NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Gov. Arthur Yap has dared his detractors to prove that he owns a Baclayon mansion and he will step down if proven to be true.
He took the negative news as part of dirty politics by those who may want him out of the Capitol.
“I’m ready to resign if you can prove that I have a mansion in Baclayon,” the governor said in his regular virtual media interaction on Friday.
Meanwhile, in his weekend public interaction on radio, Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II urged all to dismiss fake news as his leadership itself has not been spared from negative insinuations.
The provincial and city leaders belong to the so-called Padayon Bol-anon group.
The alleged mansion is actually the house of a governor’s friend who let him use it for quarantine when he returned to Bohol in early January from a holiday vacation. The “friend” was not identified, observers noted.
This is not surprising considering that candidacy filing is inching to its time in October, Yap said.
He can absorb criticisms because they come with the territory as a politician, but the top Bohol official asked to spare the innocent because their families are also hurt.
The governor said those who keep trying to destroy him have been “usual suspects” ruthlessly peddling baseless claims and distorted stories also against his fellow Padayon leaders.
Yap has only a house in Loboc, the place of his wife, and would also stay at the city house of his in-laws.
A social media post by a critic named Willy Ramasola first insinuated obviously of the governor allegedly owning a Baclayon mansion.
Ramasola, known to be a supporter of Yap’s opponent in 2019 said that “he could now be a Boholano because of the mansion”. Yap has been dubbed as a non-Boholano by opponents and he only became such due to affinity- his wife being from Loboc.
Yap, in a statement issued Wednesday, denied owning a mansion in Baclayon.
“Mao ba? Mas maayo pa sila nga nahibalo na naa koy mansion. Ako mismo, wa ko kahibaw kung asa ang akong
mga mansion,” Yap said.
The governor however admitted to having stayed in the residence but noted that he was only there to undergo
He said that the mansion is not his but did not elaborate who owns it.
“Ang Baclayon na balay gigamit ra nako sa akong quarantine, dili ako ang tag-iya sa balay,” he added.
Yap’s roots have been a constant issue raised by his political rivals particularly during the 2019 elections in
which he won by a slim margin over Evasco.
The governor was born in Manila while his father and mother are from Sulu and Pangasinan, respectively.
He however is married to a native of Loboc where he has established residence.
Last week, Yap’s camp said Ramasola suddenly defended on the social media Rep. Aris Aumentado who turned out to be the one reportedly building a house in Dauis.
Ramasola allegedly posted that the congressman, rumored as ready for a costly gubernatorial derby, borrowed money to construct the property.
In the 2019 campaign period, the name of Yap’s opponent for governor surfaced as having allegedly bought a sea-overlooking mansion in Loon.
Yap’s camp said that the candidate neither publicly confirmed nor denied he bought and owned the mansion.
A Loon official confirmed the existence of the sold property because it was previously dealt to him but he could not afford the cost.
The governor’s camp stated this style dated back to the governorship of Rene Relampagos, now vice-governor when he was accused of owning a “red mansion” out of people’s money.
The political observers noted this formed part of the reason for the defeat of Relampagos in the hands of the late Erico Aumemtado.
The issue had been revived in the next poll.
A family based in the US issued a statement that the expensive property was theirs and not Relampagos’.
Meantime, Fr. Va; Pinlac, chair of the Bohol Arts and Cultural Heritage (BACH) Council lamented over efforts to discredit the province and its programs.
Pinlac currently works with Capitol partners on the art and cultural heritage documentary and promotion production fully supported by the Tourism Promotions Board.
“Just there are those who like to discredit and discourage, with full intrigue,” the priest lamented further.(with reports from Ven rebo Arigo)