Just who is manuel “boy” mejorada?

Most people in Iloilo city  are aware that he began to make a lot of money whilst he joined the staff of the then congressman Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco, merely to end up filing cases against the latter.

When Niel Tupas Sr. became governor of Iloilo, he employed Boy as provincial administrator, where the latter was in position to create “overpriced transactions” with contractors and suppliers. He was revealed to have purchased for his office a P40,000 Acer laptop at the expense of P100,000-plus.

When Tupas “graduated” in 2010, Boy returned to media work. He also sought the aid of Senator Drilon, who employed him as a consultant for the Iloilo River rehabilitation in the meantime. What Boy wanted Drilon to try and do though was to recommend him to be either TESDA regional director or Iloilo City administrator. Regrettably, he was not eligible for a both positions.

Whether or not he resigned, or was sacked, from his consultancy job, we don’t know. That which we do know is that he soon started writing against Drilon and Iloilo City’s Mayor Jed Mabilog.

He also cried “unexplained wealth” towards businessman Rommel Ynion in 2012, whose house was supposedly so long one had to ride a golf cart from end to end. That he wound up Ynion’s “praise release” writer as soon as the man ran against Mabilog in 2013 remains unknown to this day.

But who are we to judge Manuel Boy Mejorada?

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog rallies Ilonggos: Pronounce Mejorada persona non grata

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Whilst the Senate blue ribbon committee is performing a hearing for the alleged overpriced construction of the Iloilo Convention Center involving Senate President Franklin Drilon, City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog encouraged Ilonggos to declare Drilon’s accuser as persona non grata.

Mabilog, within his Facebook account, posted this: “Voice of the Ilonggos: Those who would like to declare Mr. Manuel ‘Boy’ Mejorada persona non grata (and his cohorts) for being a disgraced non-Ilonggo who is trying to destroy the reputation and good name of Iloilo as a city and as a province, please like, comment and more importantly share so the world may know what kind of evil person he is, may do so! (sic)”

In diplomacy, the definition of persona non grata, practically means “an unwelcome person,” but refers to a foreign person whose entering or residing in a certain country is forbidden by that country’s government. In non-diplomatic sense, making reference to someone as persona non grata is to say that he or she is ostracized.

Mabilog added that he pities Mejorada for his selfishness. “How disgraceful it is that you have not proven your allegations. Especially if you will be declared persona non grata of the city and province (of Iloilo). That is the most humiliating thing that will ever happen to you,” he wrote.

The mayor’s Facebook post acquired around 2,000 likes, in excess of 300 shares and many hundreds of comments, at this moment. While other people wished to weigh things first prior to making any moves, many commented by favoring Mabilog’s proposal.

As told by Facebook user Roy Carnaje Miranda: “Precisely the Ilonggos really hates this kind of person and definitely we have to condemn his wrongdoings and instead appreciation for our local leaders for the efforts exerted that Iloilo will again be the Queen City of the South. What he did right now is a shame to all Ilonggos and I go to declare him ‘persona non grata.’”

Facebook user Bryan Oh stated: “I’m not in favor of Boy Mejorada stating that Iloilo is the cradle of corruption, but can we just wait for the results of the investigation? And also, your (Mabilog_ post suggests and encourages Ilonggos to tag Mejorada as persona non-grata, may I know why are you encouraging the citizens of Iloilo to do this? Are you trying to sugarcoat something or are you hiding something? If you know and if you are confident that Iloilo is not as what Mejorada has described just let the due process finish. And if the result states that Mejorada is lying then let’s go ahead and slap his face. … I hope it will not be the other way around. Go Mayor Jed, make Iloilo proud!”

Nestor Tumampil Fernandez, however, stated: “No question Mr. Mejorada has a questionable background as a former public official (formerly provincial administrator). But does it mean a prostitute cannot be raped? Come on … let transparency work here. If indeed Mejorada’s accusation is baseless, then file a case against him … That’s how a democracy should work.”

