The envious say it’s P1 million a day. The pragmatic said about P100,000. The kind-hearted begs he be left alone: Benjamin de Guzman, aka BCG, former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Davao City, former city administrator, former vice mayor, former city mayor is just “for the funds” of it.
How could a man who had reached such heights allow himself to be brought down so low? As Speaker Prospero Nograles’ loose cannon, he has turned from a mild-mannered man into a muckraking bazooka with blank ammo.
Fortunately for City Hall, his exposes have turned out pitiful duds: the P2.9 billion alleged missing government assets under Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had been denied by the Commission on Audit; his claim of over-pricing in the garbage bin purchase of the city government has turned to be pure garbage.
Counted as politically-dead after being KO’d by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the 2001 and 2004 mayoral races, de Guzman has resurfaced to play Sancho Pansa to Speaker Prospero Nograles’ Don Quixote in the May elections.
In the coming polls, De Guzman is up against Mayor Duterte in the vice mayoral race, with Nograles, of Lakas/Kampi/CMD, facing Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, the standard bearer of the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod.
Political observers see doom in de Guzman’s battle, like Nograles’ against Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, with his former political mentor, as shown in collated pre-poll independent surveys here, with the Hugpong father-and-daughter tandem taking in a hefty 70 percent with the Lakas/Kampi/CMD duo flattened to a stagnant 30%.
De Guzman, protégé turned foe of Mayor Duterte, is in the front of firing scuds against the Duterte-Duterte tandem, since late last year after firming up a political alliance with Nograles.
In his latest caper, de Guzman, a lawyer, exposed the alleged P2.9 billion worth of assets of the city government that he said were missing.
Mayor Duterte however has shot down the lie of de Guzman to an abrupt ending: the documents were forged or manufactured to show that missing assets were acquired under his administration; the alleged missing assets dating back to 1936.
The garbage bin alleged to be over-priced were expensive, sturdy equipment from an international supplier whose clients include big hotels, malls and supermarkets among others and bought under government bidding procedures, according to Mayor Duterte.
This week, de Guzman waved a comparative canvass showing the alleged overprice against bins sold in Davao City’s Chinatown, where cheap imported bins that cannot stand long use required by the city’s garbage collection system are sold at bargain prices.