Posts by Robert:

    Revolutionary government *

    October 19th, 2017

    MANY people are alarmed by President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning that he plans to establish a revolutionary government to counter a supposed destabilization plot.

    Many question this reasoning after his own defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, doubts whether such a plot even exists.

     

     

     

    To be honest, this sows confusion. What destabilization plot is the President talking about? And why would he even set up a revolutionary government when this would mean he would be going against his own administration?

    I remember former President Cory Aquino setting up a revolutionary government to thwart the Marcos’s rule but this was more of a necessity in order to erase all the remnants of the former strongman’s dictatorship.

    Yes, we do have rallies and demonstrations but are they enough to bring down the government? Protest actions have always been there as a means for people to express their views and show everyone that democracy is alive.

    We also have communist guerrillas and religious terrorists whose groups abhor each other and would make an alliance to topple the administration close to impossible.

    Transport strikes have been around time and again and could hardly be considered a part of the destabilization plot as Attorney Aileen Lizada, board member of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), insinuated.

    The latest transport strike was in protest of the looming passenger jeep phaseout and modernization.

    For her part, Lizada cited that most of those who joined the transport protest come from the working or labor sector and left-leaning groups.

    But then, most protest actions have always enjoyed the support of leftists and communists who have actively participated in calls against the government no matter what the reason may be.

    In no way does Firing Line believes that Duterte’s intention to establish a revolutionary government is a well-calculated plan to divert the public’s attention from the issue about his wealth and assets.

    But if the President establishes a revolutionary government at this point, he would have to declare all positions vacant in order to quell the alleged efforts to topple his administration.

    Lawyer Christian Monsod, a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, said Duterte would have to yield to political dynasties and warlords in order to hold on to power under a revolutionary government which, according to him, is basically a dictatorship.

    *              *              *

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

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

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    Iligal bookies sa Pasay talamak*

    October 17th, 2017

    TALAMAK at hindi maawat ang iligal na bookies ng karera sa iba’t ibang sulok ng Pasay City.

    Sa palagay ng maraming residente ay imposible namang isipin na hindi pa raw nalalaman ng mga awtoridad na ang operator nito ay isang nagngangalang “Christian” na kamag-anak diumano ng isang konsehal sa Pasay.

     

     

     

    Ang areas of operation ay sa Maginhawa Street, Tengco St., P. Dandan St., Leveriza St., Sun Valley Subdivision at sa mga lugar sa paligid ng Gil Puyat Avenue at Vito Cruz St., Villaruel St., Alvarez St., M. dela Cruz St., Maricaban area, Inocencio St., Silva St., at Cuenca St.

    Kasama niya sa iligal na aktibidad sa mga lugar na ito ang isang “Dennis,”

    Kung ang usapan ay madadako sa loteng, EZ2 at “ending” na pinatatakbo ni Christian, ang enkargado niya sa mga ito ay si Roger diyan sa motorpool sa harap ng Pasay City Cockpit sa Cementia St., Tramo St. at palengke. Si Ruben naman ang may hawak sa lugar ng Salud St. sa may F.B. Harrison St.

    Sa likod naman ng motorpool makikita si Aling Che na siyang nag-o-operate para kay Christian at isa sa pinagkakatiwalaan niya.

    Sina Rosie, Totoy at Ely ang nag-o-operate sa Pildera habang si Steve naman sa Cartimar. Si Ronald ang nakapuwesto sa post office sa Tramo, si Romy sa Facundo St., si Cesar sa area ng Santo Niño-Taft Avenue, si Dennis sa Villamor, si Jing sa Maricaban at si Joan sa Merville Subdivision.

    Wala bang mata at tainga sina National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Oscar Albayalde, Southern Police District (SPD) head Chief Superintendent Tomas Apolinario at Pasay City Police chief Senior Superintendent Diony Bartolome? Ano ang nangyari at patuloy na namamayagpag ang iligal na bookies at sugal sa inyong nasasakupan?

