Provincial Board Member Ricky Masamayor on Tuesday said that his relatives including those who are members of terrorist group Abu Sayyaf will know who to blame if he figures in a vehicular accident due to the now-diverted purchase of brand new vehicles supposedly for himself and the rest of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP).
Masamayor, majority floor leader of the SP, issued the statement during the legislative body’s regular session as reaction to the public’s clamor to defer the purchase to show “delicadeza” to those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which has wrought havoc to the local economy.
Masamayor, several other board members and Vice Governor Rene Relampagos have previously defended the purchase of the 14 brand new 4×4 top-of-the-line pickup trucks due to the poor state of their current service vehicles.
“Wa koy problema. Okay pa man akong sakyanan. Magsige nalang ko og ampo na imbis twice a day himuon nalang nakong five times a day nga makauli ko sa balay na buhi,” Masamayor said.
“Pero kung mamatay ko simbako, Mr. Chair ako lang ingnan akong pamilya, akong mga parinti na Abu Sayyaf kung kinsay blame-on para makahibalo sila kung kinsa ilang tawgon pohon,” he added.
The Abu Sayyaf is a terrorist group held responsible for dozens of killings and kidnappings across the Philippines and has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
The bandit group also terrorized Bohol in 2017 by slipping into the island in an attempt to conduct kidnappings in the world-renowned tourist destination, but was foiled by vigilant residents and state forces.
Masamayor’s reaction also stemmed from Relampagos’ suggestion during the session to push through with the purchase of the vehicles worth P24 million but assign these instead for the usage of agencies under the Provincial Government of Bohol, not the SP members.
While Relampagos has been the primary defender of the purchase of the vehicles for SP members, he changed tune on the issue amid heavy flak from the public.
Masamayor along with 11 other members of the 13-strong SP expressed support for Relampagos’ proposal to divert the purchase.
In the same speech, he lamented that media organizations in Bohol highlighted the issue on the SP’s procurement of the vehicles but not Malacañang’s purchase of a P2-billion jet.
“Ngano dili man nila e-pangutana, magpatawag sila sa ilang programa ang Malacañang nipalit og duha ka eroplano, 2 billion. Ngano dili man nila pabutangan og nisugot ba ang mga katawhan. Ngano kita ra may pirmi ig-on nila,” he said.
The board member’s statement was an apparent swipe at The Bohol Chronicle and radio station DYRD which are both based in the province of Bohol and are primarily covering events that happen in the island and issues directly involving Boholanos.
“Simbako og naay mahitabo nako kahibalo na ang katawhan sa Bohol kung kinsa na ang e-blame, I will not mention na newspaper or radio station or mga media personnel na sige’g padako aning issueha,” he added.
Malacañang’s purchase was widely covered by all national media organizations including the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Rappler, ABS-CBN News, GMA 7, Philippine Star and the Manila Bulletin.