Posts by Robert:

    Suicide bombers*

    February 5th, 2019

    SUICIDE bombers umano ang nasa likod ng brutal at madugong pambobomba sa Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral sa Jolo, Sulu na ikinasawi ng 22 tao at ikinasugat ng mahigit 100 iba pa, dalawang araw matapos maratipikahan ang Bangsamro Organic Law (BOL).

    Ito ang kinumpirma ng pulisya at militar batay sa pinagsama-samang pagsisiyasat at testimonya ng mga testigo. Nakita raw ang isang babae at lalaki na pumasok sa simbahan. Ang lalaki lang daw ang nakitang lumabas ng simbahan samantalang ang babae na may suot na jacket at dalang bag ay naiwan.

    Ayon naman kay Interior Secretary Eduardo Año ay mag-asawang Indonesian ang nagpasabog sa simbahan na ginabayan ng bandidong Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) na nagsagawa ng surveillance sa target area. Maaalalang inako ng teroristang grupong Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) ang pagsabog sa loob at labas ng simbahan.

    Para sa inyong kaalaman, ang suicide bombings ay hindi pangkaraniwan sa lokal na terorista dahil ang gumagawa kadalasan nito ay mga dayuhan sa paghahasik nila ng lagim sa ibang bansa

    Naulat na hindi ito ang unang pagkakataon na naging target ng terorista ang naturang simbahan. At kadalasan, mga bandidong ASG ang nasa likod ng mga pag-atake.

    Noong Hunyo 3, 2000 ay hinagisan ng granada ang Our lady of Mount Carmel sa kasagsagan ng mga negosasyon para palayain ang mga binihag ng mga terorista sa Mindanao.

    Bobombahin sana ng mga terorista ang simbahan sa Jolo noong Marso 27, 2006 pero nabaling ang pagpapasabog sa kalapit na gusali ng multipurpose cooperative kung saan lima ang nasawi at 17 ang sugatan.

    Isang improvised explosive device (IED) naman ang pinasabog sa harap ng tindahan na 100 metro lang ang layo sa katedral noong Hulyo 7, 2009 na ikinasawi ng anim na tao at ikinasugat ng 40. Dalawa pang IEDs ang natuklasan sa lugar na nakatago sa nakaparadang motorsiklo.

    Naitala na may mga granada ring pinasabog sa labas ng simbahan sa mga petsang Oktubre 27, 2009, Disyembre 31, 2009, Enero 10, 2010, at Mayo 21, 2010. Noong Agosto 1, 2012 ay may pinasabog na granada sa bubong ng simbahan pero walang nasugatan. Isang granada rin ang pinasabog sa labas ng katedral noong Agosto 14, 2013 kung saan isa ang nasugatan.

    Ang pagsabog na naganap noong Enero 27 ang pinakahuli sa mga pag-atake ng mga terorista sa naturang simbahan at unang pagkakataon din na suicide bombers ang nagsagawa nito. Huwag na sanang maulit ito at magkaroon na ng tunay na kapayapaan sa lugar na matagal nang inaasam at ipinagdarasal ng mga residente.

    *              *              *

    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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    Jolo blasts & the BOL*

    January 31st, 2019

    \THE deadly claws of terrorism made their scratch mark once more in a twin bomb attack in a Catholic church in Jolo, Sulu last Sunday morning, leaving 20 people dead and more than a hundred others wounded.

    Although the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying two of their suicide bombers detonated explosive belts at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, an initial military probe revealed that the bombs used were planted.

    The first bomb went off during a Mass while the second exploded from the utility box of a motorcycle in the parking area as soldiers rushed to help the wounded.

    The military earlier said the dreaded bandits of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) could be behind the blasts. However, the pipe bombs used in the attack contained ammonium nitrate fuel which was not commonly used in previous Sayyaf attacks. Foreigners could have made the bomb or taught Sayyaf members how to assemble an explosive.

    One alias “Kamah”, a known bomb maker and said to be the brother of slain ASG leader Sukarah Ingog, has emerged as a person of interest after being caught on a surveillance camera while acting suspiciously outside the church before the blasts.

    The bloodshed came two days after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) proclaimed the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) which would create a new Muslim autonomous region and sparked hopes of quelling the separatist violence that has lasted for several decades.

    Jolo is a base of the ASG which was not part of the peace agreement with the nation’s largest separatist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), whose deal with the government in 2014 led to the creation of the Bansamoro region.

    And apparently, there have been lapses on the part of soldiers securing the church surroundings considering that Mindanao is under martial law. How were the bombs placed inside the church and at the parking lot in spite of the soldiers’ presence?

    We understand that the Bangsamoro Organic Law was created to end the Moro insurgency but government should also be prepared for the opposition of other armed groups or the possibility of a creation of a new faction disputing the BOL.

    You just can’t please everybody all the time.

    *              *              *

    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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    Nasindak?*

    January 29th, 2019

    HINDI man aminin ng magigiting nating mambabatas ay marami ang naghihinala na nasindak at nayanig sila sa inaning poot mula sa iba’t ibang sektor dahil sa desisyong ibaba ang pananagutan sa krimen sa edad na siyam na taong gulang.

    At ito ang nagbunsod sa kanila para baguhin ang naunang desisyon at itaas ang age of criminal liability sa 12 anyos na kanilang inaprubahan noong Miyerkules.

    Pero hindi ito sinasang-ayunan ng ilang senador tulad ni Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, na nagpahayag na ang edad 12 na inaprubahan ng House ay maituturing na masyadong bata pa rin at ang mungkahi niya ay gawin itong edad 13, na simula ng pagpasok ng bata sa puberty o pagiging teenager.

    Sa edad 13 ay may pag-iisip na raw ito upang malaman kung ano ang tama o mali. Ang mga mahuhuling batang kriminal o children in conflict with the law (CICL) ay hindi raw dapat ihalo sa mga pangkaraniwang preso at dapat ilagay sa Bahay Pag-asa reformation centers.

