Posts by Robert:

    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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    ‘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?

    *              *              *

    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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    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.

    *              *              *

    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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    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.

    *              *              *

    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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    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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