Heritage Conservation Advocates
 
 
 
     
   
An Emano resignation is in order
By Herbie Gomez, Mindanao Goldstar Daily, July 14, 2003
KATANGAHAN. Kabobohan. Kabalastugan. Katarantaduhan. What other adjectives can we use to describe what city hall did to the Huluga archaeological site?

I thought the fellas running city hall are bright. On second thought, they are--when it comes to political strategies. They're geniuses on the subject of political mathematics and they know how many votes they can get if they do this or that. When it comes to politics, every move is calculated but when it comes to things like Huluga, they'd get a zero.

Why? Because a lot of voters don't realize how important Huluga is. Most people don't care about the past. For many, only the present counts. They don't care if we weaken the foundations of our present and make our future as murky as the waters of the Cagayan de Oro River by allowing city hall's demolition men to tear down and rob us of our contact with the past.

For instance, most people don't care if a politician is a coddler of gambling lords. And the politician is unbothered by the accusations. Why? Because most of the voters are either bettors or feel that illegal gambling operations are harmless. For the traditional politician, illegal gambling, just like Huluga, will be a non-issue in 2004.

These days, even the most corrupt politician (without referring to anyone in particular) can remain unbothered by accusations he has been amassing wealth without finesse. He goes from one village to another, singing and dancing, and people forget about his crimes just like that. Reporter Joey Nacalaban quoted Bombo James Dacoycoy as saying: "Gisayaw-sayawanan lang, nalimtan na dayon ang pagkakawatan!"

If only "occupants" of Huluga--the bones--can vote, Dongkoy Emano, the political kingpin of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental, would not have allowed UKC Builders to ravage the Huluga "open site". Mr. Emano will go down in history as the mayor who desecrated Huluga. Shame on city hall for allowing its favorite contractor to sodomize Cagayan de Oro's heritage! And shame on local legislators for allowing themselves to become spectators of the Huluga gangbang!

Despite the policy it laid down on Sept. 28, 1999 (a resolution declaring Huluga as a heritage landmark that must be developed, protected and preserved), the city council did not blow the whistle. No councilor has lifted a finger to stop the ongoing Emano-sponsored orgy in Huluga, making all of them accessories to the crime. Shame on Cagayan de Oro's legislators for being puppets! Obviously, Cagayan de Oro's taxes are being wasted to pay people elected to make laws and policies that are really not meant to be followed and enforced.

Worst, they have the nerve in attempting to justify the wrong, using the so-called "Emano media" to question the ongoing protests.

Consider some of the Emano media's silly points and questions, which are obviously part of Mr. Emano's squid tactics:

"Why are you questioning the project only now?"

The question, by itself, is an admission that city hall screwed Huluga. But what's the point? That it's okay to violate the law as long as people don't protest? I find this outrageous.

City hall and its spin doctors are lying. Documents and even newspaper clippings show that Xavier University's Dr. Erlinda Burton and members of the Heritage Conservation Advocates (HCA) have brought the matter to city hall's attention as early as 1999.

"Why question the Emano project? What about Nene Pimentel's convention center, Pueblo de Oro, Xavier Estates, etc.?"

It's because only the Emano project destroyed the Huluga "open site", dummy.

"The people protesting are anti-development, they are not even from Cagayan de Oro."

This is the ultimate kabobohan. One's domicile should not even be an issue here in the first place. The issue is all about Filipino cultural heritage, national patrimony. But if it makes the hacks happy, two of the most vocal protesters--Antonio "Nono" Montalvan II and Elson Elizaga--are Cagayanons (read: not Tagoloanons).

Rep. Tinnex Jaraula and brilliant Cagayan de Oro lawyer Gerry Adaza have joined the Emano media in coming to city hall's rescue. I am amazed that some people just don't mind being Mr. Emano's tawas (deodorizers).

The majestic Cagayan de Oro River is not lacking in space. Of all places, why build a bridge and road on Huluga? Would the commissions change if the bridge and road were built elsewhere? Or is it because some officials in government or well-connected people want the value of their property to shoot up? And why didn't people in the local historical commission raise a howl? Is it true that someone in the historical commission opted to keep silent because of a family property in the area?

Except for corruption, I can't think of a logical explanation for the action and inaction, and on why city hall insisted on doing the wrong thing.

The rape of Huluga is a very serious crime against the people of Cagayan de Oro. It is a crime against our future and against our children who would likely end up as a people without a story to tell. Great damage has been done. This is unforgivable. For going against city hall's own policy and Section 16, Article XIV of the Constitution ("All the country's artistic and historic wealth constitutes the cultural treasure of the nation and shall be under the protection of the state which may regulate its disposition"), I say an Emano resignation is in order. That's comme il faut in view of the rape of the Huluga "open site".

Don't expect the mayor to step down though. Why? Because a resignation is the most decent thing to do, dummy.

Pastilan.


Published by the Heritage Conservation Advocates, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.
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