    Walang kaalam-alam ang butihing alkalde ng Pasay at naturang mga hepe ng pulis na ipinagmamalaki ni Christian na hindi siya maaaring galawin ng kapulisan kahit pa ng city hall detachment dahil sa regular umano siyang nagbibigay ng malaking “lingguhang parating” sa kanila.

    Ngayong wala na sa drug war ang atensyon ng mga pulis dahil napunta na itong lahat sa Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), puwede na nilang pag-ukulan ng pansin at hulihin itong si Christian at ang kanyang mga alipores sa iligal nilang gawain.

    Kung hindi ay patuloy na madudurog ang pangalan ng alkalde at ng mga opisyal ng pulis dahil gagamitin at isasabit sila ni Christian upang makalusot ang operasyon niya sa iligal na sugal.

    *              *              *

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

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

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    Well planned*

    October 12th, 2017

    FORMER Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has genuine concern for our surroundings and the people affected by the atrocities committed by its abusers.

    Lopez believes that the toxic metals generated by open pit mining will continue to pollute rivers, streams and adversely affect the lives of communities. Open pits also kill the economic potential of a region, biodiversity, and possibilities of ecotourism.

     

     

    The former environment chief points out that mining is not a right but a privilege granted to operators under certain conditions. It is subject to the police power of the state to protect the common good and general welfare of our countrymen.

    The Constitution states that the state shall promote social justice in all phases of national development. Still, the government allows open pit mining near rivers and streams, putting communities eternally in peril.

    During her term, Lopez suspended the operation of 15 mining firms in the Caraga Region for various violations such as siltation of rivers, coasts, and destroying watersheds.

    To the dismay of Lopez’s supporters who are likewise environmentalists, the suspended firms are now allowed to operate.

    Roger de Dios, regional director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, confirmed that the firms filed an appeal and motion for reconsideration and are allowed to operate for the meantime.

    These are AAMPhil Natural Resources Exploration, Kromico Inc., Libjo Mining Corporation, Oriental Synergy Mining Corporation, Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corporation, SinoSteel Philippines, H.Y. Mining Corporation and Wellex Mining Corporation in Dinagat Islands.

    Likewise cleared are ADNAMA Mining Resources Corporation, Claver Mineral Development Corporation, Platinum Group Metals Corporation, and Hinatuan Mining Corporation; CTP Construction and Mining Corporation, Carrascal Nickel Corporation, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation; and Century Peak Corporation.

    *              *              *

    In spite of yearning for the much-needed confirmation in order to continually implement all her plans intended for the betterment of the environment, Lopez was rejected by the seemingly all-powerful Commission on Appointments (CA).

    As Firing Line has seen time and again, when leadership changes, new sets of rules are applied and followed.

    Former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Roy Cimatu, who replaced Lopez, appears to have no desire in following his predecessor’s footsteps as far as his appointment is concerned.

    Obviously, Cimatu has an all-too different view on how to run his office while being determined to get the nod of CA. And Cimatu’s plan proves excellent as he received his much-needed confirmation only last week.

    *              *              *

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

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

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    Hulidap?*

    October 10th, 2017

    MAY panibagong anggulo sa pamamaslang sa 19-anyos na si Carl Arnaiz na ibinunyag ang Public Attorneys’ Office (PAO) na pinamumunuan ni Persida Acosta.

    Posible umanong insidente ito ng hulidap kung saan sinusubukang kotongan ng mga tiwaling pulis ang kanilang inaresto upang hindi ito kasuhan.

     

     

     

    Umalis si Carl sa kanilang bahay sa Cainta, Rizal noong Agosto 17 at nawala nang 10 araw. Natagpuan ang kanyang bangkay sa isang morge sa Caloocan.