    Ayon naman kay Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, dapat pagtuunan ng pansin ng panukala ang implementasyon. Batay raw sa kanilang mga pagdinig ay kumbinsido siya na walang mali sa batas kundi sa pagpapatupad nito at ang dapat pagtuunan ay ang gagawing pag-amyenda rito. Bago raw amyendahan ang batas ay dapat itong bigyan ng pagkakataon at magkaroon ng mahigpit na implementasyon upang matupad ang hangarin na nakapaloob sa batas.

    Huwag kaliligtaan na dumarami ang mga batang kriminal bunsod ng kahirapan at kanilang ginagalawang kapaligiran. Nasaan ngayon ang ugat ng problema? Maraming batas at pangako ang gobyerno para protektahan ang mga bata at ang kanilang mga karapatan pero ang problema ay nasa tamang pagpapatupad nito.

    Marami sa atin ang hindi nakababatid na ang Republic Act 9344 o Juvenile Justice Act of 2006 na nagbibigay ng pagkakataon sa mga batang edad 15 pababa na makalusot sa mga krimen ay inamyendahan noong 2013 ng R.A. 10630. Nakasaad sa Section 20-A ng naturang batas na ang mga batang hanggang 12 anyos ay puwedeng mapiit sa mga seryosong krimen tulad ng rape, murder, homicide at iba pa. Inaatasan din nito ang mga local government units na pangasiwaan ang sarili nilang Bahay Pag-asa.

    Bakit pa kailangang amyendahan ang batas? Maraming batas para sa bata at ang problema ay ang tamang implementsayon nito.

    Higit sa lahat, huwag ninyong pag-initan at parusahan ang mga bata. Alam ko na mas madali para sa inyo na hulihin ang mga bata pero ang dapat habulin at ikulong ninyo ay mga walang awang kriminal at sindikato.

    *              *              *

    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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    Help juvenile delinquents*

    January 25th, 2019

    INSTEAD of penalizing juvenile delinquents now called children in conflict with the law, the government should focus on helping them change, develop and find their rightful role in society.

    President Duterte has repeatedly expressed his desire to bring down the age of criminal liability, citing the rising cases of minors involved in crimes. He also wants parents of these children punished for allowing their kids to go astray and get involved in criminal activities.

    Under Republic Act 9344 often referred to as the Pangilinan Law (named after its author Senator Francis Pangilinan), a child, 15 years old or under at the time of the offense, shall be exempt from criminal liability but will be subjected to an intervention program.

    As if in answer to the President’s wishes, the House Committee on Justice approved a measure last Monday that not only seeks to lower the age of criminal liability to nine years old but also includes penalizing parents of such children if they refuse to undergo intervention programs.

    The Philippine National Police (PNP) welcomed the good news since criminal syndicates have been using children as couriers. In January to December 2018, 11,229 cases involving minors were recorded. The top violations on the list were physical injury, theft, malicious mischief (Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property), illegal drugs, and rape.

    Still, is becoming tough on troubled children the proper approach when we can sometimes be soft on big-time drug lords, plunderers, and smugglers due to loopholes in the law?

    Some sectors believe that lawmakers should show mercy to these juvenile delinquents. Instead of punishing them, they should be taught to mend their ways through strengthened support programs.

    The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said these children are going through the most important part of their lives. Their parents, families, communities, and government should provide the care and proper guidance that they need. If they erred, the government’s responsibility is to help them reform instead of implementing proposed plans that would most probably direct them away from the straight path.

    Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto asked: How many of our nine-year-olds have become drug lords, been involved in kidnap-for-ransom and 10-year-olds that have become big-time car thieves? In the records of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), how many 11-year-olds have been caught smuggling shabu?

    Bear in mind that a nine-year-old hardly understands the difference between right and wrong. Juvenile rehabilitation and education programs are more effective than incarcerating children.

    *              *              *

    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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    Mag-ingat sa flu*

    January 22nd, 2019

    PINAAALALAHANAN natin ang publiko na mag-ingat na mahawahan ng flu o trangkaso na naulat na uso na naman sa kasalukuyan.

    Kung minsan ay binabalewala natin ang pagkakaroon ng simpleng sinat o lagnat na hindi nararapat dahil ang inaakala nating kaunti o katiting na sakit ay puwedeng lumala at maging dahilan ng maaga nating pagkasawi.

    Kung papasok sa paaralan o kaya ay hindi maiiwasang magpunta sa matataong lugar gaya ng simbahan, shopping mall o mga pamilihan tulad ng Divisoria, Quiapo at Santa Cruz ay gawing ugali ang pagsusuot ng face mask upang hindi makalanghap o makasagap ng sakit mula sa mga tao na kahit may karamdaman ay binabalewala lang ang kalusugan at walang pakialam kung makapanghawa man sila ng kanilang kapwa na mahihina ang naturalesa at pangangatawan.

    Ang paalala naman ni Philhealth independent director Anthony Leachon, dapat umanong matuto ang publiko na magtakip ng bibig, maghugas ng kamay o gumamit ng rubbing alcohol matapos magpunta sa matataong lugar. Maaari raw hindi alam ng tao na nahawakan niya pala ang mga bagay na napatakan o nabagsakan ng droplets ng virus.

    Kailangan natin ng sapat na pahinga, malusog na pangangatawan at malakas na immune system upang makaiwas na magkaroon ng trangkaso lalo na ngayong malamig ang panahon tuwing madaling-araw. Hangga’t maaari ay uminom ng maraming tubig. Kapag napuna na nanghihina na ang pasyente at parang naguguluhan na ito sa kanyang paligid ay dapat maisugod na siya sa pagamutan at ipa-check sa mga manggagamot.

    Hindi ito dapat binabalewala dahil kapag napabayaan ay may posiilidad na mauwi ang trangkaso sa mas malalang sakit na tulad ng pneumonia na batid nating nakamamatay. May posibilidad din daw na kumalat ang virus sa anumang bahagi ng katawan tulad ng utak, puso o magkaroon ng impeksyon.

    Ang sintomas nito ay ang pagkakaroon ng lagnat. Paminsan-minsan ay wala itong lagnat pero kadalasan ay may sipon, ubo at pananakit ng lalamunan. Ang iba ay nakararanas ng panginginig ng katawan at pakiramdam na parang walang ganang kumain. Puwede umanong umabot ng isang linggo ang pagkakaroon ng trangkaso.