Even before, Mejorada stated that he didn’t expect the senators to gang up on Senate President Franklin Drilon in a committee investigation. “All I ask is that they objectively listen to my testimony, look at my evidence, ask Drilon, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. to respond to the issues I raise,” he added.

The 3, in conjunction with Tourism Director Mark Lapid; Public Works Undersecretary Jaime Pacanan, chairman of the DPWH national bids and awards committee; Public Works Undersecretary Romeo Momo; DPWH Regional Director Edilberto Tayao; Marilyn Celiz; DPWH-Iloilo BAC regional chairman; William Coscoluella, president of William Coscolluela & Associates, the ICC architect; and Efren Canlas, president of Hilmarcs Construction, were charged with plunder and graft on the alleged overpriced ICC construction.

As part of his statement before the Senate blue ribbon committee, Mejorada said his purpose is to “unravel a complex fraudulent transaction in which Republic Act No. 9184 and its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations were transgressed and mocked.”

Mejorada mentioned he already wrote about the irregularities he uncovered in the procurement and implementation of this project, since more than a year ago. “Drilon even filed four counts of libel against me for writing about these and other irregularities in the procurement of infrastructure projects in Iloilo prior to the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office,” he added.

Mejorada said he was sorry to inform the people that Iloilo City and province are now becoming a cradle of corruption. “Hundreds of millions of pesos are lost from the national coffers due to corruption,” he added in.

Success is actually a Journey and never a Destination

Success is actually a Journey

Want to succeed-I mean, really succeed-in life? If that’s the case, remember to keep in your mind that you’re going to have a long journey to the city of Success. You are going to travel across 1000s of miles yet before you can get there. As it is located so far away from your abode, so you will spend your entire life journeying, always keeping up to the many routines. Only only a few people would give their all to this journey. As soon as their comfort zones are drawn, some joiners of this life-challenge wouldn’t go on any deeper. Columbus didn’t just sail; rather he sailed west. To achieve success is to adhere to the goal by any means:  the very factor to successful achievement which the quitters and failures amongst us don’t possess. Keep in mind that success is a journey, not a destination.


On Dead-fish Mind-set

This really is one essential lesson our little ones need to find out about: that success is really a journey. It is establishing a goal as when you’re traveling. And, yes,  there’s no flipping back-no dead-fish attitude-anymore. Dead fish don’t swim up against the current. Like dead leaves, they’re just tossed around at the whim of the waves , beaten and lifeless. We are not like that. That is not our attitude, for we are winners. We don’t quit. In case there are stumbling blocks along our way, we won’t turn our backs on them like pure cowards–like the failures around us. We rather treat them as a challenge; as being a problem that we must solve one after the other. In our success journey, we are going to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. We are taller than our task!


Follow your Goal and Have Passion for It

We all know Thomas Edison, the founder of the incandescent lamp, the origin of these beautiful lights we are enjoying during the night. Wherever you go in the civilized world, you’ll be able to feel his great contribution to civilization as you see skyscrapers so vibrant with a thousand lights during the night. Without Edison we couldn’t have said that New York is the city that never sleeps. It was Edison who stated that:  “Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.” But hard work isn’t his only secret, for he was deaf-and that was his biggest secret of all. He was deaf to the negative opinions, the sarcasm, of all the people around him. That’s the other secret of success: to stick to your great passion of accomplishing your goal.


Is Success Simply the Accumulation of Money?

Make an effort to read some really good books about success if you wish to realize that success principles are the same, namely, that success is actually a journey; it is goal setting; it is attitude; it is passion; it is hard work; it is positivism! As a student of the “University of Success,” to use Og Mandino, I believe that in order to succeed truly we need to understand whether or not success is simply the accumulation of wealth. Mark Zuckerberg of FaceBook and Bill Gates of Microsoft are considered just about the most successful men in our century.

Again, our barometer in saying it is the billions of dollars that they have rolled up as wizards of the computer industry. In Mandino’s “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” he said that money-success without love is not a success at all.  Will you consider yourself truly successful  having lots of money in your vault, but without a family to call your own? Plato once stated that to be remembered man needs to father a son, build a house, plant a tree, and write a book!


