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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, June 16, 2012
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Bacolod honoring three
Banwahanon awardees


The City of Bacolod will honor its outstanding citizens during a program at the lobby of the Bacolod City Government Center in celebration of the city’s 74th Charter signing commemoration at 6 p.m. tomorrow.

The outstanding Bacoleños, who will be awarded the prestigious Ang Banwahanon Award - the 24th since 1974 - are Pamela Torre Henares, Lucy Chua Ponce and Joel “Bagguer” Villaluz, Sr. for the economic, social, cultural and sports development impact of their contributions to the community.

Henares is cited for her very strong leadership in sustainable agriculture, organic farming and solid waste management, Ponce as a major benefactor of the Bacolod Boys Home Foundation, Inc. and contributor to the development of young people in conflict with the law, and Villaluz for the social impact of his “free” musical services especially for the elderly and disabled and, for notably composing “Kami Bacolodnon,” which eventually became the official song of the City of Bacolod.

Tomorrow’s ceremony will also honor past awardees.

The awardees’ names were forwarded by the Board of Judges to the Banwahanon Awards Committee, chaired by Leonito “Diutay” Lopue, that had endorsed the recommendation of the judges.

The previous years’ number of awardees was normally five, but this time there are only three, Committee Secretary Dr. Ma. Johanna Ann Bayoneta said.

Vice Mayor Jejomar Binay will be the guest of honor and speaker during 74 Charter Day signing commemoration on Monday.

The celebration will be highlighted by the signing of the sisterhood agreement between the cities of Makati and Bacolod on Monday at the Bacolod City Government Center lobby.


Meanwhile, Bacolod Rep. Anthony Golez Jr. yesterday said in a press statement that the principle of the Nationalist People’s Coalition that the “equity of the incumbent” must be respected at all times, unless he or she, has violated the party’s principle and organizational discipline.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia being the NPC party chairman in Bacolod cannot assume unto himself the power to endorse himself nor ask his close buddies to endorse him as the party’s official congressional candidate for Bacolod, Golez said in a press statement yesterday..

As an incumbent official, Golez said he has all the right to either continue his incumbency or seek other public position, or whichever is best in serving the Bacolodnons, and claimed that there is a plan to expel him from the NPC.

Asked for his reaction, Leonardia said he (Golez) is paranoid if he is talking about expulsion. It is his own imagination working because he knows he is guilty of disloyalty to his co-party members, he said.


Leonardia said he does not even have time to think about Golez. “He is talking about expulsion. Well, thank you for that suggestion. We will think it over,” he said.

He said Golez keeps on claiming to be an NPC member but his behavior shows that he is not loyal to his fellow NPC members at all. He habitually commits treason to the NPC Bacolod, he added.

On the issue of equity of the incumbent, Leonardia said, “Everything will go through our NPC hierarchy, and at the same time, it is a question that will have to be processed.”

Meanwhile, Councilor Caesar Distrito said that, although it is unfortunate that their request for a Presidential declaration of June 18, 2012 as a special non-working day for the celebration of the signing of the Charter of Bacolod City was denied by the Office of the President, the celebration should continue, considering that the SP had already approved an ordinance commemorating June 18 as the day when the Charter of Bacolod was signed into law. Therefore, the celebration has legal basis, he said.


It is not in conflict with the R.A. 7724, or the designation of October 19 as the Charter Day, because what had been declared by the City Ordinance is not a charter day but a commemoration of the signing of the Charter of Bacolod. So there is no conflict between the two, Disrito said.

“The Charter Anniversary celebration will still continue because it has legal support from a City ordinance which the SP had approved unanimously,” he said.

Distrito said since there is a City Ordinance that calls for the celebration of the commemoration of the signing into law of the Charter of Bacolod, then there is solid legal grounds that government funds could be legally be spent in so far as the celebration is concerned, and there is no illegality in that.

“Since this is a city activity, our students are welcome to join the celebration and their participation has no obstacle because of an ordinance which calls for the commemoration of the signing into law of the Charter of the City of Bacolod, and their participation is being called for purpose of making our Charter Anniversary on June 18 a success,” he said.

On the other hand, Distrirto said a skeletal structure will be maintained at the government center and the mayor will provide administrative guidelines as far as the operation of the city is concerned on Monday.

The activities the employees will be doing, like joining the parade and other activities in relation to the celebration, is part of their job because this is a city sanctioned activity, he said.*CGS

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