Allow Investigation of BACIWA to be Done

GOOD FOR THE BACIWA’s HEALTH. Now that the majority members of the board of directors, in the Bacolod City Water District (BACIWA) has ruled that General Manager Juliana Carbon be suspended for 30 days and that a three-man investigative committee must look into allegations of massive corruption, mismanagement and wrongdoings in the water agency owned by the government and therefore, by the people. It is now up to all sides in the conflict to allow that transparency be effective in the water district.

If after 30 days the committee rules that there has, indeed, been massive corruption in the water district, General Manager Juliana Carbon must be made to account for these wrongdoings because if even President Benigno Simeon Aquino III is and has not been exempted from allegations of irregularities, there is no reason for Carbon not to be subjected to audit, investigation and penalty if need be. But she is stonewalling, using the weapon of past favors given to mitigate charges of wrongdoings.

This investigation should be welcomed by the BACIWA General Manager for the water district’s health and if she passes the test, will have the support of the people.

But the employees and past directors appear to tolerate her stay because they have been mutually scratching their backs and her mouthpieces numerous and rabidly standing in her defense.

Therefore, at this stage of the episode in which the water district is being held to account for alleged irregularities, this must be welcomed by everybody – Carbon, BACIWA middle level employees and officials and the rank and file. If they oppose an investigation, consumers could think she and they are guilty.

MAYOR MONICO PUENTEVELLA, CONGRESSMAN EVELIO LEONARDIA POSITION CORRECT. In our view, the attitude, position and stance of Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella and Bacolod Congressman, former Mayor Evelio Leonardia have been correct. There have been no intervention from both parties, except from Councilor Wilson "Jun" Gamboa who is claiming to be a whistleblower connected with Water Watch.

Jun Gamboa has pushed determinedly for the purchase of bulk water from the Murcia Water District (MWD) which sounds peculiar because at the moment, the MWD has sent a letter to BACIWA officials acknowledging that they cannot sell this very precious commodity to BACIWA through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) because if they do, they are going to be short of their own water supply for Murciahanons. Good, if this was three years ago, but the town’s population have increased with many subdivisions sprouting and they can now ill afford to sell water from their cadaster which if one examines carefully is part of the Bacolod cadaster, not Murcia’s.

It would then be akin to purchasing a piece of land which, in the first place belongs to one himself. This is, indeed, stupidic and we Bacolodnons, should even more so oppose this.

And to his credit, Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano is himself not in favor of the water sale, because for him, the interest of his own constituents comes first and is paramount. And it is not true that before the sale no monetary amount will come from out of the BACIWA coffers because the installation of pipelines and other facilities will cost over a million pesos charged to Bacolod consumers.

Issues related to public utilities which are funded by the people and which, therefore, belong to them, should never be a subject for profiteering. Jun Gamboa must rectify his unintended mistake because he may suffer grievously from people’s mistrust in the coming 2016 local and presidential elections. But we dare him and the SP to now walk the talk and conduct the BACIWA probe.

Once Carbon allows the investigation by a three-man committee to proceed, we ourselves are of the view that no allegations be expressed during this period to give everybody a fair and even chance to prove they or she are/is innocent.

But opposition could be interpreted as efforts being done to avoid the probe because one is guilty. And staying in the BACIWA office means she owns it using its facilities 24 hours, with supporters evidently fueled by beer and liquor guarding her and using the area, the people own, shameful.

Tell you me. But, indeed!*