Lowkey dictatorship?
Local Government

Lowkey dictatorship?

Feb 6, 2024, 3:24 AM
OpinYon News Team

OpinYon News Team

News Reporter

For communities outside of the fourth district of Leyte, the Gomez couple—Richard and Lucy— is the epitome of leadership. They exude power and influence in their district, and both locals and people outside the island look up to them as strong leaders who wholeheartedly support the growth and wellbeing of the people in the beautiful city of Ormoc.

However, many Ormocanons would disagree.

Several sources had disclosed that Ormoc politics and leadership is more complicated that what is portrayed on social media. According to sources, changes started to be felt way back in 2016 when now 4th District Representative Richard Gomez was first elected as mayor.

"Tagumpay si Richard in crippling the media…halos exclusive na sa kanila yung airwaves," an Ormoc journalist stated. "It was dummy wars in 2013 and 2016. Nung nanalo na si Richard, most of the dummies of the Codillas were restricted, hacked. Tapos nagsilabasan lahat ng uri ng pages.”

Radio stations silenced

Several radio stations have allegedly started signing off after Richard Gomez's victory while several media outlets have shown grudging support towards the city government. Meanwhile, it is alleged that media outlets who tried to criticize the administration were told to “keep their fingers crossed on renewal of permits."

Observers mentioned as an example the plight of the publication Good Page Weekly, which failed to sustain its business as they were not able to transact with clients due to problems in business permit renewal.

The weekly publication alleged that they have completed all the requirements for the renewal of their business permit but until now, it has not been released.

Other known media outlets such FMR and Kaugop were forced to cease operating while surviving media outlets are allegedly tiptoeing the fine line between robust journalism and offending the local government.

Delayed business permits

On the renewal of business permits, a source said that permits of media establishments in Ormoc City are being "delayed" for so long that it eventually leads to the death of the business. Some even wait for as long as three years and still no business permit is released.

Is there a nascent tendency towards abuse of power by the political leaders in the city?

Now, Ormoc media are left with the option to conform to the current practices and "choose to strive peacefully" as some fights are said to be "not worth dying for."

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