Erbie, Lepeng, and Monsi Cris: the best mayors we will never have PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 February 2018 11:54



Lest I would be misunderstood to be partaking an early political campaign, this column is never intended to build up the political careers and followers of these three persons. They persons could have stirred the ship of our city’s governance and lead our city to the threshold of progress and development. All of them were men of action and few words. But all of them were destroyed by dirty politics and malicious gossips.

Erbie Fabian had contributed much to uplift the depressing state of our city’s social, agricultural, and educational conditions when he was still serving as our Congressman. From his presidential assistance funds, he donated millions of pesos worth of medicines and given financial assistance to victims of calamities, first to build multi-purpose cover courts, build and improved farm-to-market roads, repaired and rip-rapped riverbanks, donated millions worth of seedlings and agricultural equipments, donated millions worth of computers to numerous public high schools, donated medical equipments, build and expand our General Hospital, recognized and awarded excellent honored students, developed sports with his summer sports program, developed local amateur and professional boxers through his “golpe-golpe na barangay” and the promotion of professional boxing.

But he mysteriously lost the election for Mayor. Many believe said that he was a victim of cheating. Even in his barangay, he lost to his opponent by a mile. If I may recall, his total votes and that of his opponent was more than the total number of registered voters in the city.

He was also a victim of dirty and malicious gossips by some people who were jealous of the big residential house he built for himself and future wife in Mercedes. They said that this is a testimony that he raked money when he was a Congressman. But they forget and others never knew that he was then single, was a three-term Councilor, elected Vice-Mayor, was appointed City Mayor for six months after the death of Mayor Caling Lobregat, and a three-term Congressman. Undeniably, he was able to save enough money for his eventual retirement and old age.

Lepeng Wee was also a victim of dirty politics and malicious gossips perpetrated by his political opponents and some Chinese businessmen who were jealous of his wealth and fortune. They don’t want a person who has not even graduated high school, a mere tindero of a local bazaar, an ice-drop maker from Lamitan overtake them and become the Mayor. Worst, he was pictured as a drug lord and they succeeded in filing a case against him for smuggling hazardous chemicals which was allegedly to be use in making shabu. Those chemicals were imported by his Malaysian businessmen and friends intended for the manufacture of foam for beds and other appliances. But the local court sentenced him guilty. Eventually, after thirteen years, however, this case was dismissed by the Court of Appeals for being totally malicious intended merely to besmirch the person, integrity, and reputation of Lepeng Wee. But the damage has been done.

Lepeng could have developed and modernize our city. In talks with businessmen friends in Hongkong, Malaysia, Singapore, and China where I am privy to their conversations, they were proposing to put a sort of Disneyland, replace our dilapidated jeepneys and tricycles by modern commuter trains, put up factories and build numerous houses for low income earners if he wins as Mayor. These could have solved our problems of unemployment, housing and monstrous traffic problems.

Monsi Cris was also a man of action. He has personally built and accomplished many projects for the Church. Among other, he initiated the construction of the new and present Cathedral at La Purisima Street and the Pastoral Center. He donated parcels of lands to the poor and marginalized denizens of the city and whatever he promised, he accomplished it.

But unfortunately, he was also a victim of dirty politics. His political detractors, most of whom are now six feet below the ground, circulated the sexual video allegedly involving Monsi Cris and his bodyguard. It was circulated through the cell phones. But when it was made bigger, it was clearly and unmistakably not him.

Dirty politics. Who brought it here? Before, opposing candidates were campaigning in the same platform at Plaza Pershing. They talk about issues and they never malign their opponents. Decent people indeed.

After years of electing our Mayors, where are we now?