Posts by Robert:

    Manyakis?*

    November 21st, 2018

    TATLONG matatapang na kalahok sa Miss Earth 2018 na sina Miss Canada Yvonne Vandenberg, Miss England Abbey Gyles-Brown at Miss Guam Emma Mae Sheedy ang lumantad para ibunyag ang umano ay sexual harassment na naranasan umano nila sa isang manyakis na sponsor.

    Si Vandenberg na umatras sa kompetisyon dahil sa damdaming hindi siya ligtas dito ay sinimulang i-harass daw sa pangalawang araw pa lang niya sa bansa. Nakuha raw nito ang numero ng kanyang telepono at palagiang tumatawag para malaman ang kanyang hotel na tinutuluyan at numero ng kuwarto.

    Bukod dito ay pumunta ito sa lahat ng event at nag-aalok daw na gaganda ang puwesto sa kompetisyon ni Vanderberg kung pagbibigyan ang kanyang seksuwal na kahilingan. Sa Manila Yacht Club ay isinama raw nito ang mga kalahok sa yate at kinuhanan ng larawan sa nakapang-aakit na posing.

    Ang damdamin ni Miss England ay na-exploit at nakaranas din daw siya ng sexual harassment mula sa sponsor na ilang ulit daw lumapit at humingi ng sexual favors kapalit ng korona.

    Nagtapat naman si Miss Guam na dinakma raw ng sponsor ang nakalantad na bahagi ng kanyang likuran sa National Costume Competition at sinabihang huwag niya itong sasabihin sa iba.

    Ang sponsor sa likod ng umano pambabastos ay nagngangalang Amado Cruz at tahasan nitong itinanggi ang mga paratang. Napag-alaman ng CNN Philippines na itong si Cruz ay limang taon nang nag-iisponsor ng pagkain at hapunan sa beauty contestants nang walang basbas ng organisasyon dahil may-ari siya ng isang restawran na malapit sa mga hotel ng mga kalahok.

    Nag-react ang National Privacy Commission (NPC) at inutusan ang organizers ng Miss Earth na magpaliwanag kung paano nalaman ng isang sponsor ang numero ng telepono ng isang kalahok nang wala siyang pahintulot. Pero bakit privacy issue lang ang naungkat at walang umaaksyon laban sa sexual harassment?

    Kumilos daw si Lorraine Schuck, founder at executive vice president ng produksyon na nagpapatakbo ng patimpalak, at sinabihan si Cruz na iba-ban nila ito sa mga susunod na event. Pero kung totoo ito, bakit ayon kay Miss England ay dumalo pa si Cruz sa preliminary event at pati na sa mismong coronation night?

    Kung totoo ang alegasyon ay malaking kahihiyan ito hindi lang para sa organizers ng kontes kundi para sa Pilipinas, kaya kapag napatunayang totoo ay dapat siyang panagutin.

    *              *              *

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    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Asia’s garbage dump*

    November 16th, 2018

    IS the garbage problem of South Korea slowly becoming insurmountable, forcing its people to find other locations where they can dump their trash? And do they think so little of us and consider our country as Asia’s garbage dump where they can freely dispose of their rubbish?

    A report revealed that a ship from South Korea containing tons of plastic garbage arrived at Mindanao International Container Terminal in July. The consignee for the shipment, which was erroneously declared as “plastic synthetic flakes”, was South Korean company Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation. However, a representative of Verde Soko refused to explain why it was incorrectly declared.

    The violation it supposedly committed could be found in Section 1400 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act on “Misdeclaration, Misclassification, Undervaluation in Goods Declaration”.

    This was the second time these Asian brothers of ours did so since the Bureau of Customs (BOC) also called on a South Korean shipper to take back some 5,000 metric tons of suspected garbage that was dumped in Mandaue City in Cebu in 2017. Not only was this offensive but highly intolerable.

    If you recall, Canada was the first to treat our country like a garbage dump when around 103 container vans containing trash arrived in the country between 2013 and early 2014 supposedly as recyclable plastic scraps. Half of the garbage was allegedly dumped in Capas, Tarlac. Environment groups feared the trash contained toxic materials.

    During Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2015 visit to our country for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, he vowed to solve the problem of Canadian companies exporting garbage to countries like the Philippines. However, this promise has failed to see the light of day and the issue remains unresolved.

    We fully understand if South Korea is taking action to control its waste but does it need to send its garbage abroad and pester other countries with its problem? Countries like Canada and South Korea should be fully responsible for their garbage. Return the trash to its place of origin and let the plastic manufacturers deal with the problem.

    Firing Line would also want to know why we keep on accepting trash from other countries when we have our own garbage problems to deal with? Remember, our plastic waste can be found almost everywhere. And trucks collect tons of garbage at Baywalk on Roxas Boulevard every time a storm hits us.

                  *              *

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    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Nabalewala*

    November 14th, 2018

    MAITUTURING na malaking setback para sa mga awtoridad ang naganap na pagbalewala sa kanilang pagsisikap at kontrobersyal na pagpapalaya sa anak ng nakapiit at nasentensyahang 72-anyos na Taiwanese drug queen na si Yu Yuk Lai.

    Akalain ninyong ayon sa desisyon ay kulang umano sa probable cause ang pag-isyu ng korte ng search warrant sa anak ni Yuk Lai na si Dianne Yu Uy at may mga iregularidad daw na ginawa ang mga tauhan ng Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) na pinamumunuan ni Director General Aaron Aquino.

    Ang droga na nakumpiska sa unit ni Uy ay “itinanim” lang daw at kumuha pa raw ang mga taga-PDEA ng PhP500,000 suhol mula sa suspek.

    Tahasan itong itinanggi at kinondena ito ng PDEA. Ginulat daw sila ng desisyon na lumalabas na parang pumapabor pa umano sa akusado sa halip na magmukhang parehas at walang kinikilingang paglilitis. Ang pagkakahuli kay Uy ay resulta raw ng lehitimo at maingat na pagpaplano at isang buwang pagmamanman ng mga tauhan ng PDEA.

    Bago hulihin si Uy ay sinalakay ng pinagsanib na puwersa ng PDEA, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) at Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) ang selda ni Yuk Lai sa Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) sa Mandaluyong City. Nakakumpiska ang mga awtoridad ng 135 gramo ng shabu na nagkakahalaga ng PhP1 milyon na itinago sa pantyliners, dalawang kilong shabu na may halagang PhP10 milyon, libu-libong kapsula na walang laman, mga tseke ng bangko at bank account na may depositong PhP1,501,934.

    Makalipas ang ilang oras ay sinalakay ng PDEA sa tulong ng Presidential Security Group (PSG) ang condominium unit sa San Miguel, Maynila na malapit sa Malacañang at inookupahan ni Uy kung saan dalawang kilo ng shabu na may halagang PhP10 milyon ang nasamsam. Bukod sa mahigpit na pagmamanman ay nagsagawa rin sila ng test buy kaya nakumpirma ang bentahan ng droga.

    Pinagbubuhusan ng matinding pagsisikap ang mga operasyon ng PDEA laban sa droga kaya sunud-sunod ang kanilang nahuhuli. At kung inyong napuna, hindi tulad ng pangkaraniwang mga pulis ay bihira lang ang mga nasasawi sa kanilang mga tinatrabaho.

    Ayon sa korte ay tumanggap ang mga taga-PDEA ng PhP500,000 na suhol mula kay Uy samantalang noong mahuli ito ay sinubukan na niyang manuhol ng PhP5 milyon pero tumanggi ang mga nag-raid.

    Paano natin tuluyang mapupuksa ang droga kung ganito ang magiging resulta? May mga pagkakataon na pinagtatawanan lang ng mga drug lord ang mga awtoridad dahil nabubutasan ang kanilang kaso. Paano magiging masinsinan ang kanilang operasyon kung mapapalaya lang ang kanilang pinaghirapang mahuli?

