ILOILO CITY, Philippines-Manuel “Boy” Mejorada isn’t any stranger to political controversy. (As seen in the video below)
The previous provincial administrator, who filed a plunder case in the Office of the Ombudsman against Senate President Franklin Drilon along with other top government officials in association with the alleged overprice in the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC), is known to frequently switch political sides.
He’s also filed graft cases against Drilon for the construction of the Iloilo Esplanade in addition to former Iloilo Rep. Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.
Mejorada served as Syjuco’s chief of staff until they had a falling out caused by personal and political differences. He has filed a string of cases in the Office of the Ombudsman against Syjuco.
Mejorada can also be closely linked to the Tupas political clan of Iloilo and served as provincial administrator for nine years under former Gov. Niel Tupas, whom he also had occasionally served as spokesperson.
Drilon, also an Ilonggo, as well as the Tupases are staunch allies in the ruling Liberal Party (LP).
Throughout the May 2010 presidential election, Mejorada served as the LP provincial campaign manager.
Within his complaint, Mejorada claimed the building of the ICC, which happens to be partly funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Drilon and Malacañang’s controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), was obviously a “high-level” corruption conspiracy.
This isn’t the 1st time that Mejorada, a previous editor on the now defunct Western Visayas Daily Times, has sued public officials for assumed corrupt acts.
Mejorada has repeatedly said his blog articles, opinion articles and complaints were a part of his campaign against corruption and malfeasance in government. He stated his writings were in the service of transparency in government as well as the truth.
Critics, however, point out that honest journalism is far from Mejorada’s objectives, pointing to his shifting political loyalties.
In a press conference while in the May 2010 presidential election campaign attended by LP candidates including then Sen. Benigno Aquino III and Drilon in Sta. Barbara town in Iloilo, Mejorada presented a video clip to back allegations against then Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar.
The LP and Mejorada claimed that Savannah City, a Villar-owned real estate property, had violated agricultural laws and regulations in converting rice lands into a sprawling subdivision in Iloilo. Villar rejected the allegations.
Drilon said Mejorada had served him as consultant and media relations officer. Mejorada was let go after he purportedly used the senator’s social media accounts to attack Iloilo politicians. Drilon later filed a libel case against Mejorada due to his blog articles.