Feature Politics

Jun Pelaez: Institutionalized corruption still the defining issue in Lapu-Lapu elections

Efrain “Jun” Pelaez Jr. describes his campaign as a “new battle for Mactan.” The businessman will face incumbent Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza this May for the city’s top post. Pelaez came into political prominence when he raised accusations of corruption against Radaza and the Lapu-Lapu City Government. If elected, Pelaez said he will drastically change Lapu-Lapu in 3 years “what the incompetents have failed to do in the last 15 years!”

We asked members of the Facebook community to send questions that we will ask Pelaez for an article here on the site. We also did a similar request for Mayor Radaza (which will be published later).

June Pelaez Lapu-Lapu
JUN PELAEZ. The businessman says he will work to have “proper and clean community markets in each barangay to replace the roadside talipapas” if elected mayor. (From the June Pelaez Facebook page) What is the defining issue of the elections in Lapu-Lapu this May?
Jun Pelaez: It is still institutionalized corruption and whether we should allow a family dynasty to continue to rule and flourish despite the numerous and multi-billion criminal cases filed against the patriarch and matriarch of that family. How can we trust a candidate for the highest position of a city when she is facing multi-billion criminal cases filed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the PDIC for her past role as the head of Rural Bank of Subangdaku that went bankrupt, particularly since these involved the fraudulent creation of 6,051 fake loans amounting to P2.6 billion pesos, and other criminal violations of our banking laws?

Moreover, she is also criminally charged for her role in the Girl Scout scam. These cases are active and Paz Radaza has posted bail several times to avoid arrest. There are also other multi-million scam cases and criminal violations of environmental laws still pending investigation at the Visayas Ombudsman. Her character and past record must be scrutinized, if not assailed.

No one would hire her in the private sector to run a bank or a legitimate corporation, especially one earning millions, with a record and cases pending like that. What more a city with over P2 billion in annual revenue?

“City hospital is such a mess” Mayor Radaza reports the institutionalization of good governance in Lapu-Lapu City as one of her key accomplishment. What can you say about this?
Jun Pelaez: This is total nonsense and propaganda concocted by her public relations people. These are worthless slogans meant to deceive the people. If so, why is the city hospital in such a mess and with hardly any improvement in her almost 6 years in office? For the last 8 years, I have been hearing the same complaints about lack of medicines and services since the time of Mayor Arturo Radaza.

The same goes for the public market that is a filthy disgrace. Not to mention the state of garbage collection, segregation and disposal. Lapu-Lapu is one of the dirtiest cities in the country, as noticed by the Secretary of Environmental Protection of the Office of the President which they featured in their website. Environmental laws have been wantonly disregarded and I have filed several cases that are still pending in the Ombudsman for those violations. I have thousands of photos taken since 2007 up to the present as proof that show little has changed if not gotten worse.

Similarly, Paz Radaza has not fulfilled her promises for the resettlement of the countless urban poor in the city into integrated resettlement areas, nor can she even claim to have made a model community for the poor. In 2011, she claimed she had plans for a model community of 4000 families in a 25-hectare resettlement site, which her husband also had promised to develop in 2003, but up to now there is no such model community even for just 500 homes after 13 years of Radaza rule. The truth is the area has become an illegal dumpsite. These are only a few key examples. So where is the institutionalized good governance she is talking about?

Jun Pelaez Rolando Taneo Sr.
PELAEZ SLATE. Jun Pelaez is running for mayor with Atty. Rolando Taneo Sr. as his vice mayor. Here is the rest of his slate.


Traffic solutions Despite being a highly-urbanized city, Lapu-Lapu City still has tricycles as the main mode of transportation. Not only are they everywhere, they also park on national roads like in Basak, rendering the road widening useless because they occupy one lane on each side by parking. In some barangays, trisikads even service passengers on major roads. Do you see the need to move into mass transportation? Do you see it as a priority and what do you plan to do about it?
Jun Pelaez: This requires a special task force and a restudy of the traffic situation, choke points, existing infrastructure, volume of traffic, time studies, and possible solutions. No plan, however, can be implemented without taking into consideration the needs of the riding public, passengers and commuters, as well as the existing providers.

