A person born in Bohol? Someone who grew up in Bohol? Someone who came and stayed a long time because he has learned to love Bohol and the Boholanos?
The answer is, of course, all of the above. But the third one is quite contentious. Og sa Binisaya pa, lalisonon pa ni. How do you prove that you love Bohol and the Boholanos?
Since the 2019 local elections this was already made an issue. The candidate who was targeted as a non-Boholano nevertheless won that election and was given a mandate for three years. That should have settled the issue once and for all.
I have mentioned in a previous article that this, for me, is a cultural question, and I don’t want to beg the question. In other words, I do not want, nor intend, to question anyone’s “Boholanoness”, if there is such a word.
My friends serve as good examples for this point. Gardy Labad hardly speaks any long Binol-anon sentence. But he has been awarded as an Outstanding Boholano. Romy Teruel was born and grew up elsewhere and came to Bohol as an adult only in the late 80s to help the administration of then Governor Nonoy Torralba. But I could say without fear or favor that Gardy and Romy both love Bohol more than many ordinary Boholanos.
The question that begs to be answered here is not for any politician, but for voters who should be more discerning if they are to be called intelligent. Threefold Society could not be for or against any candidate. Just floating a thing or two for serious reflection; food for thoughts.
Sometime in 2016 or earlier, if I remember right, then Governor Chatto proposed that the Provincial Government of Bohol should borrow 150 Million from banks in order to finance the modernization of the province-owned hospitals. Some opposition politicians took issue with it. The sensitive leader that he is, Chatto relented. Probably, the loan was pushed through the following year after his second reelection.
Now, we are faced with an administration on its first term borrowing more than 1 Billion with a standby credit line of 2 Billion. Sir Provincial Budget Officer, Mam Provincial Accountant, Mam Internal Auditor, how are we going to pay such a huge loan? How many generations of Boholanos are going to have to pay for it?
We are not yet talking about how these billions are being spent. Are Boholano contractors and the business community happy with how projects are being implemented? For sure, the bright boys that they are, our leaders have their plausible explanation for this.
But is this love for Bohol? Is this a kind of love for Bohol and the Boholanos? To state the obvious, none of us have the monopoly of the truth. Your contrary opinion should be as valid as mine.
I am sure though that Mayor Baba loves Tagbilaran enough that in his three terms as mayor he never dared to gamble with the city’s future and did not borrow even a million in its name. In his vaccination program today, non-Tagbilaranons are also accommodated. No wonder he consistently got a 100% approval rating from his constituents. How I wish he ran for a higher office. But that’s his call.
This week’s quote comes from a local practicing lawyer who was trained by the Jesuits: “Some eagles have turned out to be vultures”.
But I hasten to add, these alleged eagles-turned-vultures could still redeem their true selves as real Blue Eagles. How? By supporting the candidacy of the Lady of Light, Transparency, Justice, Economy, Decency, Competence and Christian values over and above the candidacy of the man of darkness, with a family track record of historically-and-judicially-proven corruption, plunder and murderous dictatorship. If they choose the latter, they shall have sealed their fate as full-fledged vultures.
We then take refuge in the words of the Beatles, “when I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be”.
Until then, when their presidential candidate shall have clearly been chosen, Threefold Society, as a civil servant, declares a unilateral truce, a ceasefire, a zone of peace in terms of political skirmishes in this corner.