    *              *              *

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    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Militarization*

    November 8th, 2018

    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte admitted to the public recently that there is a militarization of government under his administration, which has been quite apparent in his choice of appointing retired military officials to posts unrelated to national security.

    Just lately, due to the controversy of the P11 billion worth of drugs that managed to slip into the country, he changed the leadership of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to take over, and placed all heads of Customs units on floating status.

    Former Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña, a retired police general, was assigned as chief of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Former AFP chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero, the ex-administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), replaced him.

    Observers noted this was the second time a Customs chief was placed in “hot water” due to illegal drugs and “rewarded” another post. Would a constant change of leadership help set a clear direction for policy implementation?

    Opposition lawmakers pointed out that appointing retired soldiers to key posts makes the bureaucracy vulnerable to incompetence because the appointees are not suited for the tasks at hand. How would a former military man run a bureau if he knew nothing of its functions? Wouldn’t this incompetence translate into waste of taxpayer’s money?

    However, Duterte admitted his preference for military men since they “shoot first, ask questions later” unlike some civilians who, at times, question their superior’s orders. He explained that soldiers are used to work under harsh conditions and can perform their tasks despite the risks they face.

    On the other hand, some people believe that being trained to merely follow orders without question may lead to further problems with civil servants and the general public in the future.

    Firing Line does not want to oppose the President on the Customs issue. I understand that he sees the military as key to prevent “bad eggs” from exercising their rotten ways. Question is, will soldiers merely stand guard and do nothing else?

    I am certain the President needs no reminding that the 1987 Constitution prohibits active military personnel from being appointed or designated to a civilian position in any capacity and at any time. Being a lawyer and former prosecutor, he is quite aware of the Constitution and its contents. Is he not unmindfully allowing the military to hold a wide influence over the civil service in his penchant for assigning military men in civilian positions?

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View.

     

    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    ‘Reyna ng Pergalan’*

    November 6th, 2018

    NGAYONG mahigit isang buwan na lang at Pasko na naman ay muling namamayagpag ang maliliit na karnabal na mas kilala sa tawag na perya.

    Legal ang operasyon ng perya kapag nakakuha ng permit para mag-operate at nakapagbayad ng kaukulang amusement tax sa gobyerno.

    Nagiging ilegal lamang ang takbo ng perya kapag pinasukan ng mga bawal na sugal na tulad ng “color game” at “drop ball” kaya tinatawag na itong “pergalan”.

    At kapag mga sugal sa perya na ang talakayan, hindi maaaring makaligtaan ang pangalang “Marissa” na binansagang “Reyna ng Pergalan” sa Maynila.

    Sa katunayan ay dinudumog ang mga sugalan ni Marissa na nakapuwesto sa Recto, Quiapo, Blumentritt at pati na sa Ilaya sa Divisoria na malapit lang sa police community precinct (PCP) at sa mismong simbahan. Hinihintay lang nila na magsara ang simbahan kinagabihan at bubuksan na nila ang pergalan.

    Batid naman natin na kapag ilegal ang isang negosyo at malaki ang kinikita ay hindi ito makapagpapatuloy kung walang basbas ng mga corrupt na awtoridad. Ang mga nagpapatakbo ng pergalan ay obigadong maglagay at magbigay ng lingguhang parating sa mga nangongotong na pulis.

    Pero sadyang tuso at mautak si Marissa dahil bago pa siya magbukas ng sugalan ay “inaayos” niya muna ang mga grupo na maaaring maging sagabal at baka magbigay ng problema sa kanyang operasyon. Kaya hindi na magiging palaisipan kung bakit hindi matinag ang kanyang mga pasugalan.

    Bukod pa rito ay sinasabing may koneksyon siya hanggang sa Manila City Hall kaya malakas din kay Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada. Totoo naman kaya ito na pati ang alkalde ng Maynila ay kanyang nagagamit?

    Posible nga na matindi ang koneksyon o kapit ni Marissa dahil dati nang ibinunyag at binatikos ng Firing Line ang kanyang color games. Akalain ninyong isang araw lamang natigil ang ilegal na operasyon ng gambling operator na ito at agad din nagpatuloy ang kanyang pamamayagpag at maliligayang araw.

    Ang tanong na natitirang umiinog sa isipan ng mga nagsumbong sa Firing Line kaugnay ng ilegal niyang operasyon ay kung ano raw kaya ang “regalo” o “pamasko” na isinuka nito sa mga “panginoon” para magtuluy-tuloy ang kanyang pagtakbo?

    Tinatawagan natin ng pansin sina Superintendent Dave Mejia, hepe ng Manila Police District (MPD) Station 2 at Superintendent Julius Caesar Domingo, hepe ng MPD Station 3. Aksyunan ninyo ang mga sugalan ni Marissa upang hindi isipin ng publiko na pati kayo ay tinatapalan niya ng pera.

    Paano kayo rerespetuhin ng mga mamamayan kung patong kayo at protektor ng mga iligalista?

    *              *              *

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    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Oversupply of drugs?*

    November 1st, 2018

    HAVE you ever wondered why there seems to be a never-ending supply of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu in Metro Manila nowadays?

    And why are we seeing news reports of large volumes of the illegal drug worth millions of pesos getting seized from several suspected pushers and carriers?

    Is it possible that some personnel from the government’s anti-drug agencies who are supposed to fight its proliferation have turned their back on the law and now conspired in its circulation?

    I still have faith in our laws and in government. There may be a few bad eggs out there but a great majority of officials in the administration can still be trusted to strictly follow and enforce our laws and not bend them to suit their needs.

    According to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the drugs seized from recent raids in Metro Manila matched the drugs found in magnetic lifters intercepted at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and are connected to the empty magnetic lifters found in Cavite last August 10. PDEA officials came to this conclusion after conducting an “impurity drug profiling” on the samples seized from the raid.

    PDEA Director-General Aaron Aquino said there is reason to believe that drugs supposedly kept inside four magnetic lifters found in Cavite that slipped past authorities have already flooded the streets.

    Although empty when discovered, Aquino believes that the four magnetic lifters contained PhP11 billion worth of shabu after detection dogs sniffed them out. He thinks the two magnetic lifters they seized at the MICT were supposed to be delivered to the same warehouse in Cavite and the drug ring had them “sacrificed” as an “offering” to make authorities believe that they had seized the entire shipment.

    With poor man’s cocaine flooding the streets of Metro Manila, he adds, its price per gram has dropped from PhP6,800 last July to PhP1,400 at present.

    Former officers from the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) have been implicated in the simultaneous probes conducted by the House of Representatives and the Senate. They are thought to have facilitated the release of the lifters’ shipment since they were all still in active service when it arrived in Manila.

    While those involved should be charged and jailed, I am also calling on all people from government not to get involved in illegal drugs in any way. Countless lives and families have already been destroyed due to drugs. Have a heart.

    *              *              *

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    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    ‘Laban o Bawi’*

    October 31st, 2018

    KUNG naaalala ninyo ang sikat na larong “Laban o Bawi” na kontes noon sa isang noontime show sa telebisyon ay maihahalintulad ito sa nangyayari sa kasalukuyan sa usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng gobyerno at ng mga puwersang komunista.

    Ilang ulit nang nagalit si President Duterte at tinuldukan ang peace negotiations sa mga kasapi ng Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) na pinangungunahan ng kanilang founder na si Jose Maria Sison pero laging nagbabago ang pasya ng Pangulo.

    Ang pinakahuli ay naganap noong Hulyo ng nakalipas na taon nang sitahin ng administrasyon ang sunud-sunod na pagsalakay ng armed wing ng CPP na New People’s Army (NPA) sa mga tropa ng militar sa kabila ng mga umaandar na negosasyon. Sinuspinde rin ang anumang pag-uusap na maaaring maganap sa hinaharap.

