Mayor to Bacolodnons: Beware of fake news, disinformation

May 3, 2022 by No Comments

BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia called on Bacolodnons to be more discerning with information they read or encounter on both social and mainstream media, as election campaign reaches fever pitch in the run-up to the May 9 national and local polls.”There is a pattern of lies and half-truths being labeled against us by desperate quarters,” Leonardia said Tuesday, May 3.The reelectionist mayor said the number one fake news is the alleged allusion by the other camp that the mayor was not around at the height of the Covid-19 crisis, an “unfounded allegation” considering that “I have not travelled for two years outside of Bacolod, not even to neighboring Bago City.””What critics do not know was, the fact, that I took the lead in managing the crisis hands-on, burned midnight candles with the Emergency Operations Center and the local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) headed by Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and spent long hours during Zoom meetings and huddles until the wee hours to plan out strategies,” he added.Leonardia pointed out that “if my administration was remiss of its responsibilities in managing the health crisis, Bacolod City would not have reached the vaccination rate of 132 percent.””Because of our performance, we were cited by the Department of Health and the national IATF with the best Covid crisis program in Region 6,” he said, adding that “our performance based on the DOH data show that all these unfounded claims and innuendoes are without basis.”Leonardia added that “these are non-issues. The fact is Bacolod, if we are in school, is a class valedictorian because we are in the first batch of 39 local governments out of more than 2,000 in the entire Philippines, to have been placed under Alert Level 1.”In the month of April 2022 alone, the city posted zero Covid-19 case four times. On May 1, Bacolod again had no new infections for the day.Leonardia asked, “So, who’s telling the truth here? Who is clearly lying?”The second fake news, the mayor continued, is the proliferation lately of photos on social and mainstream media authored allegedly by “paid” reporters and photographers of the rival camp to project that the City Government is mismanaging the plight of market vendors who are plying their trade on sidewalks and city streets.”Such stories show a great deal of desperation of the other camp. We all know that the three markets — Libertad, Burgos and Central Market — are currently undergoing repairs and vendors have requested, for humanitarian considerations, that they be temporarily allowed to ply their trade, while work on market interiors are in progress otherwise, their families will go hungry,” the mayor said.The City Government is trying to put order and improve the conditions of the three public markets.The National Government, through former Budget Secretary Wendell Avisado, granted the city a P150-million allocation, the single biggest grant given to a local government unit, from the Local Government Support Fund for the improvement of the three major markets.”If one is truly a tumandok Bacolodnon, he should be very happy with the market development project instead of spreading lies and fake news and drive a wedge between the vendors and the local government in their desperate attempt to get their support,” Leonardia said.The camp of mayoralty bet Alfredo Benitez has yet to comment on this. (PR)