May 1st, 2010
By BiliranIsland.com Staff
First Posted 19:45:00 05/01/2010
Last Updated 06:42:00 05/03/2010
Tacloban City – The expression “ride on” used to be associated with fun and friendly innocence. But now it could hurt and needs to be clarified in the media.
Sec. Victor A. Domingo of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) held a special press conference today (May 1) at the Leyte Park Hotel here to clarify “ride on” statements he had uttered in an interview pertaining to national road projects in Biliran Province, which were caught on video and uploaded in the youtube website a few days ago.
The nine-minute video footage, which was shown at the start of the press conference, was allegedly produced by An Aton Channel (AAC), a local cable TV station qualified to broadcast in three eastern Leyte towns. But its known producer had passed away in late March.
In an interview with biliranisland.com, Secretary Domingo said he could not recall when he granted the controversial interview in the footage. But his statement referring to the death of the late Press Sec. Cerge Remonde suggests this was conducted in late January, at his DPWH office after he had assumed as department secretary.
The heavily-spliced footage seemed to be part of a lengthy interview about public works projects in Eastern Visayas in general, but interspersed with leading trap questions pertaining to projects in Biliran Province, which were slanted to derive answers that would channel credit to the Espina family and at the same time deprive Cong. Glenn Chong of similar credit for the implementation of many road projects during his initial term in office.
Only the items pertaining to Biliran Province were spliced in the footage.
Domingo said he called on the press to rectify his use of the phrase “ride on,” which gave a wrong impression to the youtube audience to mean that Congressman Chong had not implemented any projects in Biliran. On the contrary, he admitted that Chong had caused the implementation of multi-million infrastructure projects in his district.
When asked to clarify the discrepancy between the contents of the effusive paper trail about the projects in Biliran and his contrary statements in the youtube video, Domingo said he would rectify what he said by outlining the congressman’s key projects that have “significant values and impact” on the people. He did so with the help of Engr. Virginia C. Sarabusing, district engineer for Biliran.
An accomplishment report distributed to members of the media showed that, from July 2007 to the present, Chong made strong representation for the funding of various infrastructure projects in the province through the DPWH. This amounted to P585.13-M over a period of three years and includes the concrete cementing of 21.57 kms. of gravel road, with 2.181 kms. still on-going, and another 8.93 kms. for concrete paving this year (a total of 32.68 kms.).
Domingo admitted that congressmen all over country usually “ride on” projects of the president, and this should not have been singularly misconstrued in the case of Biliran. He attested that Congressman Chong had also caused the implementation of key projects other than those he “rode on.”
In the youtube video, Domingo tried to steer clear of leading questions that would force him to comment on local politics and its intramurals. But this time, when pressed about who he would favor, he said would likely favor Chong because “he is a kapartido [Lakas party mate].”
Interview with the DPWH Secretary Vic Domingo
Sec. Domingo clarifies statements in youtube interview
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