    Ang pagputol sa peace talks ay ikinatuwa ng marami nating kababayan na hanggang ngayon ay may poot sa dibdib sa mga komunista at naniniwalang hindi nararapat pagtiwalaan ang mga ito sa kahit anong kasunduan. Maliwanag naman na may katwiran sila dahil sa ipinamalas na katraydoran ng NPA kahit umaandar ang peace talks.

    Maraming beses din nagpalitan ng maaanghang na pananalita si Duterte at ang dati niyang propesor na si Sison sa iba’t ibang bagay pati na sa isyu ng kalusugan ng Pangulo. Pero bigla na naman nagbago ang ihip ng hangin nitong huli nang purihin ni Duterte ang mga komunista dahil tinulungan daw siya ng mga ito na manalo sa halalan. Dahil sa binitiwang pananalita ng Punong Ehekutibo ay mukhang maayos na naman ang lahat sa pagitan ng dalawang pinuno sa ngayon.

    Nagpahayag si Sison kamakailan na ang standing policy umano ng kanilang political arm na National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF) ay makipagnegosasyon sa gobyerno sa anumang sandali na magdesisyon ang Pangulo na ituloy ang peace talks nang naaayon sa The Hague Joint Declaration.

    Binatikos din ng communist founder ang alok ni Duterte na pabahay at trabaho sa mga rebeldeng susuko sa pamahalaan. Nagkakasundo lang ang dalawang lider sa punto na mananatili pa rin ang NPA kahit na kapwa yumao na sila at wala na sa mundong ito.

    Sa palagay ng iba, ang sitwasyong ito na sa isang sandali ay magdedesisyon si Duterte na laban siya sa komunista na bigla ring magbabago at babawiin ang naunang napagpasyahan ay parang isa umanong palabas na pati ang taumbayan ay parang napaglalaruan.

    May nagsabi rin na hindi pa ba kayo nasanay? Ganu’n naman daw talaga si Duterte na kahit noon ay urong-sulong bago tumakbo sa pagkapangulo. Ano ang masasabi ninyo?

    *              *              *

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    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    FIT-All burden*

    October 25th, 2018

    NO matter how we look at it, the Feed-In-Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) being charged to consumers’ electric bills is a heavy burden on families. This should be stopped.

    Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) President Attorney Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba met with Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chair Agnes Devanadera last Monday and explained that FIT-All being collected from electric consumers nationwide is used to subsidize payments to select renewable energy (RE) developers.

    Dimagiba also pointed out that the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) presented inconsistent capacities for some RE plants during the hearings for the 2018 FIT-All rate. The LKI group said these higher capacities may have been used by TransCo as the basis for payments to these RE plants. In plain and simple words, TransCo may have overpaid these FIT-Eligible RE plants and the computed FIT-All is higher than necessary.

    LKI’s observation was confirmed when the ERC issued an order on June 11, 2018 where it determined that TransCo indeed overpaid certain FIT-eligible generators by PhP36.5 million. It would simply be unfair to pass on this over payment to consumers in their electric bills.

    The people found it alarming that FIT-All has increased more than sixfold from 4-c/kWh in 2015 to 25-c/kWh starting June 2018. To top it off, there are even pending petitions to further increase this to as much as 29-c/kWh.

    Dimagiba said that FIT-All is also an inflation issue and thus a major concern for consumers. Meralco reported that 2018 power prices have been lower than those in 2012 with only the universal charge and FIT-All showing increases. The ERC chair could help temper inflation, rectify and undo mistakes of the government in the past if she would just consider FIT-All as a burden on consumers.

    LKI stated that a simulation based on the data provided by TransCo in its application showed that the effect of escalation was significant and the additional FIT payments would continue to increase until the 20th year since the FIT payments are guaranteed for 20 years. This could be likened to a virus that torments poor Juan dela Cruz until he could no longer endure the pain.

    Right now, people are slowly being devastated by the heavy burden of FIT-All, TRAIN law, and inflation which caused prices of food, commodities, and almost everything to skyrocket, higher than they had in the past years.

    If there are government officials who can lessen the burden and make life a little easier for the people, let them make a move now when their help is truly needed to alleviate the public’s suffering.

    *              *              *

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    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Pergalan na naman*

    October 23rd, 2018

    NGAYONG palapit na ang Pasko ay tiyak na unti-unting mag-uusbungan na naman ang mga pergalan sa mga sulok-sulok at paminsan-minsan ay garapalang nakalabalandra pa sa ating kapaligiran.

    Ang pergalan ay pinagsamang salita ng perya at sugalan. Sa madaling salita ay sugalan ito na matatagpuan sa loob ng maliliit na karnabal na kung tawagin ay perya na tradisyonal na libangan na ng mga Pilipino.

    Kung ang perya ay may kaukulang permit mula sa gobyerno ay legal ang operasyon nito at puwedeng magpatakbo ng Ferris Wheel, Horror Train at Octopus dahil may insurance ang rides dito.

    Nagiging bawal ito kapag hindi wholesome entertainment ang inihahandog kundi bawal na sugal na tulad ng “color games” at “drop ball” na dinudumog pati ng kabataan. Nagsisilbing front lamang ang peryahan.

    Dahil iligal at malaki ang kinikita ay may lingguhang lagay rin na ibinibigay ang may-ari nito sa iba’t ibang sangay ng pulisya kaya patuloy ang operasyon.

    Isa na rito ang pergalan na may apat hanggang limang mesa ng color games sa Alabang, Muntinlupa. Ayon sa ating mga espiya, ito ay matatagpuan malapit sa terminal ng mga jeepney na biyaheng San Pedro at Biñan, Laguna.

    Ito ay nasa harap din umano ng barangay hall kaya tiyak na may basbas din ng kanilang mga kagalang-galang na opisyal.

    Ang nagpapatakbo ng sugalan ay isang nagngangalang “Roy”. Ang financier daw ng illegal gambling operation nito ay isang “Baby Panganiban.”

    Tinatawagan natin ang Muntinlupa police chief na si Senior Superintendent Gerardo Umayao na aksyunan ang sugalang ito.

    Ang bulong pa sa atin, kaya raw hindi kumikilos ang Southern Police District (SPD) na nasa pamumuno ni Senior Superintendent Eliseo Cruz ay sa kadahilanang pasok na ito sa intelihensya na kinokolekta nang isang “Aguas.”

    Bukod sa Alabang, may pergalan din sa Evacom sa Barangay San Isidro, Parañaque na pagmamay-ari rin ni Baby Panganiban.

    Paging Parañaque acting police chief Senior Superintendent Rogelio Rosales at SPD chief, paki-aksyunan lang ito at baka isipin ng mga taga-Parañaque na patong din ang pulisya dito.

    *              *              *

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    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    IDs and right to travel*

    October 18th, 2018

    A LOT of Filipinos find it difficult to secure identification cards (IDs), one of the requirements in acquiring a passport. This, in effect, curtails the person’s right to travel.

    Aside from the standard procedure of appearing personally at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) at a confirmed date and time of appointment scheduled through the department’s website, an adult applicant is required to present his birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (formerly National Statistics Office or NSO), and one ID card.

    The only IDs accepted are the Digitized SSS Unified Multipurpose (UM) ID, GSIS Unified Multipurpose (UM) ID, Voter’s ID, Driver’s License, Senior Citizen ID, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) ID, School ID for Student applicants, Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) License, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) ID, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA ID) or iDOLE Card, Philippine National Police (PNP) Firearms License, and Digitized Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) ID.

    Just imagine a situation wherein an applicant’s Voter’s ID bears his not-so-clear photo because Commission on Elections (Comelec) local offices have poor printing machines. He is then required to go to the Comelec’s main office in Intramuros, Manila to get a certification with a clear photo.

    In other words, applicants are being made to suffer because of government’s inadequacies or its failure to provide quality printing machines in local offices.

    How about those applicants who have never worked at all? What form of identification can they present except their birth certificates?

    A lawyer friend believes that genuine birth certificates should be enough.

    What say you?

    *              *              *

    Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed Senate Bill 2026 seeking to lower the age of criminal liability from the current 15 to 13 years old.

