Third District Rep. Alexie Tutor slammed Governor Art Yap’s administration for “politicizing” the turnover of a national government-funded multipurpose covered court and for lack of “delicadeza” for allegedly holding the event without her despite her efforts to allocate P5 million for the project through the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA).
Tutor, in an interview over station dyRD, said she was snubbed by the organizers of the event which did not invite her and held the ceremonies in Barangay Sawang, Guindulman on Saturday last week with Governor Art Yap, Vice Governor Rene Relampagos and Valencia Mayor Kat Lim in attendance.
Lim, who is on her last term as mayor in Valencia, is running for the third district’s congressional seat against Tutor.
“Klaro g’yud na kaayong pamulitika. Walay lipod-lipod pagka-estorya, pulitikanhon g’yud to na kalihukan kay ngano man? Og dili pa, mangimbitar sila, dili kay ila rang mga taw ang nanggilohok didto, walay koordinasyon sa DPWH. In fact, the DPWH na naa ra sa Guindulman wa diha,” Tutor said.
“Maglibog sad ta og asa na ang delicadeza aning mga tawhana na mura ma’g nawa,” she added.
According to Tutor, even the Department of Highways and Public Works’ (DPWH) Third District Engineering Office which is the project’s implementation agency and is stationed in Guindulman had no representative present during the event.
Meanwhile, Barangay Sawang Captain Catherine Bonita thanked Yap and Relampagos for the project, which she said the governor had previously promised to them.
“Dako jud kaayo namo og pasalamat nga gikan sa atong probinsya sa Bohol, gihatag sa atong gobernador suma sa iyang gisaad sa paglansar niya pagkagobernador na mo hatag jud siya og us aka covered court,” Bonita said in a provincial government-prepared video coverage of the event.
Bonita is the wife of Provincial Board Member Elpidio Bonita, who is one of Yap’s allies in the administration-dominated Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
However, the covered court is a project of the DPWH, not of the provincial government. It was funded through the GAA.
According to CWS (Construction Workers Solidarity) Partylist Bohol coordinator Anrielo “Tata” Olandria, the P5 million fund was included in the GAA through the efforts of Tutor and the partylist’s representative, Romeo Momo, Sr.
“Silang duha ang nipropose ug nidepensa sa Congress para mapasud sa GAA 2021 ang [budget],” Olandria said.
In an earlier statement posted by Olandria on Facebook, he said the then-pending turnover ceremony did not have the “blessing” of the CWS Partylist.
“Kung kinsa man gani ang nagpasiugda sa seremonyas sa turnover nga pagahimoon karong adlawa WALA KINI BASBAS sa duha ka instrumento aron matuman ang pangandoy sa Brgy. Sawang nga maka Covered Court. Kini mao sila si Congw. Alexie Tutor ug Cong. Romy Momo sa CWS Partylist,” Olandria said.
It was not the first time that Yap has been criticized for credit grabbing.
He previously drew flak after tarpaulins of the “Resbakuna” campaign, the national government’s COVID-19 vaccination program, were seen with Yap’s and Relampagos’ images printed on them.
In March, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah Belgica warned government officials not to print their faces on government documents as the election season draws near.
“These pictures of politicians on permits and licenses affect the cost of printing that the applicants are shouldering,” Belgica said.
There is also a provision inserted in the 2021 GAA dubbed “anti-epal” which disallows politicians to emblazon their faces, names, or logos on projects to be funded by the 2021 budget.
“Taxpayers, not politicians, fund the projects and programs. Their names or photos have no place there,” said Sen. Grace Poe who introduced the provision into the GAA.