Turning Stumbling Blocks Into Stepping Stones

We don’t quit. In case there are stumbling blocks along our way, we won’t turn our backs on them like pure cowards–like the failures around us. We rather treat them as being a challenge; as a problem that we must solve one after the other. In our success journey, we are determined to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. We are taller than our task!


Success isn’t a Destination

Qualifying the meaning and essence of success is extremely important. I like the story of Yaro Starak in the blogosphere. He said that after long years of inventing and reinventing how to succeed as a blogger, he now finds himself blogging just around two hours daily, and then doing some other things that can make him happy such as travels and buying things. He now has money enough to grant him financial freedom. To put it differently, money per see doesn’t make one truly successful, for  success, in its truest perspective and essence, is a kind of achievement that makes man enjoy a peaceful and happy existence. I just read somewhere about a beggar who said to the King: “Your Majesty, you are better than me in everything, but you can’t be happier than I can be.” Success is a journey, not a destination. Success is something that makes life truly exciting, honest and dignifying.

If success is measured by the amount of money you have in the bank, then Mahatma Ghandi (or even Jesus Christ!) was obviously a big failure in this world.


Don’t Redesign Success

Sidney Bremer once stated that we don’t need to reinvent success. All that we need to do is follow the footsteps of those people who are ahead of us. Bremer then discussed at length about Charles M. Scwab, the first president of the U.S. steel corporation. Scwab was known to have been the highest paid employee in the world during his time. He was only a laborer who turned president of one of the biggest corporations in the world. His philosophy was: work more than the pay. I like Scwab’s work motto. I’ve been sharing it to many people in my lectures. But there’s one thing about him: he “died bankrupt, living on borrowed money for five years before his death.” Hence, success is not merely “money, money, money.” Rather it is life itself–the long journey of having a happy family, of being a peaceful and happy person, and of having enough bread in order not to live on borrowed money until death.

The Chocolate Hills plus the Loboc River’s Floating Restaurants in Bohol

Just before Chocolate Hills (Bohol Tourist Spots)

We arrived at Cebu City, we then proceded to Chocolate Hills at Bohol Province. Our journey bound for Cebu wasn’t a new experience, but I managed to take a few photographs of the scenic clouds which coloured the sunny sky that day. To get to Bohol was our objective, but we still had time to visit the famous Magellan’s cross, the Taoist temple, along with other Cebu tourist destinations. Cebu is the Philippines’ oldest city, and one can easily see the landmarks of the country’s Spanish colonization which lasted for over 400 years until the turn of the 20th century.


Casa de Gorordo

Among the proofs of a 400-year slavery is the “Casa de Gorordo” (or house of the Gorordos) which had been built during the Spanish era, where the pieces of furniture and the proofs of the grandeur of the mestizos continue to be well preserved in the casa, which is now converted to a museum. I couldn’t help, while noticing the things inside the house, but let my thoughts linger on the penury of the 99% Filipino indios during this era, who were in their g-strings for life, and who were the workhorses of both the Spaniards and the mestizos, the latter being cronies of the repressive regime who exploited the archipelago for over 400 years in the name of God. History is past, and the future is the evident presence of high-rise buildings in the city, which will be, to my humble estimate, mushrooming the place in the next ten years.


Bohol Trip

We planned the following day for our Bohol trip. Our companions were first-timers and their enthusiasm were reaching boiling point: these people were at the third heaven! At 4:00 A.M, we were at the pier uno, ready to take a “fast craft” boat which, for an hour sea journey, would take us to Tubigon, one of many coastal towns of Bohol that’s facing Cebu Island. At Tubigon, we were to be fetched by way of a van, which we would be using for the entire Bohol tour.


