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Explain 13 years
Elson T. Elizaga

Cagayan de Oro city hall treasurer Glenn Bañez has discovered that the owner of Elipe Park has not paid the government P2.7 million in real estate taxes for 13 years. And the owner is the mother of councilor President Elipe, son-in-law of former “mayor” Vicente Yap Emano.

Elipe replied to this report in the council by making two allegations: 1) City hall is going after his mother’s property because Elipe has asked city hall to reveal the source of the money used to create Duaw Park, a project of current mayor Oscar Moreno, Emano’s opponent last election. 2) Elipe’s “mother did not pay the delinquencies because of a supposed error in the City Assessor’s Office and they [Elipe’s family] wanted the City Treasurer’s Office to take a second look.”

These explanations are admissions of incompetence, and are attempts to divert the issue.

Other councilors and non-politicians have questioned city hall projects. Some of them are members of Facebook groups like Mata Na CDO, and they have complained about the return of the street vendors, the persistence of illegal mining, and the non-collection of garbage. I was the first to question the source of the money for the repainting of the executive building of city hall; Elipe just recycled it in the council. I also wrote that Moreno’s monuments in de Lara Park are useless to me. But the critics, including myself, have not received any letter from the treasurer or from any office.

Elipe also claimed the “error” is 13-years old. So, why didn’t he correct the error during this period? Thirteen years is quite long. After eight years you can harvest an entire falcata plantation. After 13 years a kid gets to notice wisps of hair growing on his balls. Thirteen years is 3,120 working days – enough time for Elipe to ask the city treasurer to have a second look hundreds of times.

If he did try to correct the “error”, but failed to get cooperation from the city treasurer, he could have brought the problem in the council, thunder and lightning included, not only for the sake of his distressed, maltreated family but for other clueless tax payers who might be victims of the same “error”. As far as I can recall, Elipe has been an active councilor for 16 years, possibly more. I know because I had a picture of him and my mother during the 1997 beauty pageant in the Xavier Estates Country Club. He was councilor already then.

Last year, when my friend Antonio J. Montalvan II accused Elipe of having ties with illegal miners, Elipe challenged Montalvan to run in the election, unwittingly suggesting that if Montalvan lost, then Elipe would be innocent of the charge. And now he seems to be saying, using Padayon Pilipino logic, that since city hall doesn’t like him, therefore, his mother paid taxes.

Even if Elipe’s mother is indeed a law-abiding citizen, and I’d like to believe that she is, Elipe’s ridiculous excuses and theatrics have become so predictably boring they’re not even comic relief. He should step down at once, create an accountancy firm and call it Negative 13 Equals Zero. Black square indicates end of article.

© 2013 Elson T. Elizaga