For example, the tricycles and trisikads also provide a service and fill the demand otherwise they would not be there. We have to look for solutions that can still service the public, hopefully with better public utility and even mass transit solutions. But simply eliminating them is not a solution unless we have alternative transport to fill the demand. We must also provide gainful substitute employment for those who will be displaced by the change.

One thing is certain, we have the political will to act and we are exploring many ideas to improve the situation and infrastructure from new or expanded roads to traffic lights and designated routes for certain types of vehicles. We also will be diligent, circumspect and determined in our approach to solve the problem. What are your platforms?
Jun Pelaez: Principal focus will be on Health, Housing, Environment, Education, Employment, and Eliminating Graft and Corruption.

Drastic change for Lapu-Lapu Where do you want to take Lapu-Lapu City?
Jun Pelaez: I will try to change drastically Lapu-Lapu City and do in 3 years what the incompetents have failed to do in the last 15 years! We will truly open up the city for business. No more private negotiations before a project is implemented. No more projects, especially large ones, delayed by endless permit releases.

We will eliminate all forms of graft and collections from the public markets, terminals, roadsides, public roads, tourist areas and the like. This will also impact on the drug menace and the peace and order situation. We will have a massive clean-up and solve the garbage crisis. We will take a new census of the urban poor, seniors, PWDs, and other marginalized sectors who will be the first and immediate beneficiaries of the city’s services from hospital and healthcare, to housing.

We will clean up and redevelop or rebuild the public markets, make them pedestrian and even tourist friendly. We will promote parks and playgrounds in all barangays and implement a real greening program of the city. We will focus on providing every graduate of a public high school in the city with a chance to continue their college education or an opportunity to acquire a skill through a TESDA or special training courses. We will improve the road, drainage and sanitation network of the city. Tree lined streets and proper sidewalks and lighting will also be a priority. Will you be pushing for industrialization or ICT-BPM or will you champion tourism and heritage?
Jun Pelaez: Both. The eastern flank of the island will be primarily focused to enhance the tourism sector and developed into a genuine tourism estate with the proper infrastructure necessary to achieve that goal. The central area and western flank will be developed to continue to promote housing, commercial and light industrial or ICT related activities. Being a city dependent on tourism revenues, what are your plans to protect Lapu-Lapu’s natural resources?
Jun Pelaez: First we have to clean up the entire city to make sure no waste leaches or is discharged in our municipal waters and coastline. We have to work closely with environmental experts and watchdogs and engage the DENR to effectively enforce Environmental Laws. Again, there will be no tolerance for continued violations. At the same time, we should make sure that the entire coastline facing the Hilutungan Channel will become a true marine sanctuary. Olango Island and nearby islands will be the focus for eco-tourism initiatives.

I also plan to develop plant nurseries in all the barangays to promote the planting of ornamental trees and palms, flowering plants and other landscaping material to beautify and green the whole city, including our nearby islands. What actions do you intend to take to curb the city’s problems on drugs and crime?
Jun Pelaez: The drastic rise of drugs and criminality in the city can only be traced to the leadership either through absolute neglect or active protection and complicity. Since the time of Arturo Radaza, a former policeman himself, and then his wife Paz Radaza, their selection of police chiefs, some with dubious backgrounds, has only exacerbated the problem.

While the city jail is bursting with small time drug offenders, no big fish are in prison. I do not believe there has been a serious attempt to eradicate the problem and we have reports many city officials may even be involved in the trade.