The Sagbayan Peak and the Chocolate Hills

The Sagbayan Peak was our first stop. It’s the place where the famous chocolate hills start to appear. After taking photographs, we proceeded to a place where Bohol’s over a thousand chocolate hills are viewed by tourists. I had been there before, but taking a look at the chocolate hills the second time is a never-ending amazement. “Who made it?” is the one question that will naturally come to mind as one watches the grandeur of the thousand little hills-so beautifully formed that they will never leave one’s memories forever. Life is not complete, if you love to travel, without visiting the chocolate hills of Bohol.


The Loboc River

Then we proceeded to our next destination, which is the Loboc River. Our van driver took us towards the place quite strange to our experience, considering that the famous floating restaurants at this river are now well-handled by the government, thus giving this particular tourist spot a high-end touch.

There are more exciting tourist destinations in Bohol, however the chocolate hills and the river cruise (Filipino style) at the Loboc river are enough spots one is happy to pay good money with. The good news is that Bohol tour is not as pricey as one thinks it is.

Celiz files case against Mejorada for being unable to pass SALN

ILOILO CITY, PHILIPPINES, March 13 – Iloilo City Major Jed Patrick E. Mabilog’s liaison officer for political affair Jeffrey Celiz filed an administrative complaint against former Iloilo Provincial Administrator Manuel “Boy” Mejorada before the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas.

Celiz charged Mejorada for violation of R.A. 6713 also referred to as “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees”, thus, he is asking for the Ombudsman to file six counts of violation of R.A. 6173.

On his filed grievance, Celiz attached a certification issued by Alma Ravena, Asst. Department Head, Human Resource Management and Development Office (HRMDO) of the Iloilo Province proclaiming that Mejorada failed to file and submit his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) from years 2003-2005 and 2008-2010.

Under the law, public officials and employees possess the obligation to accomplish and submit declaration under oath, understanding that the public has the right to know their assets, liabilities, net worth, financial and business interests which include those of their spouse and unmarried children under 18 years of age living in their households.

Also, public officials and employees, except individuals who serve in an honorary capacity, laborers and casual or temporary workers, shall file under oath their SALN and the disclosure of business interest and financial connections and those of their spouses and unmarried children under 18 years of age living in their households.

Celiz stated failure of Mejorada to file his SALN at that time when he was a provincial administrator is clearly a violation of the said provision.

Mejorada, a well-known critic of Mabilog, also hit the mayor for misdeclared SALN in the past months.

For his part, Mejorada thought that the complaint is still a part of the incessant harassment mounted by the Mabilog administration against him to stop the exposes on corruption issues affecting the Iloilo City Government. Mejorada said the Mabilog administration has moved to the legal front with the filing of a libel complaint late last year, and this instant complaint.

Mayor’s man prompts Manuel Mejorada to cease irresponsible journalism

The political liaison officer of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is appealing previous Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada to abstain from practicing irresponsible journalism.

“He is becoming dangerous and abusive of press freedom,” Jeffrey Celiz reported after Mejorada purportedly barged at the Pan Pacific Food Services Inc. located at Angeles Arcade Wednesday afternoon.

Staff Hannah Joy Niño exposed to the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) that Mejorada was adamant on performing an inspection of the office. When she turned down his request, Mejorada then purportedly took pictures prior to going.

The incidence caused Niño “great fear and nervousness.”

Celiz reported Pan Pacific Food Services Inc. was a private establishment and revealed that in frustration of imputing the mayor in anomalies, Mejorada harassed the lady staff.

“He is practicing a perverted concept of press freedom,” Celiz stated.

“It is becoming clear that this is no longer a press mission, but a personal mission to destroy the integrity of Mayor Mabilog,” Celiz reported.

Mejorada is working on a story professing that the Honest and Accountable Living for a Graft-free Iloilo City (HALIGI) Foundation of Mabilog had a P2-million funding from the United Parcel Services (UPS).

Mejorada claimed that the P2-million funding was supposed to train public school teachers to improve their English literacy at the Panpacific Call Center and Training School but not a single teacher was trained.

Earlier this month, the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City asked for Mejorada to be charged with two cases-libel and falsification of public documents.

Mejorada gave up himself at the Jaro Police Station and as a consequence posted bail.

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