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Home Columns Noy (Bicol Column) Why Bacon Must Be Freed from an Eggshell of Gerrymandered Sorsogon City
Why Bacon Must Be Freed from an Eggshell of Gerrymandered Sorsogon City PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Noy (Bicol Column)
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 13:22

 

By Lolo Bobby M. Reyes of Sorsogon City and West Covina, California

 

I never imagined why such a beautiful town called Bacon lush with green forest, bountiful vegetation and abundant Pacific Ocean-side resorts would be technically erased and snatched from its own identity … – Rex Dig Eduarte

 

On Aug. 16, 2000, then-President Joseph E. Estrada signed into law Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8806, an "Act Creating the City Of Sorsogon By Merging the Municipalities of Bacon and Sorsogon in the Province of Sorsogon, and Appropriating Funds Therefor." The bill was sponsored by then Sorsogon First District Rep. (now Senator) Francis Joseph G. Escudero.

 

Rex Dig Eduarte and countless of his hometown friends from the town of Bacon fought unsuccessfully against the obvious gerrymandering ploy of Sorsogon politicians. The capitol town of Sorsogon has nearly-twice the population of Bacon town and it was easy to tell that a majority of the combined voters of Sorsogon and Bacon towns would approve the law in a plebiscite. Mr. Eduarte and many Bacongnons (sic) would have voted down the idea if only the people of Bacon were to decide the fate of their town.

 

Pursuant to Section 10, Article X of the Constitution, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), on Dec. 16, 2000, conducted a plebiscite in the Municipalities of Bacon and Sorsogon and submitted the matter for ratification.

 

On Dec. 17, 2000, the Plebiscite City Board of Canvassers (PCBC) proclaimed the creation of the City of Sorsogon as having been ratified and approved by the majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite.

 

According to records posted in the “SorsoGold Facebook Group” by Mr. Eduarte, two cases were filed that challenged the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 8806, which created the City of Sorsogon and the validity of the plebiscite conducted pursuant thereto, as described in this hyperlink: http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2001/oct2001/gr_146319_2001.html.

But the two cases, as consolidated, were dismissed by the Philippine Supreme Court En Banc.

 

Why Politicians Wanted to Merge Bacon with the Capitol Town

 

T he people of Bacon did not realize the gerrymandering done by Sorsogon political leaders. Why? For instance the Bacon-Manito (Bac-Man) Geothermal Plant is in Bacon town and not in the Sorsogon capitol town (SCT). The Sorsogon airport actually is located in Bacon, which has also more viable tourism spots than the SCT. Bacon has many undeveloped lands in many areas from Gatbo to Sawanga (if only the road to Prieto Diaz is completed and cemented). Bacon also has the Pacific Ocean, which can mean more deep-sea freight and shipping ports.

 

As Mr. Eduarte correctly pointed out, the SCT no longer has any forested area while some of the remaining but dwindling forests of the province are found in Bacon.

 

From a historical viewpoint, before there was a Sorsogon town during the Spanish regime, there was already the Bacon town. Bacon has the Spanish-built houses but Sorsogon does not have any of the Spanish-built infrastructures.

 

What the political leaders of Sorsogon Province ought to have done was to make both Bacon and the SCT twin cities – just like the metropolitan areas of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the Great State of Minnesota. Making Bacon a city by and of its own would make the best politically-correct step.

 

In fact, the provincial leaders of Sorsogon ought to help several towns like Bacon, Bulan, Gubat, Magallanes, Pilar and others become viable cities of their own. Because a city enjoys more autonomy than a mere town.

 

Perhaps the freeing of Bacon from what has become a political eggshell of convenience for some politicians will become one of the better issues in the coming May 2013 local elections. # # #



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