    He cited several viral videos of minors committing crimes as well as a study by the Child Rights International Network which states that other countries have lower age of criminal liability while some federal states in the United States have set none, which would allow a child to be sentenced to criminal liabilities at any age.

    He also proposed to lower the age of liability to “above nine years old” where children as young as 10 years old could already be detained in youth care facilities.

    Firing Line is for the protection of our youth. If putting them in youth care centers where they can be disciplined and taught the proper ways to function as model citizens in society, then so be it rather than be used and abused by drug pushers and syndicates.

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/

     

     

    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Privacy ingatan*

    October 17th, 2018

    HINDI maitatanggi na malaki ang maitutulong at magiging bahagi ng Philippine Identification System Act na pinirmahan na ni President Duterte sa pang-araw-araw na buhay ng bawat Pilipino.

    Nakasanayan na ng maraming Pinoy na magdala ng wallet na saksakan nang kapal dahil naglalaman ng iba’t ibang klase ng ID na tulad ng Pagibig, Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philhealth at marami pang iba para magamit sa kanilang transaksyon sa araw-araw.

    Pero magwawakas na umano ito sa sandaling umarangkada na ang national ID system. Bukod dito ay mapadadali pa raw ang ating mga transaksyon sa mga pribado at pampublikong tanggapan habang gamit ang naturang ID.

    Gayunman ang mga benepisyo ay hindi rin maiiwasang mag-alala ng iba nating kababayan sa posibilidad na ang national ID ay maging daan para maabuso at manakawan ng mahahalagang impormasyon ang mga mamamayan.

    Tiniyak naman ng Pangulo na ang mga impormasyon na maitatala sa naturang ID ay hindi magiging iba sa mga nakatala at tinataglay na ng Philippine Statistics Authority (dating National Statistics Office o NSO), SSS, GSIS at iba pang ahensya na kumakalap ng personal data ng mga tao kaya hindi malalabag ang kanilang “right to privacy.” Naulat na bukod sa larawan ng nagmamay-ari ng ID, ang ilan sa maitatala ay ang kanyang pangalan, kasarian, kaarawan, lugar ng kapanganakan, blood type at marital status.

    Mga pangkaraniwang impormasyon lang ito kaya ayon nga kay Duterte, wala raw dapat ipag-alala ang mga mamamayan maliban na lamang kung sangkot sila sa mga ilegal na gawain.

    Pero alalahanin din natin na ang bilang ng mga Pilipino sa kasalukuyan ay nasa 100 milyon na. Hindi biro ang laki ng data na makakalap at kailangang itabi sa iisang lugar lamang. Paano matitiyak na ligtas ang lahat ng sensitibong impormasyon na ito ng ating mga kababayan at hindi maha-hack? Paano sisiguraduhin na hindi magkakaroon ng identity theft?

    Batid natin na maganda ang hangarin para maglagay ng national ID. Pero hindi naman masasabi na walang batayan ang pag-aalala ng iba dahil maaalalang kahit ang Commission on Elections (Comelec) ay hindi nakaligtas sa mga hacker noong 2016. Bukod diyan ay marami ring malalaking kompanya na ang mga sistema ay pinerhuwisyo ng mga hacker sa mga nakalipas na taon.

    Tandaan na hindi biru-biro ang impormasyon na ipagkakatiwala sa inyo ng mga mamamayan kaya nararapat lang itong pangalagaan nang husto. Ngayon pa lang ay patatagin na ninyo nang todo ang sistema kaugnay ng national ID upang hindi umabot sa pagkakataon na maaabuso ang karapatan ng mga mamamayan.

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. Para sa mga komento o reaksiyon, mag-email sa firingline@ymail.com o mag-tweet sa @Side_View

    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Farewell, fake ‘Dinorado’*

    October 10th, 2018

    AGRICULTURE Secretary Manny Piñol wants to put an end to the long-time practice of mislabeling and overpricing rice in public markets and even supermarkets.

    Piñol called on the National Food Authority (NFA) Council, which is under the Department of Agriculture along with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA), to set guidelines on the proper identification of imported rice and local rice in the market to protect consumers.

    Commercial rice that are given common names such as “Sinandomeng”, “Angelica”, “Jasmine”, and “Dinorado” are being sold in the market at prices as high as PhP55 to PhP60 per kilo. However, the Agriculture chief revealed that apart from Dinorado and Jasmine, there is no such thing as Sinandomeng or Angelica rice variety.

    And even worse, Piñol said the Dinorado and Jasmine being sold in the market are not the real varieties. In plain and simple words, consumers are openly being cheated by money-hungry retailers who are apparently guilty of deception and unfair trade practice. Can you imagine the length of time we have all been fooled by these unscrupulous retailers?

    In order to prevent those traders from continually abusing consumers, the Agriculture secretary will submit to the NFA Council a proposal that from now on, rice sold in the market should be labeled as regular milled rice, well-milled rice, long grain head rice, and special rice that will include heirloom and organic rice. He will also ask the Council to issue guidelines on the proper identification of imported and local rice.

    And to teach some hard-headed businessmen a lesson, he recommends that NFA licenses of traders and retailers who violate the guidelines be cancelled.

    Among Piñol’s plans is the introduction of the rice-corn mix staple in NFA outlets and the procurement by NFA of white corn grits or white corn grains. The NFA will also begin buying operations of locally produced paddy rice at P17 per kilo plus additional incentives valued at PhP3 per kilo. The Department of Agriculture (DA) will also install drying facilities in NFA buying stations to be used for free by farmers who will be selling their produce to the NFA.

    Firing Line is in full support of the efforts being exerted by the DA to improve the rice industry and protect consumers from being abused by greedy businessmen.

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View.

    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Maging aral sana*

    October 8th, 2018

    DAPAT mag-ingat tayo sa bawat sasabihin dahil kapag nakapagbitiw ng maaanghang na salita na nakababastos sa ating kapwa ay hindi na ito mababawi kahit na ano pang paghingi ng paumanhin ang ating gawin.

    Ito ang dapat tandaan ng bawat isa lalo na ng mga lingkod-bayan o opisyal ng gobyerno na patuloy na nakikisalamuha sa iba’t ibang uri ng tao sa pang-araw-araw nilang gawain.

    Bunga ng matinding tensyon dahil sa mga kontrobersya na patuloy na bumubuntot sa kanya sanhi ng panlalait na kanyang ginawa sa isang empleyado ng Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 ay naospital ang deputy minority leader na si ACTS-OFW Representative Aniceto Bertiz III. Nakaranas daw ito ng pananakit ng dibdib, hypertension at dati nang may diprensya sa puso ayon na rin sa kanyang mga kabaro sa Kongreso.

    Nakuhanan kasi ang mambabatas kamakailan ng video habang minamaliit, kinakastigo at kinukumpiska ang identification card ng isang airport security checker na humiling na alisin ng kongresista ang suot na sapatos habang dumaraan sa metal detector ng NAIA.

    Ilang araw bago ma-confine ay paulit-ulit na nagso-sorry si Bertiz sa kanyang nagawa. Ang puna naman ng iba ay baka umiiwas lang daw ang mambabatas sa imbestigasyon na isasagawa ng mga kapwa niya kongresista dahil naospital ito isang araw bago siyasatin ng House ethics and privileges committee ang kontrobersya na kinasangkutan niya sa NAIA.

    Binatikos din si Bertiz lalo na ng mga miyembro ng women’s rights group at pati ng ilang kapwa mambabatas dahil sa kanyang pahayag na sumiklab ang kanyang galit dahil sa kanyang “monthly period” o buwanang dalaw. Para na rin niyang sinabi na ang mga kababaihang may buwanang dalaw ay moody at wala sa katwiran.

    Bukod dito ay nagalit din ang mga netizen sa video na nagpapakita kay Bertiz na sinasabihan ang mga agricultural at biosystems engineer na hindi raw nila makukuha ang kanilang professional license kung hindi nila kilala si Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go.