    Ayon sa DOH, mas delikado sa mga senior citizen at mga bata kapag nasabayan ang trangkaso ng bacterial infection kaya makabubuti kung magpapabakuna sila.

    Ingatan ang sarili at lalo na ang ating mga mahal sa buhay. Gawin ang lahat ng pag-iingat at huwag ninyong pababayaaan ang kalusugan. Ayon sa Department of Health (DOH) ay nakapagtala sila ng 249 kaso ng trangkaso at flu-like illness noong Disyembre. At ang lalong nakaaalarma ay tumataas pa raw ang bilang nito tuwing Enero hanggang Marso.

    Pahalagahan ang buhay.

    *              *              *

    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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    Trash in Manila Bay*

    January 17th, 2019

    APART from its captivating multicolored sunsets and being considered as one of the world’s greatest harbors, Manila Bay has been known historically for being the site of the mock naval battle of the Spanish-American War in May 1898.

    However, its natural beauty and historic importance has been ruined in the past years by the sight of plastic and all kinds of garbage in its waters plus the unpleasant smell of sewage in its surroundings.

    President Duterte has threatened to close the establishments in the vicinity of Manila Bay if they continue doing nothing to stop its seemingly never-ending pollution. Everyone knows the President has done it before with the tourist destination Boracay which he called a cesspool and was closed for six months last year while undergoing a major cleanup.

    For the poor, Manila Bay is their own version of Boracay where they can spend their afternoons and evenings swimming like the rich and famous, totally unmindful of the diseases they can acquire due to its unsanitary waters.

    If Duterte truly wants to improve and rehabilitate the quality of Manila Bay’s water, the government should not only concentrate on establishments in the area but relocate about 40,000 informal settler families living along the shores.

    According to Senate inquiry reports, fecal coliform levels increased from one million MPN/100 ml (most probable number/100 milliliters) to 5 MPN/100 ml since 1999. It added that about 90 percent of the pollution is from domestic waste which comes not only from nearby areas but from 16 major river systems that drain into the bay.

    The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) intends to reduce the coliform level to less than 270 MPN by December 2019. Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said they are giving establishments three months to put up their own sewage treatment plants (STPs) and cannot discharge their wastewater in the esteros.

    Cimatu was disappointed to learn that the water sample from Estero de San Antonio, one of the dirtiest esteros connected to Manila Bay, contained 1.3 billion MPN/100 milliliter. They also discovered that that the Manila Zoo, which houses more than 600 animals, was discharging its waste water in that estero.

    It would be hard to expect that people who spent most of their lives treating Manila Bay like their own private toilet could change their ways in an instant. Relocate them first and teach them discipline later. On the other hand, establishments would easily follow what the government tells them if they want to continue operations.

    *              *              *

    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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    Pag-isipan ang pagpili

    January 15th, 2019

    NGAYONG nagsimula na ang panahon ng pangangampanya ay nais nating paalalahanan ang ating mga kababayan na pag-isipan nang husto kung sinu-sino ang mga lokal at pambansang opisyal na kanilang pagtitiwalaan ng kanilang boto sa pagsapit ng araw ng eleksyon sa Mayo.

    Alalahanin na tulad nang dati, gagawin ng ilang pulitiko ang lahat ng makakaya para makuha ang mga boto ng kanyang mga nasasakupan. Ang iba ay mambobola, magsisinungaling at mangangako na gagawin ang mga bagay-bagay na wala naman silang balak tuparin para lang makuha ang tiwala ng mga botante.

    Sa dinami-dami ng mga negatibo nating karanasan sa kamay ng mga abusado at corrupt na opisyal sa mga nakalipas na panahon, marahil ay gising na ang karamihan sa katotohanan at hindi na magpapagamit muli sa kanilang mga kalokohan.

    Ang eleksyon ay nagbibigay ng panibagong simulain hindi lamang para sa mga pulitiko at mga mamamayan kundi para sa buong bansa. Itanim natin sa isipan na sa halalan lang tayo makababawi at makakikita ng legal na paraan upang matuldukan ang mga pamamayagpag, pang-aapi at pang-aabuso ng mga opisyal na hindi naman karapat-dapat maluklok sa puwesto at mamuno sa bansa.

    Piliin ang tamang mga lider na nagpakita ng tunay na pagsisikap at taos-pusong pagmamalasakit upang makapaglingkod sa bayan. Pagkatiwalaan ng boto ang pulitiko na dadalhin ang bansa at mga tao sa tamang direksyon at kayang pagkaisahin ang mga mamamayan na halos nagkawatak-watak na dahil sa magkakaibang opinyon at paniniwala.

    Siguro naman, ngayon ay batid na natin kung sinu-sino ang tunay na nagmamalasakit para sa ating kapakanan at nararapat nating paniwalaan at irespeto. At siyempre, alam na rin natin kung sino ang peke, puro pagpapanggap lang ang ipinakikita at sarili lang ang pinahahalagahan. Kung ang pulitiko ay matakaw lang sa kapangyarihan ay hindi na natin dapat pang pagbigyan at pagtiwalaan.

    Tiyak babaha ng pera pero huwag masilaw sa kinang ng salapi na maaaring ipambili ng inyong mga boto. Kung sakaling hindi maiiwasang tumanggap ng pera dahil sa hirap ng buhay o personal na suliranin, pagdating sa presinto na pagbobotohan ay piliin pa rin ang pangalan ng tamang opisyal na inyong ihahalal.

    Samantalahin natin ang pag-asa na ibinibigay ng darating na halalan. Huwag nating aksayahin ang panahon at pagkakataon na iboto ang mga wastong lider. Alalahanin na kapag pumalpak tayo sa pagkakataong ito ay maaari tayong magdusa sa loob ng tatlong taon sa ilalim ng pamumuno ng isang makasarili, corrupt at abusadong pinuno. Ayaw na nating maulit ang dating pagkakamali dahil nakataya ang kapakanan ng bansa, ng mga mamamayan at pati ang ating kinabukasan.

