr. who said, “pag pobre mo labag sa protocol mugshot man dayon haha, paki explain.” Then added, “then tanan gekan sa gawas sa bohol nag antos man ug quarantine 14 days bisan naa wakwak sa quarantine area haha… Paki explain.”
One Facebook user, Baking Junction, asked: “Guv, now its dropped and closed. Can we go to cebu and back by pumpboat without clearance?”
Roberto Rosales said, “Gov. lets be friend and I want to go to Cebu ang back after 1 day. What are freinds made for anyway. Double standard nag iiral pa rin. Pobre pa na ay, hagbay ra guihukman. How will you explain that to the people?”
Raoul Tidalgo asks, “Why are we not being told WHY this case should be “dropped and closed?”
Meanwhile, Erwin Baquial said, “Friends and relatives arriving from outside Bohol has to undergo 14 long quarantine days plus 7 days at home. And there they are, government officials who should set an example to their constituents flaunting the law as if they own Bohol.”
Responses from Dagondon Maria Loyda, Abay Cabilar Tuyogon, Ken Marvin Aceron and Rajan Nayr likewise criticized Col. Clarito’s conduct of the investigation, as follows:
Dagondon Maria Loyda, “This is clearly a POLITICAL ACCOMMODATION.
MORO-MORO lang. This is an insult to those ordinary Boholanos who were either jailed or fined for simple violations of COVID19 protocols.”
Abay Cabilar Tuyogon, “claro naman kaayo na nga ang recom ni clarito CASE DROPPED AND CLOSED. unsa pa may e harnonized ana? claro man pud kaayo nga naay violation unsa pa may gihuwat nimo Col. clarito? just recommend also that boholanos now can travel outside bohol and back without securing d required travel docs and quarantine requirements. e patas mo tanan clarito para di ka clarix nga bias.”
Ken Marvin Aceron, “fire Director Joselito L. Clarito! clearly He is not performing his duty for the PUBLIC interest! i listened to his interview at dryd this morning and he sounded like montero’s lawyer defending her that she did not commit any violations! the hell with his recommendations! DROPPED AND CLOSED? sakto ba ug nutrients ang utok sa mga nag investigate sa nahitabo? kadakong binuang! ug mao man gali nah di nami mutoo ug balaod ninyo!”
Rajan Nayr, “MANGADTO NATA CEBU OR ANY OTHER PLACES OUTSIDE BOHOL, BASIN MA ABSWELTO PUD TA SAMA NI MAYOR.”
As of 9:57 A.M. Thursday, the governor’s post has generated some 1,500 reactions, 935 comments and 501 shares. (KB)