Jose Benjamin Benaldo
Published: June 12, 2013
Jose Benjamin Benaldo, CITY Councilor Edgar Cabanlas demands a lifestyle check on Cagayan de Oro first District Representative Jose Benjamin Benaldo.
This, after a report circulated that Benaldo has been traveling outside the country 11 times in two years since he was elected as first district representative of Cagayan de Oro City.
Cabanlas said he is not against Benaldo’s travels since it is his right.
However, as a public servant, he said Benaldo is answerable to the public as to where he gets the expenses for his “lavish lifestyle.”
“Benaldo must submit himself for a lifestyle check so people will know why he can afford such expensive trips and lifestyle,” Cabanlas said on Tuesday during the regular session of the City Council.
Cabanlas said Benaldo must minimize his travels and nightlife activities as it will only give a negative impression on him, being a public servant.
He recalled that right after typhoon ‘Sendong’ hit the city in December 2011, Benaldo immediately traveled to the States, “leaving everyone asking: “Where is our congressman in times like these?”
Cabanlas added that as a public servant, Benaldo must sympathize with his people and should have not enjoyed somewhere while his constituents were in distress.
“We are not preventing him. But I guess, his “travels” should be in proper timing,” he said.
Reports said Benaldo is allegedly often seen in bars and posh restaurants dating someone.
“I would like to believe that Benaldo is not yet mature in politics as he is very busy in other things rather than taking care of his district,” he added.
In a phone interview, Benaldo said he would rather not comment on the issue.
“I know what I am doing for my constituents and for the first District,” the congressman told Sun.Star.