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News headline on LMP head’s ‘scam’ unfair to dedicated public servant

04:18 AM December 05, 2014

First of all, I would like to state that this letter is not officially sanctioned by my office and contains a personal view of a private citizen and a hurting subordinate.

I write this because I feel that the headline of the Inquirer banner story titled “LP head of league of towns in scam” (Front Page, 11/18/14) was very misleading and uncalled for.

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After reading the whole article, I felt that all it said was that some documents had to be submitted to complete the liquidation process. There was no indication of misuse of funds. Unfortunately, the headline has already done serious damage to the person and reputation of Leonardo “Sandy” Javier, mayor of Javier, Leyte.

I defend the man simply because I see his dedication to his work and determination to improve the lives of the people of Javier town. He is a firm, well-loved leader and a highly respected entrepreneur among his peers. Andok’s lechon manok is his brain child.

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This practical take-away meal has certainly graced the table of millions of Filipino families. Its success story from humble beginnings can be a source of inspiration for many who are aspiring to find success in business. “Nong” Sandy, as I fondly call him, believes in giving back to those who have less because he has been showered with a multitude of blessings.

He has chosen public service as a vehicle to find fulfillment as he transforms Javier from a sleepy community into a vibrant town bustling with the livelihood projects that he initiated. This country can only hope that similar individuals are willing to make the sacrifice. We certainly need people like him to complete the reforms that the national government has started.

A few months ago, a prominent international NGO approached us to discuss the possibility of entrusting several hundred thousands of dollars to our league for the implementation of a sanitation project for several municipalities.

Nong Sandy did not jump on the offer outright as he wanted the accountabilities and deliverables to be clear before accepting any funds. To date, the program is still being discussed and will remain in that phase until he is satisfied that all is in order. That is the kind of man he is.

At present, Mayor Javier is out of the country and cannot defend himself from these malicious accusations. The article said that “the mayor assured the COA audit team that the funds were utilized as proposed.” I believe him. I am certain that he will dutifully comply with the COA order upon his return.

I know that the season is ripe for politics. But I hope and pray that, for the good of the country, it does not derail efforts at genuine public service. My message to Mayor Javier: Stand tall and proud. Your integrity will uphold you.

—MARISA Y. LERIAS,

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executive director,

League of Municipalities

of the Philippines

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TAGS: COA Audit Team, Commission on Audit, Javier town, Leonardo Javier, Leyte, Liberal Party, Sandy Javier
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