Once we are elected, we will advise all and sundry that there is a new Sheriff in town and warn everybody that there will be zero tolerance of these activities. I will select a new police chief after reviewing carefully the best man for the job with an unblemished record. The same goes for the PDEA personnel assigned to the city. We will revamp the police personnel assigned to Lapu-Lapu and review carefully their records. I will also form a special task force of people I trust to focus on criminality and possible complicity of people, especially of Barangay officials, who may be involved in these activities. I will disband those quasi-police organizations set up by Arturo and Harry Radaza that are used like private armies of enforcers for their own purposes. I will work with some people I know in the military, police and intelligence establishment to develop an effective force and deterrent to fight the drug scourge, reduce criminality and enforce the law. What are your programs for education?
Jun Pelaez: On top of the list is to make sure every graduate of a public high school has an opportunity to proceed to college or to have a vocational education to learn a special skill. This will include the drastic expansion of the City College and the Skills Training School, as well as TESDA training centers. I would also like to work with the DepEd to develop more community-based projects for the students to develop their sense of community and nation building. Garbage is a big problem in the city, what do you offer as solutions?
Jun Pelaez: First order is to engage in a massive and also sustainable clean-up of the City. Segregation and composting will be strictly enforced. Acquisition of new dump trucks and compactors will be done immediately or we will temporarily hire private contractors to help in the clean-up. The present setup of dumpsites and disposal will be studied and solutions decided on so we can comply with all environmental laws.

Designated garbage collection points with covered community type garbage bins or receptacles will be acquired and placed in strategic areas in all the barangays. Regular garbage pick-up schedules will be devised in all sitios of every barangay with subsequent collection for disposal into the main dumpsite, material recovery facility or waste to energy plant. We will also work closely with a private Canadian firm engaged in waste-to-energy with the objective of providing the necessary feedstock for their PEZA located plant, but also to do a similar one in joint venture with the city. We have initiated talks with the Canadian Ambassador on this matter. There have been many complaints raised against the Lapu-Lapu City public market as being dirty. What are your plans related to this?
Jun Pelaez: We have been criticizing the deplorable state of the public market for years. Our plans include renovating or rebuilding the main public market into a modern one after looking into its structural viability. I would also like to redevelop the seaside market beside the Muelle de Osmena. All these public markets should also become tourist attractions as are other markets around the world. We will also build proper and clean community markets in each barangay to replace the roadside talipapas.

June Pelaez NPC
TEARING LP MEMBERSHIP PAPERS. After the Liberal Party picked Mayor Paz Radaza as its candidate for Lapu-Lapu mayor, Jun Pelaez and his followers tore their LP membership papers. With Pelaez is congressional candidate Rene Espina. Pelaez accused the LP of choosing Radaza for political expediency despite his being a loyal party member for years. How can you ensure a transparent City Government?
Jun Pelaez: First we have to tell all city officials and employees that no corruption will be tolerated and dismissal and filing of graft charges swift. Otherwise, just being open and with clear procedures advertised for any transaction should do wonders. We will also install CCTV cameras in sensitive departments and keep video records that may be subject to review anytime, and the videos stored in a central database for future reference.

We will likewise video all sessions of the City Council and also all Public Biddings of City projects conducted. I will also ask the head of the Bids and Awards committee to justify before-hand any bid price advertised for bidding, so we will not have unreasonable standards and prices set that only a designated few can comply with. I will not allow the city to deal with new companies or hastily organized ones, but only known and reputable establishments.

I will require all department heads and officials to respond to complaints within 5 days and also open up their records for scrutiny if asked to do so. I will set up our own graft watch unit to hear and investigate complaints. If elected, what will your key action points be in your first 100 days?
Jun Pelaez: 1) Massive clean-up drive to comply with environmental laws;

2) Eliminate all forms of illegal collections, like tong from public utility vehicles, tricycles, trisikads, or un-receipted collections from street or sidewalk vendors, in public markets, terminals, plazas, shrines and the like.

3) Hospital and Health Centers will be audited and immediately improved to provide proper services especially to the poor.

4) A new census will be taken of all government beneficiaries who are paid honorariums to eliminate padded or ghost payrolls, and also to determine legitimate recipients of government or city programs for Seniors, PWD’s, urban poor, PPP, Clean and Green, and the like.