    Isa pang video ang lumutang kung saan makikita si Bertiz na nakikipagsigawan sa isang migrant worker sa Hong Kong. Nakaligtaan kaya ni Bertiz na isa siyang mambabatas na kinatawan ng mga OFW o overseas Filipino worker sa Kongreso? Hindi na ba siya nahiya sa mga OFW?

    Sa mga kontrobersya na kinasasangkutan ni Bertiz ay wala siyang dapat sisihin kundi ang sarili. Laging tandaan na kahit mga opisyal ng gobyerno o kongresista ay dapat manatiling mapagkumbaba at sumusunod sa mga alituntunin upang makapagpakita ng magandang halimbawa sa mga mamamayan. Magsilbing aral sana ito sa ibang opisyal ng gobyerno.

    *              *              *

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    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Still alarmed by Dengvaxia*

    October 3rd, 2018

    MANY parents are still alarmed by the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine scare almost a year after the issue broke out. They refuse to have their children inoculated in the government’s various non-dengue vaccination programs even if the services offered are free.

    The Department of Health (DOH) said the very low vaccination coverage for most regions already produced several outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles in early 2018. It said it is now faced with a challenge and cannot move forward due to the scare controversies left by Dengvaxia.

    The Health department’s “Ligtas Tigdas” supplemental immunization activities (SIA), as well as the school-based and community immunization programs, took the biggest hit. Data from the DOH showed that as little as 36 percent of children in Metro Manila received the measles vaccine during the campaign.

    A number of mothers refused to give their consent for their children to be inoculated in the regular school-based immunization for fear it might end up like Dengvaxia. This was quite alarming for DOH officials and workers since it is through the school-based immunization program that vaccines for diseases like measles, tetanus, diphtheria and cervical cancer are delivered to elementary students.

    Can anyone blame the parents if they continue to fear Dengvaxia?

    *              *              *

    The Dengvaxia controversy started in November 2017 when its manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, released an advisory warning that its vaccine could cause a person to later develop severe dengue if he or she had not been infected by the virus prior to immunization.

    Attorney Persida Acosta, chief of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), recently had the body of 11-year-old Levie Losanga from Quezon City exhumed from the Bagbag cemetery and autopsied by PAO forensic experts. A report said the child, the 88th victim of Dengvaxia, was supposedly given a dose of the vaccine under the DOH’s vaccination program.

    Earlier, PAO performed an autopsy on the 87th victim, 12-year-old Eliza de Guzman, who was given three doses of the vaccine. Like other supposed victims, De Guzman and Losanga allegedly went through similar ordeals like multiple organ failure, severe cerebral hemorrhage and others.

    The PAO chief should be commended for her efforts in continually monitoring and trying to help the families of children who allegedly died because of the vaccine. Instead, she is being criticized and condemned by former officials who gave their approval to the vaccine.

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View.

     

    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Pagbalewala sa Konstitusyon*

    October 1st, 2018

    MARAMI ang nagulat nang maglabas ng arrest warrant ang Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 sa ilalim ni Judge Elmo Alameda laban kay Senator Antonio Trillanes IV dahil sa kanyang papel sa pananakop ng Manila Peninsula noong 2007.

    Pinagbigyan ng husgado ang mosyon ng Department of Justice (DOJ) kasunod ng paglabas ng Proclamation No. 572 ni President Duterte na nagbasura sa amnestiya ni Trillanes. Pansamantalang nakalalaya ang senador matapos maglagak ng PhP200,000 piyansa.

    Ayon kay Alameda ay nabigo si Trillanes na kumbinsihin ang korte na sumunod nga siya sa requirement ng amnesty dahil hindi siya nakapagpakita ng original hard copy, duplicate copy o kahit photocopy man lamang kung saan makikita na kanyang nai-file sa Department of National Defense (DND) amnesty committee ang kanyang opisyal na amnesty application form at tinanggap ito ng naturang opisina.

    Pero taliwas dito ang naging pahayag ng dating Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief na naging senador na si Rodolfo Biazon dahil hindi raw si Trillanes ang tagapag-ingat o custodian ng hinahanap na dokumento ng husgado. Ang orihinal na kopya ay nasa pag-iingat ng custodian at hindi raw ito ibinibigay sa ginawaran ng amnesty.

    Kung ibang tao ang tagapag-ingat ng dokumento ay hindi talaga ito mailalabas ni Trillanes kahit na ano pa ang kanyang gawin maliban na lamang kung marunong siyang magsalamangka at maipalilitaw niya ang papeles mula sa kawalan.

    Ayon pa kay Biazon, ang pag-aresto kay Trillanes kahit na nagawaran na ito ng amnestiya ay magdudulot ng problema sa Konstitusyon dahil sa kanyang pagkakaalam, kapag nagawaran ang tao ng amnesty ay mabubura na umano ang lahat ng kasong kriminal na kanyang kinakaharap.

    Noong Septiyembre 2011 ay dinismis na ni Judge Rita Bascos Sarabia ng Branch 148 ng Makati RTC ang 2003 coup na kaso laban kay Trillanes alinsunod sa amnesty na iginawad ni President Noynoy Aquino sa kanya at sa ibang sangkot na kawal. Pero nag-file rin ng mosyon ang DOJ para maglabas ang Makati RTC Branch 148 na kasalukuyang nasa ilalim ni Judge Andres Soriano ng agarang arrest warrant laban kay Trillanes.

    Habang nagtatagal ang problema ni Trillanes sa kanyang amnestiya ay hindi maiiwasang madagdagan ang mga naaawa at nakikisimpatiya sa senador. Sa tingin nila ay nais lang itong patahimikin dahil sa patuloy na pagbatikos sa administrasyon.

    Ganyan naman talaga tayong mga Pilipino. Natural na sa atin ang magbigay ng suporta sa mga nakikitang inaapi. Masisisi ba ang milyones na bumoto at nagtiwala kay Trillanes nang dalawang ulit para maging senador kung susuportahan pa rin nila ito sa oras ng kagipitan?

    *              *              *

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    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    ‘Oplan Doghang’*

    September 27th, 2018

    OFFICIALS of Barangay Capri in Novaliches, Quezon City launched recently an animal control campaign they tagged “Oplan Doghang”. An online video showed them trapping and capturing stray dogs on the street.

    The campaign was quite understandable. People were alarmed by the rising number of dog bite incidents in their community. Officials took action they deemed necessary to protect the residents, especially the poor who have no means to purchase anti-rabies vaccines as they could even hardly put food on the table. Capri officials even used a slogan urging pet owners to surrender their animals to their local pound.

    In a statement, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) said the use of the word “doghang” as a means of animal control is wrong, even if the term was an allusion to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

    The collection of stray dogs should be done humanely under the Animal Welfare Act. And as for their slogan, the barangay officials were supposedly encouraging pet abandonment by telling the public to surrender their animals instead of educating them to become responsible pet owners.

    The slogan was condemned by a number of people on social media. We couldn’t blame anyone who might have felt offended by the campaign. We all know that to this day, most Filipinos have remained pet lovers who firmly believe that a dog is still man’s best friend.

    Seeing the negative reactions they reaped, one of the barangay officials sought apology in a Facebook post.

    Nevertheless, some people wanted to know if these officials have the right to pry into the lives of pet owners and force them to surrender their beloved pets like drug users and offenders in the government’s anti-drug campaign called “Oplan Tokhang”.

    *              *              *

    These officers may have forgotten the essence and responsibility that go with being a pet owner. Even when shown cruelty and abuse, a dog displays unconditional, undying love, and loyalty to its owner. When its master comes home from a hard day’s work, the dog eagerly runs toward him with its tail wagging and attempts to please and show its love to its owner.

    In other parts of the globe, there were some instances when dogs have been found visiting or guarding the graves of their masters. Dogs only have true love in their hearts for their masters, unlike some lap dogs… err, I mean, people I know.