    *              *              *

    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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    Lions Club holds charter night, founder’s b-day rites in Manila

    January 12th, 2019

    By Robert Roque

    THE Lions Club of Manila Sampaguita will hold its charter presentation and celebrate Lions Clubs International founder Melvin Jones’s 140th birth anniversary on January 13 at the Jen Hotel Manila on Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

    PCC Rodolfo See

    Past Council Chairperson Rodolfo L. See, Multiple District 301 Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) Coordinator, will be the guest of honor and speaker.

    District 301-A3 Governor Lolita Corpuz and three past international directors — Michael So, Vic Yong Cheng, and Enrique Lim — will deliver their messages to the club, Karla Aima Emeterio, the club’s marketing communications chairperson, said.

    CP Carolyn Cendaña

    To be sworn in as charter officers and members of the new club are: Carolyn V. Cendaña, MJF, President; Melba M. Pascua, First Vice President; Alma R. Bautista, Second Vice President; Roderick A. Conde, Third Vice President; Mary Grace P. Conde, Secretary; Ma. Leticia V. Po, Treasurer; Flordelez C. Ibanez, Auditor; Past President Ma. Elena R. Pelgone, Membership Director; Past Council Chairperson Roberto B. Roque Jr., 8PMJF, LCIF Coordinator; Agnes M. Teaderman, Club Service Chairperson; Karla Aima I. Emeterio, Marketing Communications Chairperson; Winkle P. Pascua, Lion Tamer; Ryoma Takasaki, Tail Twister; Past President Maria Cristina B. Roque and Dulce Rose Q. Felipe, Two-Year Directors; and Mohamad Elbeitam, One-Year Director; Rahman N. Al Saad, Shigehito Hayashi, Kristine Madeline Macato, Mae Benita M. Nicolas, Henry R. Quiazon, and Johan Schrijvers, members.

    DG Lolita Corpuz

    Emeterio said they will be inducted into office by District 301-A3 Governor Lolita Corpuz.

    The club will present a video of LCI founder Melvin Jones and celebrate his 140th birthday with a cake together with attending members of the Melvin Jones Fellowship.

    Manila Sampaguita was chartered on October 19, 2018 by Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world with 1.4 million members providing humanitarian service in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the globe.

    Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives and strengthened communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects.

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    Money talks*

    January 10th, 2019

    I HATE to spoil the police’s declared success in solving the murder of Ako Bicol Party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe and his security escort, SPO2 Orlando Diaz, in Daraga, Albay, but it seems there’s more to this case than meets the eye.

    There’s the issue of the PhP50-million reward that helped flush out the alleged gunmen from their hideout and supposed witnesses from their lairs.

    In less than two weeks after the December 22 double-murder, six suspects have either surrendered or been arrested. When interviewed, two of them said they gave themselves up because not only do they fear for their safety but their eyes were also set on the prize money.

    Fifty million pesos can make some men sing and dance to any music the “deejays” play.

    Really, money talks.

    This is where crack police investigators come in. They ought to vet the suspects’ and witnesses’ stories to ensure their veracity, backed by material evidence before declaring the Batocabe case solved.

    *              *              *

    All six suspects in police custody have pointed to Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo as the mastermind. They are either currently or were formerly employed as the mayor’s confidential staff.

    If their accusations are true, then Baldo is either brainless or brazen enough to use his own people to kill Batocabe and Diaz. Being the man to beat by Batocabe in the mayoral election, authorities would most likely treat him as the prime suspect.

    Emmanuel Judavar, one of the witnesses, claimed that Baldo also ordered a hit job on former Daraga mayor Gerry Jaucian when he was the vice mayor. The plot, however, was never executed when the mayor died of lung cancer in May last year.

    So, I ask again: Is Baldo really that dull-witted or brazen enough to kill Jaucean? Wouldn’t it be more prudent to just wait for the mayor to die of natural causes? Or is he bobo enough not to know that the mayor’s life was slipping away?

    The police should make an airtight case and not simply rely on the convenience of the alleged perpetrators’ statements to call the Batocabe-Diaz murder a closed case.

    We do not wish to see this case go down the drain later when suspects retract their statements because of the all-too-familiar reasons that they were tortured and coerced by the police to blame their boss.

    The word bungle should never belong in the police dictionary if they are indeed the real killers.

    *              *              *

    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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    Lutas na*

    January 7th, 2019

    IPINAGMALAKI ni Director- General Oscar Albayalde, hepe ng Philippine National Police, ang tinawag niyang major breakthrough umano sa imbestigasyon ng pagkakapaslang kay Ako Bicol Party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe at ng kanyang security escort na si SPO2 Orlando Diaz sa Daraga, Albay noong Disyembre 22, 2018.

    Lumutang sa imbestigasyon ng PNP ang mga pangalan ng anim na persons of interest na pawang naglilingkod sa tanggapan ni Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo.

    Ang plano na paslangin si Batocabe ay binuo umano noong Agosto 2018 nang ianunsyong tatakbo siyang alkalde ng Daraga.

    Umamin si Emmanuel Judavar na sangkot siya sa pagpaplano pero umatras sa araw ng pamamaslang. Nauna siyang nagpunta sa mga awtoridad upang ipagtapat ang nalalaman.

    Kabilang sa mga suspek si Christopher Naval alyas “Tuping”, isang dating sundalo na pinagtitiwalaang security aide ni Baldo. Napilitan siyang sumuko bunga ng masinsinang police operations. Ayon kay Tuping ay nag-alok si Baldo ng PhP5 milyon noong Setyembre para paslangin si Batocabe at nagbigay ng paunang bayad na PhP250,000 para makabili sila ng mga baril at motorsiklo.

    Karamihan sa grupo ni Tuping ay dating militar, paramilitary personnel at rebeldeng New People’s Army (NPA) na kasalukuyang nagtatrabaho bilang confidential staff ni Baldo na gamit ang pekeng pangalan at PhP7,000 ang buwanang suweldo.