5) Create a task force vs. crime and drugs.

6) We will review the master plan of the city to rationalize development, traffic management, and needed infrastructure like roads, drainage, waste disposal and other requirements of a highly urbanized city.

7) Come up with a Draft Tourism Development Plan to identify the necessary improvements to make the city truly tourist friendly. This will include identifying priority areas for development like the Magellan Shrine, needed lighting and sidewalks in the tourist belt and hotel row, encouraging tourist friendly behavior. and planning tourism infrastructure like a convention area, boardwalk, promenades and the like.

8) Eliminate waste and increase efficiency in city operations and administration. All City Hall offices will be reviewed and professionalized.

9) Start identifying and planning areas for systematic development of parks and playgrounds throughout city with at least one model playground with component park ready for display as a template for the program.

10) Review housing and resettlement plan for urban poor relocation and develop action plan for first 500 homes to be built.


Cebu News Digest: April 13, 2015: For P10M-P15M, Lapu to install CCTV cameras near bridges, sites soon; Mandaue residents trade trash for food

Due to the surge of foreign and local tourists in recent years, the Lapu-Lapu City Government is planning to install surveillance cameras in at least 18 areas within the year in time for the APEC Summit in Cebu.

In Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City, at least 100 individuals recently received grocery items from the Mandaue City Government in exchange for giving their recyclable trash.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Cebu is recommending that locals and tourists include in their summer itinerary a visit to the tomb and museum of Archbishop Teofilo Camomot.

To prevent incidents of heat stroke, the Cebu City Council requested two agencies to put up water and blood pressure stations in public bus and jeepney terminals in the city.

Are you planning to buy a house unit or thinking of investing in one?

Check out Astele, which is among the newest property developments of top developer Primary Homes in Lapu-Lapu City. Astele is a vibrant community nestled in the coastal area of the island, close to top beach vacation getaways. It makes use of natural lines and Asian contemporary elements that give it a tasteful and minimalist feel. (Read more about the project here.)

Here are the top stories for today, April 13, 2015:

CCTV cameras seen to boost investor confidence

The Lapu-Lapu City Government is now studying proposals of different closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera suppliers that will help them install surveillance cameras in different areas in the city, including the Mactan Liberty Shrine and the junctions next to the first Mactan-Mandaue Bridge and the Marcelo Fernan Bridge.

According to the officials, these CCTV cameras that will be set up in crucial areas like the airport road and the public market will help boost investor confidence in the city.

The cameras, which as estimated to cost P10 million to P15 million, is targeted to be in place by the second or third quarter of the year.

Mandaue launches exchange project to reduce waste

During a launching of a garbage exchange center in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City, at least 100 residents traded 20 sacks of recyclable trash for grocery items.

The exchange center is part of the City’s effort to reduce the volume of garbage collected in the city by 10 percent. The City collects 460 tons of garbage every day.

“This is one effective way of getting the cooperation of every individual in solving the problem of indiscriminate throwing of garbage.” –Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes

Mandaue City allocated an initial P500,000 for the groceries. It is implementing the project in partnership with Sulong Mandauehanong Kabus Inc. and a local recycling company.

Barangay Subangdaku was chosen as a pilot area for the project, which will later be rolled out in the 26 other barangays.

Archbishop Camomot
The Archdiocese of Cebu spearheads pilgrimage tours to Archbishop Camomot’s tomb and shrine in Carcar City, Cebu as part of moves for his beatification.

Archbishop Camomot’s tomb, museum open to visitors on Thursdays

To spread information about the life of Archbishop Teofilo Camomot who may yet become the next Filipino saint, the Archdiocese of Cebu has ordered all of its vicariates to organize regular pilgrimage tours to Camomot’s tomb.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the “Duaw Camomot” will be part of the Archdiocese’s support for the cause for Camomot’s beatification, now pending before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome.