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/

     

     

    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.
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    Problemang paradahan*

    September 25th, 2018

    HALOS walang puknat ang pagsisikap ng mga awtoridad upang labanan ang trapiko, mapaluwag ang mga lansangan at maalis ang mga sasakyan na nagsisilbing sagabal at sanhi ng pagsaikip ng ating mga daanan.

    Kabi-kabila ang isinasagawang clearing operations sa iba’t ibang sulok at bahagi ng Metro Manila, lalo na sa mga palengke kung saan kadalasan ay halos inaangkin na ng mga vendor ang mga lansangan.

    Ang problema ay marami sa ating kababayan ang hindi marunong sumuporta sa pagsisikap na ibinubuhos ng mga taong-gobyerno sa paglilinis ng mga lansangan hanggang sa kasalukuyan at naka-focus sa pansariling interes lamang.

    Tanggapin natin ang katotohanan na isa sa mga kadahilanan ng walang patid na trapiko ay ang patuloy na pagdami ng bilang ng mga sasakyan pero hindi naman nadaragdagan ang ating mga lansangan at daanan kaya lalong nagsisiksikan ang mga behikulo.

    Idagdag pa rito ang mga kabahayan na matatagpuan sa maliliit at masisikip na lansangan kung saan malaya at walang pakundangang iniiwan ng mga residente na nakabalandra ang kanilang mga sasakyan sa harap ng kanilang mga bahay. Wala silang pakialam kung makapeperhuwisyo man o magsilbing obstruction ang kanilang sasakyan.

    May nakapagsabi na sa Singapore ay walang trapiko. Karamihan sa mga residente roon ay nakatira umano sa mga apartment building o condominium. At ang matindi ay halos kasing halaga ng bayad sa upa ng bahay ang sinisingil sa pagrenta ng garahe. Bihira ang may kotse sa kanila dahil kapag bumili ka ng sasakyan ay may pababayarang certificate bilang buwis na kasing presyo rin ng kotse.

    Mas mahal pa ang multa kapag nagparada ng sasakyan sa kalsada roon kaysa sa pagrenta ng bahay. Higit sa lahat ay hindi raw corrupt ang mga pulis kaya kapag may hinuli sila ay walang lusot dahil hindi uso sa kanila ang kotong.

    Dito ay puwede ring higpitan ang ating mga batas at magtaas din ng bayarin sa mga traffic violation para tuluyang madala ang mga motorista at maibsan ang trapiko. Upang matugunan ang problema ng kakulangan ng sariling garahe ay dapat maghigpit din ang mga nagbebenta ng sasakyan. Naniniwala ang Firing Line na hindi dapat bentahan ng sasakyan ang sino man kung wala siyang garahe sa tahanan. Para mapagbigyan ang mga walang sariling garahe, mas maganda kung makapagpapakita sila ng kontrata na umuupa sila ng parking space para sa kanilang sasakyan.

    Sa mga gustong bumili ng higit sa isang sasakyan, kailangan ay makapagpakita sila ng patunay na may garahe sila para sa maramihang sasakyan upang hindi ito maging pakalat-kalat sa lansangan.

    Bakit ka bibili ng sasakyan kung wala kang paradahan?

    *              *              *

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    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Obsession and avoidance?*

    September 21st, 2018

    IT was quite obvious in the recent dialogue between President Duterte and Presidential Legal Counsel Sal Panelo that the President kept on bringing the issue back to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

    Some people noted that Duterte appeared to be obsessed with his number one critic. Could we blame anyone for such an assumption when there was a time in the midst of their conversation about rice and Cabinet meetings that the President brought the topic back to Trillanes?

    Apparently, Duterte was unsatisfied with the time he spent defending his action to nullify former President Noynoy Aquino’s amnesty grant to Trillanes.

    Panelo tried to talk about the President’s health condition, which his critics like Joma Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and former professor of Duterte, kept on hitting.

    Duterte answered by exposing that there was an alleged conspiracy between the communists and Trillanes’s group Magdalo to overthrow his administration. To many, Trillanes conspiring with the communists was not that easy to accept.

    More surprising was the President’s statement that they possess the evidence of the perpetrators’ constant communication provided by a foreign country which would reportedly be shown any day now. When Panelo tried to shift the conversation back to Duterte’s health, the President chose not to give any comment.

    *              *              *

    Some people believe Duterte may have been rattled by Trillanes openly challenging Proclamation 572. Such defiance has gained widespread support, what with the failure of the military to arrest the senator. Trillanes is looking more heroic as the government displays its mean streak.

    They want to know if Duterte is now allowing a foreign country to dip its finger into our country’s affairs? Can this be considered legal while we have a law against wiretapping?

    *              *              *

    Some took notice of Duterte appearing ill, out of focus, and would suddenly talk about Trillanes even if he and Panelo were discussing a different topic. He supposedly appeared to have suffered a stroke, had very dark skin as well as a dark face like someone who had undergone radiation therapy. It was in congruent with his arms’ skin color.

    These are just observations of some people. Whether or not I agree with them is of no consequence since it is the right of the public to know the truth about the President’s current state of health.

     *              *              *

     SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View.

     

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    Palakpakan*

    September 18th, 2018

    SA pagkakataong ito ay hayaan ninyong purihin natin ang dapat purihin at ito ay walang iba kundi si Presidente Rodrigo Duterte, ang kanyang Gabinete at lahat ng mga nagtulung-tulong upang harapin ang kinatatakutang super-lakas na bagyong Ompong.

    Ang naturang bagyo ay may lakas na 205 kilometers at bugso na 255 kilometers per hour at malawak ang sinasakop. Kung titingnan sa mapa ay halos kasing laki ng buong Luzon ang parating na bagyo.

    Maaga pa lang ay nagsagawa na ng mga preparasyon ang mga tauhan ng Pangulo. Noong Huwebes ay nakitang si Duterte ang nasa tuktok ng mga preparasyon dahil siya mismo ang namuno sa pagpupulong ng National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) at nagtatanong sa mga miyembro ng kanyang Gabinete kung ano ang aksyon na kanilang ginawa para paghandaan ang bagyo.

    Noong Huwebes at Biyernes ay abala ang kanyang mga opisyal dahil libu-libo ang pinalikas sa kanilang mga tahanan sa northern tip ng Luzon kung saan inaasahang direktang tatama ang bagyo. Gayon din ang mga pagsisikap na ibinuhos ng mga taong-gobyerno sa paghahanda ng mga evacuation center para sa mga naninirahan sa mababang lugar na madalas makaranas ng matinding pagbaha.

    Ang mga residente naman sa mga lalawigan ay naging abala sa pagtatakip ng kanilang mga bintana, pagse-secure ng kanilang mga bubong at pagtatali sa kanilang kabahayan sa mga poste at puno upang hindi matangay ng malakas na hangin. Maraming magsasaka ang maagang nagsagawa ng kanilang pag-ani bago pa ito masira sa pagragasa ng bagyo.

    May average na 20 bagyong tumatama sa ating bansa bawat taon at si Ompong ang maituturing na pinakamalakas. Akalain ninyong isinailalim sa storm signal number 4 ang ilang lugar na tulad ng Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Abra, northern Isabela, Babuyan Group of Islands at ibang mga lugar.

    Maging ang Metro Manila na nasa ilalim ng storm signal number 1 ay hindi nakaligtas. Magdamag itong nakaranas ng pagbayo ng malakas na hangin at tuluy-tuloy na pagbuhos ng ulan mula Biyernes ng gabi hanggang Sabado sa pagpasok ni Ompong sa Philippine area of responsibility.

    Pero bukod kina Duterte ay dapat din purihin ang mga kapatid natin sa hanapbuhay sa media dahil hindi sila nagkulang sa paghahatid ng kinakailangang impormasyon upang makapaghanda ang mga mamamayan at iparating ang mga kaganapan kaugnay ng pananalasa ng bagyo.