    Bumili raw si Tuping ng dalawang motorsiklo sa Camalig, Albay na gamit ang pekeng pangalan na Abelardo Castillo samantalang ang kagrupo niya na si Danilo Muella alyas “Manoy Dan” na isa ring dating militar ay bumili ng dalawang home-made na kalibre .45.

    Kasama rin sa grupo sina Henry Yuson alyas “Romel”, isang dating NPA rebel na bumaril daw kay Batocabe gamit ang kalibre .40 pistola; Rolando Arimado alyas “RR”, isang rebel returnee na nagsilbing lookout at bumaril din kina Batocabe at Diaz; Emmanuel Rosello alyas “Boboy”, dating miyembro ng CAFGU, at Jaywin Babor alyas “Jie”, dati ring sundalo na nagmaneho ng getaway vehicle at motorsiklo.

    Kung totoo nga ang lahat ng mga ito at hindi set-up na isinisigaw ni Baldo, binabati natin ang kapulisan sa kanilang tagumpay. Sinampahan ng double murder at multiple frustrated homicide sina Baldo at ang anim na iba pa. Gayunman ay tahasang itinanggi ni Baldo ang akusasyon at sinabing lingkod-bayan siya na patuloy na magseserbisyo sa nasasakupan.

    Kung tutuusin ay malaking kagaguhan para sa isang alkalde na magpapatay ng kalaban sa pulitika dahil siya ang unang suspek na iisiping mastermind. Malilinis pa kaya niya ang pangalan samantalang ang mga suspek ay pawang tauhan niya sa Office of the Mayor? Tiyak na maaapektuhan ang kanyang kandidatura dahil hindi iboboto ng mga mamamayan ang isang kandidato na may mga tauhan na dating rebelde at pinaghihinalaang nagpapatumba ng kalaban.

    *              *              *

    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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    A lesson to bullies

    January 3rd, 2019

    IT was only proper for Ateneo de Manila University to take action and dismiss its junior high school student who was caught on camera while punching and kicking another student in an incident that spread on social media.

    Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones said the episode was not only a problem of Ateneo but of society itself as she urged schools, communities, parents and the media to help end bullying. It could not be solved by the mere expulsion of a student.

    The public rage was really ignited in this particular case and Briones hoped that this would “lead to more care, more watchfulness, more caring for all learners whether they have problems or not”.

    She recommended to Ateneo officials and other private institutions to align their protocols for bullying cases with the anti-bullying law and the DepEd’s own protocols. She urged teachers to inform parents and school officials if they encounter bullying incidents and the media to publish more stories concerning bullying.

    Caloocan Bishop Pablo David, vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), stated that to stand idly by while bullying occurs was just as wrong as the act itself. He was apparently referring to the school mates of the two junior high school students who were seen on video as they witnessed the violence but chose to leave the room to avoid involvement.

    David said bullying was never acceptable as it normally entailed hurting, harassing and oppressing the weak and helpless. He advised the public not to succumb to fear in front of a bully and stand by what is right, true, and necessary.

    The bishop is absolutely right since fear has always been the adversary in cases of bullying. It forces people to remain silent and do nothing to avoid facing the risk of incurring the bully’s wrath.

    While there is no question that assistance should be provided to the victim, we should also pay close attention to the reasons for the bully’s behavior. His display of cruelty and lack of compassion for a fellow human being may not just be the problem but a symptom of yet another, deeper problem. He may have personal woes that he tries to avoid by showing his dominion over others whom he considers weak and easy to intimidate. For all we know, he himself may have been a victim of bullying or maltreatment, physically or verbally, by a family member. The bully is also a person who, perhaps, may be in need of professional help.

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. Allow me to sincerely greet each and everyone a Happy New Year..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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    Grief before Christmas*

    December 27th, 2018

    IT is truly saddening that some people would rather shroud their fellow men in grief and bring sadness rather than spread love and happiness this holiday season.

    Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara revealed that a whopping PhP30 million has been offered by some congressmen and the provincial government of Albay for anyone who can provide information on the identity of the mastermind and the gunmen who slew Ako Bicol Party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe and his police escort, Senior Police Officer 2 Orlando Diaz, in Albay over the weekend.

    The 52-year-old Batocabe and Diaz were busy handing gifts to senior citizens and persons with disabilities in Daraga, Albay when at least six men showed up and shot them dead. It was Batocabe’s last term as congressman and he was running for Daraga mayor in the coming election.

    Several senior citizens were also wounded in the attack. The heartless assault was done on the 26th wedding anniversary of the Batocabes. The victim left behind a wife and two children.

    Initial investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) suggested that the incident was politically motivated. Probers were also looking at the possible link between politics and communist activity in the attack.

    A regional police official disclosed that Batocabe recently expressed his apprehension allegedly over some of his political opponents for the mayoral post who have been employing armed groups to influence the Elections.

    Apart from Batocabe and his escort, two other men were gunned down last Saturday. Jolito Jakosalim Talaid, former mayor of Kadingilan town in Bukidnon, was about to board his car when attacked in Cagayan de Oro City on Saturday morning. Eduardo Panganiban, barangay chairperson of Panghayaan in Taysan town, Batangas was also shot by three men inside his garage at 7 a.m.

    The killers, who had the gall to deprive three families of their loved ones three days before Christmas, remain unidentified.

    At this point in time when countries are calling for world peace and leaders condemning the use of arms, especially nuclear weapons, it is disappointing that some people are still unaware of the true value of human life. If these senseless attacks continue, none of us would ever feel truly safe. Where are the police when you need them the most?

    *              *              *

    SHORT BURSTS. May the Spirit of the Christmas season bring joy to all. 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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    Parusahan ang nagkasala*

    December 25th, 2018

    MARAMI ang naniniwala na dapat talagang maparusahan ang mga nagkasala kahit na ano pa ang estado o katayuan nila sa buhay.

    Sa madaling salita, kahit na pulis ang may sala ay dapat managot pa rin ito sa batas kung mapatutunayang siya ay totoong may kasalanan. Ang pagkakaroon ng tsapa, uniporme at baril ay hindi sapat para makalibre ang sino mang pulis sa kanyang pananagutan.