    Maaalalang nagpahayag ang kapulisan na napatay si Arnaiz matapos itong magtangkang holdapin ang taxi driver na si Tomas Bagcal sa C-3 Road sa Caloocan noong Agosto 18.

    Pero batay sa pahayag ni Bagcal ay pinara ni Arnaiz na kasama ang 14-anyos na si Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman ang kanyang taxi sa Pasig City at nagpahatid sa Caloocan. Tinangka raw siyang holdapin ni Arnaiz pero dinala raw niya ang dalawa sa mga pulis sa tulong ng mga barangay tanod.

    Ayon sa dalawang tumestigo sa Senado ay nakita nila si Arnaiz na binaril ng mga pulis-Caloocan habang nakaluhod.

    Sa naunang imbestigasyon na isinagawa ng PAO ay lumabas na pinosasan at tinortyur ang biktima bago ito binaril nang limang ulit nang walang kalaban-laban.

    Nagsampa na ang PAO ng kasong double murder laban sa mga pulis na sangkot sa pagkasawi ni Arnaiz at inakusahan silang nagtanim ng ebidensya.

    Ibinunyag ni Acosta na pinadalhan daw ni Eva Arnaiz ang kanyang anak na si Carl ng halagang P17,000 isang araw bago ito maglaho.

    Kung nagpadala si Eva ng P17,000 sa kanyang anak ay walang nakikitang dahilan para mangholdap ito ng taxi driver. At ang malaking palaisipan pa ay kung saan napunta ang pera kung dala nga ito ni Carl, dahil nakita man ang katawan ng biktima ay patuloy naman na nawala ang naturang pera.

    Kinuwestyon ng PAO chief kung bakit wala nang lamang pera ang backpack ng biktima. Pati raw iyong Lenovo cell phone na ipinadala ng ina ay nawala at napalitan ng mumurahing analog.

    Sumasang-ayon ang Firing Line sa pahayag ni Acosta na noon pa man ay nagaganap na ang mga kaso ng hulidap sa mga tao na may pera.

    Kung totoong nahulidap si Arnaiz, marahil ay ito na ang tamang panahon para mabago ang baluktot na sistemang ito at mapanagot ang mga salarin na nagtatago sa likod ng kanilang tsapa sa paggawa ng katiwalian. Kahihiyan sila sa kapulisan!

    Paano maibabalik ang tiwala ng mga mamamayan sa pulis kung may mga gumagawa ng kalokohan na tulad ng hulidap at sumisira sa image ng kanilang kabaro?

    *              *              *

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

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    Go through the eye of a needle*

    October 5th, 2017

    THE controversial issue on whether or not to allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has continued to divide the people.

    Perhaps some sectors should open their minds on the subject now that even the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has given its support to allow the medical use of marijuana provided that safeguards are taken.

     

     

     

    PDEA Director-General Aaron Aquino said that the agency supports the intention and purpose behind the proposed bill that seeks to provide the right of access to medical cannabis and further research into its medicinal properties.

    Also, PDEA reportedly recognizes the need of patients to have access to safe, affordable, available medical cannabis in health conditions where cannabis has been found to be effective in its prevention and treatment.

    However, PDEA has proposed some amendments to the bill to ensure that marijuana will not be abused in any way.

    Among its recommendations is for marijuana and cannabis to be clearly defined and the bill to be very specific and only legalize the use of tablet or capsule preparations of the medicinal component of cannabis and not cannabis by itself.

    It also wants the genuine relationship with the patient be established before a doctor can certify a patient’s need to use medical cannabis.

    The PDEA chief also wants to include a statement indicating that the cultivation, possession, use, sale, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of cannabis not in accordance with the bill shall be deemed a violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

    Aquino clarified that under existing laws, the use and sale of marijuana which remains a dangerous drug is prohibited and PDEA will continue to enforce the law.

    Apart from permitting patients to take tablets or capsules, perhaps the law should also allow the use of cannabis oil extract (liquid form) which is also medicinal and taken orally as an anti-cancer treatment.