    May mga nagsasabi na overkill o sobra-sobra ang preparasyon na ibinuhos nina Duterte sa pagdating ng bagyo pero mas mabuti na ito kaysa magkulang sa paghahanda at magsisisi tayo sa huli dahll marami ang napinsala at nabiktima.

    *              *              *

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    Unpredictable*

    September 13th, 2018

    MANY people have learned that nothing is definite under this regime save for the continuous rise in inflation and the unpredictability of the President’s statements and actions.

    Today’s high cost of living has quite affected every person, especially the poor. Prices of commodities are skyrocketing. President Duterte, on the other hand, carries on with issuing offending statements about rape and other topics which his spokesperson would later classify as jokes.

    Then, Duterte came up with Proclamation 572 revoking the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in 2011 by then President Noynoy Aquino and his Congress. The amnesty was allegedly void since the beginning and does not need the concurrence of our lawmakers to revoke it.

    To many, a presidential amnesty cannot be withdrawn. To them, Duterte was willing to disregard the Constitution in his eagerness to silence a staunch critic who exposed his alleged unexplained bank accounts and reportedly supported whistle-blowers who divulged his involvement in the Davao Death Squad.

    Logically, jailing Trillanes would diminish the political noise that the senator generates, the significant role he plays in the opposition, and his influence over the Magdalo movement composed of young military officers.

    It would also please former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now Speaker of the House. She was then president when Trillanes led the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 siege on the Manila Peninsula.

    *              *              *

    With the Trillanes amnesty revoked, what does fate have in store for his fellow mutineers like Representative Gary Alejano, likewise a critic of Duterte and one of the senatorial candidates of the opposition in next year’s elections?

    And what of the other beneficiaries of the amnesty who are now working for the President like Danny Lim of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Jason Aquino of the National Food Authority (NFA), and Nick Faeldon of the Office of Civil Defense? Will they all go to jail and end up as collateral damage?

    Apart from this, some quarters suspect that revoking Trillanes’s amnesty is simply an effective way to steal the attention away from the rising inflation.

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View.

     

    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Nahimasmasan*

    September 11th, 2018

    GINULAT ni Presidente Rodrigo Duterte ang sambayanan kamakailan sa pag-iisyu ng Proclamation 572 na nagdeklarang wala umanong bisa ang amnesty na ibinigay ni dating President Noynoy Aquino at ng kanyang Kongreso sa pinakamasugid niyang kritikong si Senador Antonio Trillanes IV.

    Nakabibigla rin ang pahayag ng Department of Justice (DOJ) na hindi na kakailanganin ni Duterte ang pagsang-ayon ng Kongreso sa desisyon. Inutos din ng Pangulo ang agarang pag-aresto kay Trillanes. Naging palaisipan tuloy ito para sa marami na kumukuwestyon kung sinakop na raw ba ni Duterte ang mga sangay ng gobyerno na ehekutibo, lehislatura at hudikatura sa kanyang ginawa.

    Gayunman ay mukhang nahimasmasan ang nagliliyab na galit ni Duterte kay Trillanes nang magdesisyon itong maghintay raw muna na mag-isyu ang korte ng arrest warrant sa halip na mag-utos ng military arrest sa senador. Mabuti at nakinig si Duterte sa paliwanag ng mga miyembro ng kanyang Gabinete. Dapat nauunawaan ni Duterte bilang dating piskal na ang korte lang ang puwedeng maglabas ng arrest warrant sa huhulihing tao.

    Pero may nakapagsabi raw sa Pangulo na maaaring arestuhin ng militar ang senador dahil ang paglilitis sa court martial ay hindi na-dismiss at naka-pending pa rin. Hindi nila iniintindi ang ipinaliliwanag ni Trillanes na wala nang hurisdiksyon sa kanya ang military courts mula nang magbitiw siya sa pagkasundalo apat na taon bago mabigyan ng amnesty.

    Ang tanong ng iba ay kung bakit minamadali na maipakulong si Trillanes samantalang ang paglilitis ng court martial ay kaugnay lang ng paglabag sa Article 96 ng Articles of War dahil umano sa “conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman”. Ang pinakamabigat na parusa rito ay ma-dismiss sa serbisyo. Nakalimutan ba nila na hindi na sundalo ang naturang senador?

    Mukhang nakaligtaan din nila na noong 2011 ay idineklara ng Supreme Court na legal ang amnesty na iginawad ni Aquino kay Trillanes at sa ibang mga kawal na sangkot sa Oakwood mutiny noong Hulyo 2003, sa kumprontasyon ng mga Marine noong Pebrero 2006 at sa pagsugod nila sa Manila Peninsula noong Nobyembre 2007 na pawang pagtatangka upang mapabagsak ang administrasyong Arroyo. Pinamunuan ni Trillanes ang pagsalakay sa Oakwood at Manila Peninsula.

    Marami ang naniniwala na si Duterte ay biktima ng witch hunt. Pero sa pagkakakulong ni De Lima at posibleng pati na si Trillanes ay parang ang Pangulo pa ang namumuno nito. Ginagawa nilang bayani si Trillanes.

    Sa palagay ng nakararami, kapag naigawad na ang amnesty ay hindi na ito puwedeng bawiin. Hindi ako sang-ayon na ginagawang laruan ang Konstitusyon kaya sa unang pagkakataon ay sumusuporta ako kay Trillanes.

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. Para sa mga komento o reaksiyon, mag-email sa firingline@ymail.com o mag-tweet sa @Side_View.

     

    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Protect the youth*

    September 6th, 2018

    IT IS but proper to finally pay attention to the welfare of our daughters in the face of some lustful men who may be overcome by sexual desires and find satisfaction in abusing and depriving them of their innocence.

    Detained Senator Leila de Lima has filed a bill seeking to raise the age of sexual consent from the current 12 to 18 to protect the youth from sexual exploitation. The senator pointed out that under the 1997 Anti-Rape Law, the country’s age of sexual consent is one of the lowest in the world.

    In increasing the age of consent to 18 years, the state would be sending a message that the youth would be protected by all means and at all costs. The innocence of the youth would be guarded and it would prevent sexual predators from deflowering our children.

    De Lima explained that a 12-year-old kid has only reached the sixth grade and has barely gone through puberty. Most of them have barely gone into a relationship with the opposite sex.

    The child hardly knows about sexual intercourse due to lack of sexual education and is prohibited from availing condoms and other contraception until she has reached the age of majority, conceived or suffered a miscarriage. Allowing them at the age of 12 to decide on their own if they should engage in sexual intercourse would be too precarious for their future.

    I must admit that although under detention, De Lima still functions as a senator should and made her point of view clear as day. More importantly, a government official finally showed genuine concern for our children, especially our young daughters, under a law that has been enforced for more than 20 years.

    *              *              *

    Kudos to Barangay Chairperson Nancy Amante of Barangay Palanan, Makati for taking swift action on the complaint of Mr. Jhoe Chan.

    Mr. Chan narrated to Firing Line how Amante and her Bantay Bayan officers – Marvin Esteban, Joel Quirante, and Leoncio dela Cruz – solved his problem of laborers throwing trash, including dried cement and cigarette butts, and dumping urine in his back yard during the construction of a house on Laredo Street, which is situated behind his residence on Madras St. There was also an instance when a steel pipe fell on the rooftop.

    After being slapped with a couple of warnings, the construction foreman was obliged to install debris netting to avoid future problems for Mr. Chan.

    To this, Firing Line salutes Chairperson Amante and her people.

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/

     

    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Rice smuggling tuldukan*

    September 4th, 2018

    HINDI maitatanggi na bukod sa kawalan sa buwis ng gobyerno na tinatantiyang nasa halagang PhP2 bilyon na napupunta sa bulsa ng mga suwapang na tiwaling opisyal ng mga ahensya ng pamahalaan ay patuloy rin nagsisilbing banta at nagpapahirap sa mga magsasaka ng bigas ang rice smuggling lalo na sa Mindanao.