    Sa isang video na nakuha ng ABS-CBN ay nakita ang isang pulis na may mataas na ranggo na binabanatan ang mga bagong recruit sa pagkapulis. Akalain ninyong ang opisyal na nakilalang si Superintendent Alex Dimaculangan ay nakitang hinahampas ang mga binti at balakang ng mga baguhan habang gamit ang baseball bat.

    Nahaharap si Dimaculangan sa kasong administratibo at nagsumite na ng kanyang kasagutan na pag-aaralan ng National Police Commission (Napolcom).

    Ayon kay Napolcom Vice Chairman Rogelio Casurao, ang pinakamataas na parusa na puwedeng igawad ng hearing officer sa isang pulis na nakagawa ng kapalpakan ay dismissal sa kanyang trabaho. Puwede rin umano itong masuspinde kung saan ang kanyang suweldo at mga allowance ay mapu-forfeit.

    Tiniyak din ni Casurao na ang baguhang recruit na nagsampa ng reklamo laban kay Dimaculangan ay kanilang puprotektahan laban sa harassment. Sinisiguro raw ng gobyerno na bibigyan ng sapat na seguridad at walang makagagalaw sa nagrereklamo dahil hinihimok nila ang ganitong kapulisan na lumantad at isiwalat ang hindi tamang ginagawa ng kanilang mga superior.

    Pero masisisi ba natin kung may mag-isip na hindi dapat matapos sa kasong administratibo at parusang dismissal ang dapat igawad sa umaabusong pulis? Dapat din umano silang maharap sa kasong kriminal at makulong tulad ng ibang lumabag sa batas. Ang ginawa raw ni Dimaculangan ay maihahalintulad sa initiation rites ng fraternity na ipinagbabawal.

    Minsan-minsan ay may opisyal na nabubulagan sa labis na kapangyarihan at inaakala na kahit ano ay puwedeng gawin nang walang pananagutan. Dahil mga pulis sila ay iniisip nila na lahat ng kanilang gustuhin ay pupuwede nang walang magiging sabit.

    At ang masakit pang tanggapin ay ito rin ang sinusunod ng maraming pulis na hindi naniniwala sa kahalagahan ng buhay at walang pakundangang pumaslang ng kanilang mga hinuhuli.

    Mabuti at nasentensyahan nang reclusion perpetua o 20 hanggang 40 taon na pagkakabilanggo ang tatlo nilang kabaro na nakatalaga sa Caloocan City Police dahil sa pagkakasabit nila sa pagkasawi ng teenager na si Kian delos Santos noong 2017. Patunay rin ito na hindi lahat ng sinabing nanlaban sa mga pulis ay totoong lumaban nga. Tandaan na ang gumagawa ng kalokohan ay hindi makalulusot sa lahat ng oras.

    *              *              *

    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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    2 doktor sabit din sa Dengvaxia?

    December 11th, 2018

    HINILING ni Public Attorney’s Office chief Attorney Persida Acosta sa panel of prosecutors ng Department of Justice na nagsasagawa ng pagsisiyasat sa pangalawang batch ng mga reklamo kaugnay ng Dengvaxia na alamin ang posibleng pananagutan nina Doctor Raymundo Lo, isang pathologist na dating deputy executive director ngPhilippine Children’s Medical Center at Doctor Sonia Gonzales, nataga-PCMC rin.

    Ayon kay Acosta ay inamin ni Lo sa pagdinig ng House na binigyan niyang awtorisasyon si Gonzales na pirmahan para sa kanyang kapakanan ang purchase request na may petsang Enero 21, 2016 na umorder ng bakunang Dengvaxia na nagkakahalaga ng PhP3 bilyon. Batay sa bilang ng PAO ay mahigit 100 bata na ang nasawi dahil nainiksyunan ng Dengvaxia kaya hindi puwedeng balewalain ang bagay na ito.

    Bilang patunay ay nagpakita si Acosta sa media ng kopya ng purchase request na itinuturing ng PAO chief na “missing link” upang mapagtagpi-tagpi ang mga pira-piraso kung paano tuluyang nabili ang bakuna.

    Pero kinontra ni Lo ang mga natuklasan ng PAO sa pagdinig ng House. Kinuwestyon din niya ang pamamaraan ni PAO forensics chief Doctor Erwin Erfe dahil ang pagsasagawa raw ng awtopsiya ay hindi tamang pamamaraan upang matukoy na ang naturang bakuna ang dahilan ng pagkasawi ng mga bata.

    Kinuwestyon ni Acosta kung paano magiging ekspertong testigo si Lo? Dapat daw nakademanda sina Lo at Gonzales dahil sa kaugnayan nila sa pagbili ng kontrobersyal na bakuna. Tumestigo raw ito samantalang wala naman siyang personal knowledge sa mga nasawi na isinailalim sa awtopsiya ng PAO. Wala naman daw na-autopsy ni isa sa mga bangkay ang kampo nina Lo.

    Dahil may mga nasawi ay nagsampa ang PAO ng 29 na reklamong kriminal para sa reckless imprudence na nagreresulta sa homicide, torture at paglabag sa Consumer Protection Act laban kina dating Health Secretary Janette Garin at ibang mga opisyal ng gobyerno, pati na ang mga opisyal na may likha ng bakuna na Sanofi at ang distributor nitona Zuellig Pharma.

    Maging ang kasalukuyang kalihim ng Department of Health (DOH) na si Francisco Duque III ay hindi nakalusot at nahaharap din sa reklamong obstruction of justice.

    Dapat makasuhan at mapanagot ang lahat ng may kaugnayan sa pagkasawi ng mga batang naturukan ng Dengvaxia maging sila ay dati o kasalukuyang opisyal ng DOH. Sa halip na mabigyan ng proteksyon ay ito pa pala ang magiging daan sa maaga nilang pagkamatay. Hindi rin dapat makalusot ang mga opisyal ng Sanofi dahil kung anu-anong panganib pala ang puwedeng idulot ng bakuna na sila ang may likha.