The Vicariate of the Most Holy Rosary will organize the tour in the home of the Daughters of St. Therese in Barangay Valladolid, Carcar City starting on Thursday this week

Council asks for water, blood pressure stations

The Cebu City Council has requested the Metropolitan Cebu Water District to provide free potable water stations in public bus and jeepney terminals and the Department of Health and City Health Department to set up blood pressure stations in all terminals in the city.

“One of the risk factors for the development of heat stroke includes inadequate water intake especially in hot environment and the precautions to take to prevent heat stroke is to drink extra fluids and to be conscious on the rise of the body’s blood pressure.” –Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon (in a resolution)

Other top Cebu News stories:

The Freeman: Magellan’s Cross kiosk closed for ‘treatment’
The Freeman: COSAP wants drug testing for public transport drivers

Cebu Business headlines:

Sun.Star Cebu: Advice from NEDA 7 chief: join rehabilitation efforts, develop entrepreneurial mindsets
The Freeman: Visayas seen lagging on farm project bids

Brand Partnership Properties

Astele offers ideal island living in historic resort city of Lapu-Lapu

Off central mainland Cebu lies the island of Mactan, home of a fast-growing city that plays host to the international airport and a number of affordable and high-end resorts with fine sandy beaches and clean seas.

Lapu-Lapu City is named after the brave chieftain of Maktan, Datu Lapu-Lapu, who successfully repelled Spanish aggressors in the early 1500s.

It is a first-class highly urbanized city with several economic zone locators, including the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) I and II as well as the Cebu Light Industrial Park (CLIP).

Capitalizing on the economic strengths of Lapu-Lapu and its “historic resort city branding,” Primary Homes builds a master-planned residential community that brings families the best of quality and exclusive island living.

Astele is a vibrant community nestled in the coastal area of Mactan Island.

Vibrant community

Astele is among the newest property developments of top developer Primary Homes in Lapu-Lapu City.

It is a vibrant community nestled in the coastal area of the island, close to such vacation getaways as Maribago Bluewater Resort-Mactan, Cebu White Sands Resort and Spa, Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, and Costabella Tropical Beach.

Located along Buyong Road in Barangay Maribago, the development makes use of natural lines and Asian contemporary elements that give it a tasteful and minimalist feel.

This is reflected in the clean facade of the six available house designs inspired by the Zen architecture of the Japanese.

Astele Aspen
The Aspen house model in Astele.

Astele amenities

Astele offers one-storey to two-storey single detached housing units in a variety of sizes. Houses come with two, three, or four bedrooms. Buyers take their pick from a cozy 56-square meter bungalow on a minimum 150-square meter lot to a 288-square meter two-level residence on a minimum 250-square meter lot.

In keeping with the company’s high construction standards, Astele units boast of steel-reinforced solid concrete walls, ceramic floor tiles for living, dining, and kitchen areas, wood grain resilient flooring on concrete floor for the second level, power-coated aluminum framed glass windows with insect screens, and stone chip coated roofing.

Astele Linden
The Linden model in Astele.

They also come with imported granite kitchen countertops, kitchen cabinets, shower enclosure for master’s bathroom, modular closets for bedrooms, bathroom fixtures, superior plumbing system, landscaped entrance, and a fire and burglar alarm system.

Astele is a gated community with an elegant entrance and selected landscaped areas, cemented sidewalks, and concrete roads, curbs and gutters. It will have a kid’s playground and a fitness gym.

It also envisions a clubhouse and pool surrounded by Zen gardens to provide its residents the ultimate in serenity and relaxation.

Are you interested in getting a unit or scheduling a site visit, call (032) 4125656 or (032) 2686974 (tap on numbers to call on your phone) or visit the Primary Homes website.

(This article is published under a brand partnership with Primary Homes.)


Mövenpick offers free sunset cruise for overnight guests

An overnight stay at the Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts-Cebu in Lapu-Lapu City comes with a free sunset cruise for local tourists.

The promo is good up to the end of May, said Mövenpick Assistant Director of Communications Joanna Cuenco.