    The Committee on Health of the House of Representatives has recently gaiven its permission to the proposed bill of Isabela Representative Rodolfo Albano III to allow the use of medical marijuana.

    Firing Line believes this is all well and good if it serves to help improve and relieve the sickness of some people.

    However, believe me when I say the bill will pass through an eye of a needle when it reaches the Senate where a strict lawmaker simply cannot accept the legalization of any kind of prohibited drug.

    *              *              *

    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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    Panlilinlang sa gobyerno?*

    October 3rd, 2017

    NAKALULUNGKOT na makitang ang mga opisyal ng Gabinete na itinalaga mismo ni President Duterte ang hindi sumusunod sa patakaran na inilatag ng pamahalaan.

    Pumutok kamakailan ang isyu na may mga redaction o pagbabago na napuna ang mga taga-media sa deklarasyon ng ilang dati at kasalukuyang opisyal ng Gabinete sa kanilang statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) mula Disyembre 2016 na ini-release ng Malacañang Records Office.

     

     

    Bilang depensa ay tinukoy ng Malacañang ang Data Privacy Act at sinabing natatakot ang ilang tao na magamit ang sensitibong personal na impormasyon na nakalagay sa kanilang SALN upang makapang-harass ng ibang personalidad o kaya ay makagawa ng pamemeke.

    Maging si Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella ay nagsabing ang mga naglilingkod sa gobyerno ay mayroon pa ring “right to privacy.”

    Pero ayon kay Attorney Ariel Ronquillo, assistant commissioner for legal concerns ng Civil Service Commission (CSC), ang mga address lang ang pinapayagang malagyan ng shade o maitiman sa SALN ng opisyal ng gobyerno.

    Ayon sa CSC ay hindi dapat masakop ng Data Privacy Act ang SALN ng opisyal dahil ang naturang records ay dapat nagpapakita ng transparency.

    Nilinaw ni Ronquillo, na in charge sa mga SALN, na dapat walang itinatago ang mga opisyal at handang ipakita sa mga mamamayan kung paano kumikita at yumayaman habang naglilingkod sa gobyerno. Dapat daw malaman ng lahat na hindi ginagamit ang posisyon upang payamanin ang sarili sa iligal na pamamaraan.

    Ayon sa alituntunin na inisyu ng CSC ay puwede lang itiman ang address sa SALN pero ang ibang mga detalye ay dapat maging bukas sa publiko. Ang pag-shade sa halaga ng ari-arian at lokasyon ng real properties ay hindi pagsunod sa mga alituntunin.

    Iimbestigahan pa raw ng CSC kung sino ang dapat managot sa naganap na mga pagbabago at pag-shade sa mga detalye sa naturang SALN ng mga opisyal.

    Pero sa agarang pagtatanggol ng Malacañang sa kanilang Cabinet officials, ang tingin ng iba ay para na rin nilang inamin ang kanilang pananagutan sa naturang isyu.

    Alalahaning ang mga opisyal ni Duterte ang dapat nagpapakita ng magandang halimbawa at magsilbing huwaran para sundan ng ibang naglilingkod sa pamahalaan.

    Pero kung sila mismo ang hindi susunod sa mga alituntunin ng gobyerno at maglilihim ng kanilang yaman ay walang dahilan para hindi sila pagdudahan ng mamamayan. Pagsira ito sa pagtitiwala ng publiko at tiyak na sasalamin sa Pangulo.

    Naniniwala ang Firing Line na ang pagtitiwala ay parang papel na kapag nalukot at napunit ay hindi na maaaring manumbalik pa sa dati.

    *              *              *

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

      *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

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    Being truthful*

    September 28th, 2017

    BEING truthful means a strict adherence to a policy of honesty and openness. This is a quality that should be practiced by each and every one in everyday life and in any field of work.

    Being truthful also means being trustworthy. Our words are just as important as our actions: They must be truthful.