    *              *              *

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

    (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2018/12/06/vaccination-fear-continues/)

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

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    Vaccination fear continues*

    December 6th, 2018

    THE public’s fear of vaccination brought about by the controversial issue of Dengvaxia seems to be the reason behind this year’s rise in cases of measles in the country.

    Based on the records of the World Health Organization (WHO), measles cases have risen by 367 percent from January to November of this year compared with January until November of 2017. Clearly, this is no laughing matter.

    (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2018/12/01/measles-cases-spike-globally-due-to-gaps-in-vaccination-coverage/)

    Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said there is a significant drop in the confidence of the people in the immunization program being offered by the Department of Health (DOH) from 92 percent to a measly 33 percent. Certain regions had been affected by the running Dengvaxia issue.

    Doctor Susan Mercado, a public health expert, explained that there is nothing to fear since the shots being given against measles have long been a part of the regular immunization program of the DOH for children. She said it was almost 95 percent effective and could not be compared to Dengvaxia.

    Several local officials from Malapatan, Sarangani reported the recent deaths in their areas due to measles, a contagious, airborne disease that could spread and infect people. The DOH stated that victims of measles are mostly women from age four up to 40 years old.

    *              *              *

    We could not blame anyone, especially the parents, if they continue to fear Dengvaxia.

    A lot of children who were given Dengvaxia and died went through similar sufferings like multiple organ failure, severe cerebral hemorrhage, and others. Nothing could be more painful for parents than to stand helpless as their children suffer and take their last gasp.

    The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) under Attorney Persida Acosta has continued to conduct autopsies on the remains of children who showed the same indications before they died allegedly from the deadly vaccine.

    While efforts are being made to determine who should be made responsible for the deaths related to Dengvaxia, the government should extend whatever help they could provide the family and relatives of the victims.

    And more importantly, the government ought not to ignore the deaths recorded due to measles or take them lightly especially since the lives of our children are again at stake. It should continue to conduct awareness programs even in the farthest corners of the land and enlighten everyone on the difference between Dengvaxia and other regular immunization programs of the DOH. The health of the children should be prioritized at all times. Measles need not spread if children are immunized properly.

    *              *              *

    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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    Babala sa pulis*

    December 4th, 2018

    NAWA’y magsilbing babala sa ibang kapulisan na maaaring naliligaw ng landas ang sinapit ng tatlo nilang kabaro na nakatalaga sa Caloocan City Police dahil sa pagkakasabit nila sa pagkasawi ng teenager na si Kian delos Santos noong 2017.

    Sinentensyahan sina police officers Arnel Oares, Jeremias Pereda at Jerwin Cruz nang reclusion perpetua o 20 hanggang 40 taon na pagkakabilanggo sa pagpaslang sa 17-anyos na si Delos Santos na tumanggi raw na maaresto sa isang lehitimong anti-illegal drug operation.

    Si Delos Santos ay binaril at napaslang nila sa Caloocan noong Agosto 2017. Lalo pang nagalit ang sambayanan nang lumutang ang CCTV footage na nagpapakitang kinakaladkad si Delos Santos ng mga pulis patungo sa isang madilim na eskinita kung saan siya binaril. Lumabas sa autopsy result na nagtamo siya ng mga tama ng baril sa ulo kahit na nakaluhod na ito sa lupa.

    Ipinag-utos din ng korte na arestuhin ang nakalalaya pang police asset na si Renato Loveras alyas “Nono” na kasama ng mga nahatulang pulis nang maganap ang krimen. Inakusahan nila si Delos Santos na drug courier umano ng kanyang ama at tiyuhin. Pero ayon sa ina ni Delos Santos na si Lorenzana, ang pagkakahatol ng guilty sa tatlong pulis ay nagpapatunay lang na walang katotohanan ang kanilang mga ibinibintang.

    Ipinagbunyi ng nakararami ang desisyon laban sa tatlong pulis. Ito ay tagumpay hindi lang para sa pamilya Delos Santos kundi para sa buong bansa na magpapatunay na ang batas ay pantay-pantay para sa lahat.

    Dapat mag-ingat na nang husto ang ibang kapulisan kahit sabihing ipinatutupad lang nila ang kautusan ng Pangulo sa digmaan sa droga dahil hindi ito nangangahulugan na lisensyado na silang gawin ang kahit ano na kanilang gustuhin kahit na lihis pa ito sa batas. Sa oras na lumagpas ang sino mang pulis sa limitasyon ng batas ay puwede siyang mapanagot na tulad ng mga pangkaraniwang mamamayan.

    Gayunman, ayon kay Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra ay hindi maaapektuhan ng naturang desisyon ang isinasagawa nilang giyera laban sa ilegal na droga. Magpapatuloy pa rin daw ang sigla nila sa panghuhuli ng mga suspek sa droga. At patuloy raw na gagampanan ng DOJ ang tungkulin nito.

    Pero huwag natin kaliligtaan na ang sentensya na iginawad sa tatlong naturang pulis ay patunay lang na totoong may mga alagad ng batas sa digmaan sa droga na nalilihis ng landas. Hindi natin alam kung ilan pa ang mga katulad ni Kian na inosente pero pinagbintangang sangkot sa ilegal na droga. At hindi lahat ng sinabing nanlaban sa mga pulis ay totoong lumaban nga.

    *              *              *

    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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    Fake news victim*

    November 28th, 2018

    NCRPO chief, ChinaIT SEEMS no one is off the hook and anyone can fall victim to fake news nowadays, even if you are a high-ranking official of the Philippine National Police.

    Director Guillermo Eleazar, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, vehemently denied recently the authenticity of a photo that went viral on social media depicting him as someone being castigated by a Chinese official.

    According to the post, a Chinese security officer was allegedly angered at Eleazar after some demonstrators managed to stage a protest in front of the embassy of China while Chinese President Xi Jinping was in the country.

    Eleazar was quick to dismiss the caption accompanying the photo as fake news. He said the Chinese officer was not angered but actually happy.

    In fact, the Chinese official did not question Eleazar about the rally. It was the NCRPO chief who voluntarily told him that in the Philippines, cops are lenient with protesters as guaranteed by our Constitution. They allowed the rally in Makati even without a permit as long as it would not be held in engagement areas and routes taken by the Chinese visitors.

