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Watch the COWD board


HISTORY is replete with stories of how an incident is repeated for lack of foresight, out of greed or sheer stupidity. Or, some people never learn from mistakes.

It’s been alleged, again and again, that Rio Verde had been favored to win the bulk water supply contract because  the Cagayan de Oro Water District board before was composed of people appointed by the then mayor Dongkoy Emano. But winning the contract was just one aspect of the deal. The nasty part about it was that the contract itself that brought the board and the administration at loggerheads.

As the story goes, the then COWD general manager Gaspar Gonzales refused to sign the contract because it was not the same contract he reviewed earlier. There allegedly were a few insertions and revisions. But Gonzales was prevailed upon. He eventually resigned, leaving more questions than answers. Was he forced, intimidated or given a graceful exit? We will never know unless he himself resurrects from hibernation to tell his own story. I mean, the real story behind the transaction. Along the way, we could only speculate.

Did Rio Verde lose money before it sold to the Pangilinan group? At least, we heard nothing of that sort. So, why sell?

Manny V. Pangilinan or “MVP,” as he is called in the business world, is known for being the new version of Mr. Pacman in the person of Danding Cojuangco. MVP has ways of buying out companies, making the offer hard to refuse.

That would probably explain why after the deal saw print in our local daily, a COWD insider told me to watch a few people buy new cars, allegedly members of the board and media practitioners. But why include media practitioners? What role can they play in this transaction of the giants?

So, how do you confuse the people? Was it a sale, a joint venture or what?

The chairman of the board was quoted to have said that any increase in the water rates will not be passed on to the consumers. We all know that the non-revenue water is still high for comfort and nothing seems could be done about it. Hence, how could you expect COWD not to pass on the increase in the water rate to the consumers?  Who is fooling who?

According to reports, COWD general manager Rachel Beja wrote a letter to the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel for enlightenment on certain issues in the documents, an act that allegedly caught the ire of the COWD board, and for which, she has been repeatedly subjected to harsh oral reprimands that bordered on threats. Lately, she was given a “show cause” order to explain some of her actions.

I see parallelism in her case to that of Gonzales’s. But let’s not forget the saying: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

There could be cans of worm waiting to be opened. There are stories waiting to be told. There are people one need not offend and make enemies out of them. If the intention is to remove Beja from her seat, she is certainly not without allies and sympathizers.

In my recent trip to Manila, I heard one gentleman say before a huge audience: “Let us not be fooled by MVP because he has nothing but the backing of a foreign capitalist. The money that they earn in the Philippines will just go to the mother country of the capitalist.”

Unsay diay ta, mga Kagay-anon? Paluto sa kaugalingong mantika?


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mindanao goldstar daily
TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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