COMMENTARY: Is there a doctor in the house By Elson T. Elizaga

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/11 Jan) ­– For several days now, I’ve been fascinated by the rich intellectual activity at the provincial council. Majority of the councilors, who are members of Padayon Pilipino (PDP), has criticized, attacked and slashed Governor Oscar Moreno’s proposed annual budget.

His planned P30-million intelligence fund, for instance, has been reduced to a miniscule P2 million by his critics. Despite this, Moreno’s intelligence network seems to be intact, as he has received information that declared Cagayan de Oro Mayor Vicente Yap Emano – the big boss of PDP – is behind the perceived sabotage.

Already, two versions of the budget plan exist. Depending on which side you’re on, one is authentic and the other is described by Moreno as a falsified public document. He is bent on pressing charges.

Despite this setback, still I’m moved, impressed, and awed by the vigorous activism of the majority. The good doctor Jesus Jardin, who speaks for his colleagues during repeated interviews by DxCC, is the Knight in Shining Armor of PDP. He is inspired, flawlessly articulate, and so tough and persistent that council chairman Norris Babiera has lost his temper and broke the gavel. (Gmelina siguro, dili tugas.)

Babiera is reported to have challenged Jardin to a fight. I hope this happens because I want to know which hospital would apply intravenous to our gladiators. Would it be the plush Capitol University Medical City (CUMC), where Jardin holds clinic as an otorhinolaryngologist – quick, consult a dictionary, I already did — or the Northern Mindanao Medical Center? The city hospital, by all assessments, is clearly not anyone’s choice. Alubijid’s maybe.

What I’m trying to say is, by all accounts, democracy is alive and well in Governor Moreno’s administration – something Cagayanons have missed for a long time. Can we recall when the gavel was split in the city council? Have we ever heard a member of the majority speak eloquently against the mayor? Who among the majority criticized the former vice-mayor when he chose to be absent more than a hundred times in the council sessions? Who is complaining about Emano’s P45-million intelligence fund? Nadia Emano? President Elipe? Even councilor Juan Sia’s Shaolin mathematics cannot account for the P50-million phone scam.

I remember councilor Alvin Calingin. He was a member of the PDP majority when he delivered an oratory, defending minority councilor Zaldy Ocon, but that was a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far way. Today, he’s back with JTH.

Dr. Jardin, could you run for an office in Cagayan de Oro next election? As you are a specialist in the diseases of the ear, nose and throat, perhaps you can provide a prescription to the city councilors who cannot hear, smell, and speak evil.

(Elson T. Elizaga is the son of his father, John L. Elizaga, a former vice-mayor of Cagayan de Oro. Send email to