    Instead of being angered, the Chinese official was reportedly even thankful to the PNP for the tight security it provided in welcoming their president to Manila. Eleazar supposedly replied that it was merely to reciprocate the security that they granted when President Duterte visited China.

    Eleazar assured that the PNP-Anti-Cybercrime Group is already tracing the identities of the people responsible for spreading the fake news and will make them pay for their actions.

    I am not siding with China in any way but why do some people have to attempt to destroy a good relationship being forged between two nations?

    Had the NCRPO chief chosen to remain silent on the issue and did not offer any explanation whatsoever, netizens would not even be aware that the picture carried the wrong information and would accept it as gospel truth.

    A photo showing Eleazar being scolded by a Chinese official would create yet another impression in the people’s minds of the growing influence and power China wields over the current administration.

    Fake news supporting what people perceive is already true harms the Truth.

    *              *              *

    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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    Lotteng at jueteng sa QC, Southern Metro*

    November 27th, 2018

    TULOY-tuloy pa rin ang ilegal na operasyon ng lotteng sa Quezon City ni Lito Motor. Dahil basang-basa na ang pangalan niya, nagpa-front tuloy siya kay “Carlo Lotteng” na siyang tumatayong operator.

    Sa Quezon City pa rin, ang jueteng operation ni alyas “Ryan 1-3-7” ay lumalaganap na sa syudad. Ang dating kinokolektahan ng mga taya ay ang mga lugar na sakop ng Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Station 1 hanggang 3 pero akalain ninyong gumapang na ito sa area ng QCPD Station 4 at 5.

    Para sa mga hindi tumataya at walang alam sa sugal na ito, ang 1-3-7 ay hango sa numero na tatayaan sa jueteng mula 1 hanggang 37.

    Sa southern part naman ng Metro Manila, ang Lotteng umano ni Tony Santos ay walang humpay at mukhang hindi natitinag. Pero dahil masasabing batikan na siya sa ilegal na larangang ito, ang Lotteng ay mina-manage ng mga ibang tao para sa kanya. Ito ay sina Joy para sa Parañaque City, Richard Taba sa Muntinlupa, Jonjon at ang sinasabing dating pulis na si Arguta para sa Taguig, at si Jun Ayungin sa Pateros.

    Dahil ang mga resulta ng bola nito ay hango sa resulta ng Lotto, ang mga nasa likod ng Lotteng ay mga hindi nagbabayad ng buwis sa gobyerno. ‘Yung mga mayor at police chief ng bawat bayan at lungsod, pakiaksyunan po ang mga ilegal na gawaing ito.

    Para sa mga alagad ng batas, huwag niyo hayaang gamitin ng mga ilegalista ang kanilang impluwensya para mapaglaruan ang batas. Magpakatotoo kayo sa tungkulin. Mahalin ninyo ang inyong trabaho at maglingkod nang tapat upang mapasilbihan at maprotektahan ang mga mamamayan.

    Kapag may gumagawa ng ilegal sa isang lugar ay natutunugan agad ng mga pulis na nakasasakop dito maging ito ay kaugnay ng bawal na droga, sugalan o kung ano pa man. Kaya imposibleng hindi nila alam kapag may ilegal na sugal na pumasok at nag-operate sa kanilang teritoryo.

    Makalulusot lang sa bugok na pulis na corrupt sa trabaho ang pagpapatakbo ng sugal na ipinagbabawal kapag napag-usapan at naayos na kung paano at magkano gagampanan nang lingguhan ang obligasyon ng mga ilegalista.

    Tinatawagan natin ng pansin si National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Guillermo Eleazar na aksyunan ang kalokohan ng ilan sa kanyang kapulisan.

    Para naman sa mga alkalde, mahiya naman kayo sa mga mamamayan na nagtiwala at ibinoto kayo sa puwesto. Huwag niyo hayaang pati kayo ay magamit ng mga gambling lord para magtuluy-tuloy lang ang ilegal nilang operasyon. Maging tapat kayo sa mga tao.

    *              *              *

    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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    Irked over ‘Ang Probinsyano’*

    November 23rd, 2018

    A FRIEND, an avid follower of the three-year-old series “Ang Probinsyano,” the TV version of the movie made popular by the late action king Fernando Poe Jr., got worried over the announcement that the Philippine National Police (PNP) was withdrawing its support for the program.

    Director-General Oscar Albayalde, PNP Chief, said the program has given a bad public image of the police in its unfair portrayal of some cops as money-hungry. The PNP chief in the program was portrayed as corrupt and violent.

    PNP officials and the program’s production team set a dialogue intended to change the series’ storyline. The program, however, did not change its plot even after the meeting.

    This prompted the PNP to issue a memorandum recently ordering all their units to stop supporting the production through the use of patrol cars, security detail, firearms, and other requests. The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) under Secretary Eduardo Año felt sorry for the PNP and contemplated on taking legal action.

    My friend pointed out that the series is sheer fiction as can be seen in its disclaimer, adding that the story does not represent any existing official or agency of government.

    An alliance of artists and media practitioners condemned the supposed attempt to censor Ang Probinsyano. They said it was the administration that continues to demoralize the police force in its involvement in alleged killings under the drug war.

    *              *              *

    Firing Line understands why the PNP reacts this way. Its top officials are doing their best to refurbish its image and be a force that is truly corrupt-free and dedicated to serve and protect the public. It, however, ought to acknowledge that despite all its efforts, there are still dirty cops in its ranks mixed up in the drug trade, rape or, sometimes, even murder.

    The PNP cannot dictate on a TV program how it wants the production to treat its characters. It is plain censorship. We are not under martial law. Police officials should never forget their duty to defend the constitutional right to free expression.

    So, my friend, you need not worry. There is no plan to cancel your favorite program.

    *              *              *

    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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    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.

    *              *              *

    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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    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.

                  *              *

    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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    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?

    *              *              *

    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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    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?

    *              *              *

    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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    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.

    *              *              *

    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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