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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, April 6, 2015
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Bing's portrait returned

The portrait of Bacolod Rep. Evelio Leonardia, that was discovered missing from the gallery of mayors at the Bacolod City Government Center Tuesday, was returned just before the Holy Week break.

Former Bacolod City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said yesterday that the portrait of the solon in the gallery of mayors was first covered and then it got lost, either by ill-motivation, or due to lousy security in the premises of the Bacolod City Government Center.

Bayatan recalled a rape incident a few months ago involving a female jogger at the BCGC, that he said, speaks about the character of the administration of Mayor Monico Puentevella.

If it cannot protect the place where he holds office, from acts of rape and vandalism, then what protection can our mayor give us on a larger scale? He asked.

By now, he has this vandal right under his nose and he seems indifferent to what happened. When anything diminishes the gallery of mayors, this diminishes him, too, as he is a part of it, Bayatan said.  

General Services Office head Jerome Solinap claimed he removed Leonardia's portrait from the gallery of mayors because it had been distorted or destroyed by an unknown person. So, he said, he brought it to an artist to have it retouched.

Solinap said each portrait of the former city mayors cost P17,000.

He said he was the one who removed the portrait because his office is in charge on the city government's property.

Bayatan said they should investigate and produce the vandal, or else the incident will be repeated.

“Now we cannot understand how the government center is being managed in terms of peace and order. We have joggers being raped, and the gallery of mayors being vandalized,” he said.

Bayatan said nobody is safe in the government center which they want to call “people's house.” The house should be enjoying full protection. But nobody is safe in the “people's house” and they cannot put order within it, he said.

Meanwhile, Puentevella's explanation was that Leonardia's portrait was not intentionally covered. He said it was the visual artists, who staged an exhibit at the lobby of the government center, who may have placed the wooden panes in the gallery of mayorsl after their show that covered Leonardia's portrait. However, nobody called their attention.

A label saying “this building constructed by Hilmarc's” was intentionally also placed last year under the portrait of Leonardia who built the government center. Many of the major constructions in many progressive cities in the country were built by Hilmarc like the Bacolod Government Center, of which the Office of the Ombudsman said it had found nothing anomalous.*CGS




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