George Orwell said “A people that elect corrupt politicians … are not victims…but accomplices.”
So in San Pedro City, Laguna, when that city elects a congressman suspected to be very corrupt, those who vote for him are accomplices to corruption and the local leaders who endorse this suspected corrupt candidate are twice worse than an accomplice.
I bumped into Roy Almoro one afternoon early this year. Roy is a good friend, dating back to our days at the Bureau of Immigration where he was the second highest official in the organization. I was a consultant to the commissioner.
A very likable person who is a stickler to rules, Roy would be a good source of information on stories for media. And my work involved public relations for the commissioner.
That afternoon, Roy asked: Why is OpinYon very critical on Dave Almarinez? I own OpinYon so that Roy was right in asking me that question.
“OpinYon is a community paper and its mission is to inform its readers of facts and truths and we take a position on these truths to help our readers reach intelligent decisions on issues concerning local interests,” I told Roy, adding that Almarinez, since he has declared his intention to represent San Pedro City in Congress is an issue that needs to be clearly understood by the community.
What are the issues OpinYon has raised against Almarinez?
First, that he is an instant San Pedronian is no secret. We are just reminding our readers. He is from Biñan City, and in all his political runs, he has always identified himself as native of Biñan City.
It is the position of editors of OpinYon that this instant transfer in residency smells of opportunism on the part of Almarinez, him believing that San Pedro does not have a local or a native that can fairly represent the city in Congress.
It is the position of OpinYon that Almarinez is lying when he claims to be the miracle man who can heal an ailing San Pedro City. He is running for congress not for mayor, unless he has another idea of what a congressman should be doing. And, besides, Mayor Lourdes Cataquiz had been doing better than fair in managing the city.
Second, that Almarinez goes around the city with his celebrity partner escorted by several uniformed military personnel serving as their bodyguards. Not even Lourdes Cataquiz has that number of bodyguards in her inspections in the barangays.
I keep asking myself, what is Almarinez afraid of? And why is he entitled to divert military or police personnel from their regular duties to serving as his bodyguards?
It even reached us that he arrives in the Barangay in his sorties in helicopter, mesmerizing the impressionistic community of his wealth and power.
Now comes the possible reason for all these displayed wealth and power.
He has been charged at the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) for crimes related to mishandling of government funds and swindling and estafa.
So the community gets to better understand the real Almarinez, OpinYon will continue to run stories on him.
Then we are doing what is expected of OpinYon as a community paper.
We will leave that to our readers to decide on their own what to believe.
We will make freedom to express and choose our destiny active in this city even as there were attempts to use money to silence us.