    Kaya buong-buo ang suporta ng Firing Line sa mungkahi ng Department of Agriculture (DA) na pinamumunuan ni Secretary Manny Piñol sa National Food Authority na maglunsad ng rice trading center sa Tawi-Tawi na kontrolado ng NFA upang tuluyang matuldukan ang rice smuggling sa mga isla ng Southern Philippines.

    Ayon kay Piñol, ang Tawi Tawi Rice Trading Center ay inaasahang magbibigay sa pamahalaan ng buong kontrol upang mapangasiwaan ang ilegal na bentahan ng bigas na ilang dekada nang pinamamahalaan ng mga smuggler sa mga lugar ng Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu at Tawi-Tawi na kilala sa bansag na Zambasulta.

    Maibibigay rin nito sa Zambasulta ang sapat na supply ng bigas na naputol matapos ang matagumpay na operasyon ng gobyerno laban sa nagpupuslit ng bigas sa pagitan ng Sabah at Southern Islands. Akalain ninyong dahil sa kakulangan ng supply sa rehiyon ay nagtaasan ang presyo ng bigas hanggang sa PhP60 kada kilo sa Zamboanga City at PhP100 sa Tawi-Tawi.

    Tinatantiyang nasa 200,000 metric tons ng bigas mula Vietnam at Thailand ang ipinupuslit taun-taon na idinaraan sa backdoor ng transshipment ports ng Sandakan at Labuan sa Malaysia. Ang Zambasulta ay nakalilikha lamang ng 22,000 metric tons ng bigas.

    Ang pagpupuslit na ito ay nagresulta sa “pagkamatay” ng industriya ng bigas sa Zambasulta bunga ng pag-abandona ng mga magsasaka at trader sa rice industry dahil hindi nila kayang makipagkumpetensya sa mababang presyo ng smugglers.

    Sa ilalim ng rice trading center ay maglulunsad ng pasilidad sa Tawi-Tawi kung saan ang lahat ng imported na bigas ay kakailanganing maging dokumentado na may kaukulang binayarang taripa at nasunod na sanitary at phytosanitary quarantine requirements.

    Bukod sa rice trading center, isang medium-term solution ay ang PhP100-M Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) na ibibigay sa Zamboanga Sibugay upang mapataas ang produksyon ng bigas at masuplayan nito ang bahagi ng pangangailangan ng Zambasulta. Kabilang sa long-term programs ay ang pagdedebelop ng hindi bababa sa 1,000 ektaryang bukirin ng bigas sa kasunduang partnership ng DA at ng local government units.

    Kapag muling nabuhay ang industriya ng bigas ay mababawasan ang imported rice na papapasukin sa Tawi-Tawi Rice Trading Center upang hindi maapektuhan at tuluyang masira ang kabuhayan ng mga magsasaka ng bigas.

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. Para sa mga komento o reaksiyon, mag-email sa firingline@ymail.com o mag-tweet sa @Side_View.

     

    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Public right*

    August 30th, 2018

    CURRENTLY hot in the minds of some people is the issue on President Duterte’s true state of health, and if he is still capable to lead the country.

    Can anyone be blamed for speculating on the subject? The President himself earlier threatened to quit his job supposedly because he is tired and frustrated with corrupt public officials, although this has been a problem for past presidents as well.

    More disappointing was his desire to choose his successor since Vice President Leni Robredo is allegedly incapable to do the job. Duterte wanted either the military or former Senator Bongbong Marcos to be his successor.

    To many, this was an irresponsible statement coming from the President who should lead by example by following the Constitution on the issue of succession and allowing the vice president to take over if he ever decided to leave his post.

    Why should he choose the military when we are clearly not under a junta? Unwittingly, Duterte may have even planted an idea in the minds of the generals to take over the government in the near future. And why should the President choose Marcos when he lost the vice presidency to Robredo? Some people think this was the President’s way of telling the Supreme Court, which is acting as an electoral tribunal, to favor Marcos in his protest against Robredo.

    Newly appointed to head it is Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro who, then as an associate justice, voted in favor of burying Bongbong’s father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

    Based on his own statement, a lot of people believe that the President is more than tired and could possibly be ill. Health is a serious concern especially for a Chief Executive who is tasked to govern an entire nation. He has to make right decisions with full awareness of their consequences.

    Remember, Duterte has been talking about quitting the presidency as early as September last year. He went to the hospital allegedly for a checkup on the eve of his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23. Some people believe that the visit was more than just a checkup after supposedly noticing that he was not himself the following day and stuck to the teleprompter as he delivered his SONA, an unusual behavior for the President.

    Firing Line believes that it is the right of the people to know the truth. Article VII, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution states that in case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health. It is a public right to know that we have a full-functioning president.

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View.

     

    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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    Krisis sa bigas*

    August 28th, 2018

    ANG krisis sa bigas sa lungsod ng Zamboanga at sa mga lalawigan ng Basilan, Sulu at Tawi-tawi (Zambasulta) ay matinding babala sa kapalaran na maaari nating sapitin kung magtatagumpay ang mga economic manager sa kanilang mungkahi na umasa sa inangkat na bigas at bawasan ang paggasta sa programa ng gobyerno sa bigas sa Pilipinas.

    Ayon kay Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, ang mga lugar na nasasakupan ng Zambasulta ay umasa sa smuggled rice mula sa Vietnam at Thailand na idinaraan sa Sabah, Malaysia sa loob ng maraming taon at ibinebenta sa palengke sa mas mababang presyo kaysa sa commercial rice. Akalain ninyong ibinebenta ito sa halagang PhP29 sa mga isla at hindi bababa sa PhP35 sa Zamboanga City.

    Natigil lang ito tatlong linggo na ang nakalilipas matapos makipagpulong kay President Duterte ang bagong namumuno sa Malaysia na si Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at magdesisyon itong ipatigil ang ilegal na aktibidad sa mga border ng dalawang bansa.

    Sa palagay ni Piñol ay nakatuon ang desisyon laban sa aktibidad ng mga terorista pero mabuti na lang at natigil din ang operasyon ng smuggling bunga nito. Ang problema ay nagtaasan ang presyo ng bigas sa Zambasulta kaya biglang hinanap ng mga mamimili ang bigas mula sa National Food Authority (NFA) na dati nilang binabalewala.

    Para kay Piñol, kung aasa sa inangkat na bigas at babawasan ang paggastos ng gobyerno sa rice program ay maitataboy ang mga magsasaka palayo sa kanilang taniman. Baka mag-iba na lang sila ng itatanim o ipaupa ang kanilang mga lupa.

    Ang dami ng bigas na ibinebenta sa world market taun-taon ay higit-kumulang 40 million metric tons. Dahil may banta ng climate change, ang bigas na magmumula sa ibang bansa ay maaaring maapektuhan ng El Niño o mga pagbaha. Kapag nangyari ito ay puwedeng mabawasan ang dami ng bigas na ipadadala nila. Kahit na may pera tayo ay mahihirapan tayo kung walang mabibiling bigas sa world market.

    Tulad ng Pilipinas, lumalaki ang populasyon ng mga bansang nag-aangkat ng bigas. Darating daw ang panahon na ang pangangailangan ng sarili nilang mamamayan ang pipigil sa kanila na makapag-export ng bigas.

    Nais ng Department of Agriculture na mapalakas ang produksyon natin ng bigas upang makapag-supply na rin ng bilang ng aangkatin natin mula sa ibang bansa kung kakailanganin para maprotektahan ang ating palengke sa manipulasyon ng rice traders.

    Sang-ayon ang Firing Line kay Piñol na hindi tayo dapat umasa sa inangkat na bigas dahil baka balang-araw ay maging alipin tayo at sunud-sunuran sa pagsasamantala ng mga dayuhang negosyante at supplier.

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. Para sa mga komento o reaksiyon, mag-email sa firingline@ymail.com o mag-tweet sa @Side_View.

     

    *The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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