     

     

     

    People can be sensitive when trust is concerned. When the faith entrusted is broken, it may take years, decades or even a whole lifetime for confidence to return, if it still can be salvaged.

    For this plain and simple reason, the fact that some of our government officials still seem impervious to the public’s sentiments when trust is concerned at this day and age when people are fighting for transparency never ceases to amaze me.

    Redactions have been noted by media outfits on items declared by current and former Cabinet officials in their statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) since December 2016 that were released by the Malacañang Records Office.

    This simply cannot go unnoticed since the items redacted include some of the most crucial details why public officials are required by law to file their SALNs in the first place. These include information regarding their real and personal properties, business interests, asset values while liabilities are blacked out quite possibly with a marker.

    *              *              *

    They discovered that there were 167 redacted details found among 29 reviewed SALNs blacked out by long and blotchy rectangles.

    The amounts of personal properties on 28 of the SALNs were also found to have been blacked out while the exact locations of real properties in 24 were redacted.

    More importantly, only the cities or provinces of the real properties and business interests of some Cabinet officials were left readable.

    One official led the pack of Duterte’s Cabinet with 10 redactions to his SALN while some of his colleagues had five to nine redactions each.

    A Cabinet secretary even used an outdated form in his June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2016 SALNs. He used a SALN form mandated by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and promulgated in 2011. However, the CSC promulgated in 2015 a revised SALN form to be used from then on.

    Why do they keep the truth regarding their true worth secret from the public? Don’t tell me they are unaware of the changes to their SALN.

    Bear in mind that a Cabinet official functions as an extension of the President. With a truly sensitive voting public always on the lookout, any form of insincerity on the part of these officials no matter how trivial will definitely reflect on the Chief Executive.

    *              *              *

    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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    Pagkitil sa pagkatao*

    September 26th, 2017

    SA TINGIN ng marami ay hindi dapat balewalain ang lumalaking bilang ng napapaslang sa kampanya ni President Rodrigo Duterte laban sa ipinagbabawal na droga.

    Noon ay sinasabing adik at tulak ng droga ang nasasawi pero nitong huli ay may kabataan na rin. Halimbawa rito ang 17-anyos na si Kian delos Santos na lumabas sa awtopsiya na hindi lumaban sa pulis na pumaslang sa kanya.

     

     

    May naniniwalang malaking dagok sa lipunan kung patuloy itong magaganap at magsasawalang-kibo lang ang publiko.

    Nagbabala si Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David na mas delikado sa pagpatay sa mga adik at suspek sa droga ay ang “pagkitil ng konsensya” ng mga tao sa isang bansa na karamihan ng naninirahan ay mga Katoliko. Ito raw ang simula ng pagtanggap na tama ang isang maling gawain.

    Bilang obispo, ang kawan na hawak ng 58-anyos na si David na susunod na vice president ng Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) ay ang Caloocan.

    Ito ang kontrobersyal na lugar kung saan nanirahan at nasawi si Delos Santos at napatay rin ang 19-anyos na si Carl Arnaiz na inakusahan na nanlaban sa mga humuhuling pulis matapos mangholdap ng taxi. Batay sa awtopsiya at testigo ay hindi ito lumaban sa arresting officers nang paslangin.

    Ang galit ng sambayanan ay nakatutok sa Caloocan City police na inaakusahang nag-frame up at pumaslang sa mga kabataang ito.

    Tungkulin ni David na pag-ingatan ang Diocese of Caloocan na ipinagkatiwala sa kanyang pangangalaga.

    Ayon sa iba, kapag ang mga tupa ay sinasakmal at nilalamon na ng mga gutom na lobo ay dapat itigil o hadlangan umano ng pastol ang mga pamamaslang.

    Pambihirang tapang ang ipinakikita ni David sa pagtatanggol sa kanyang mga pinangangalagaan, lalo na sa pinakamahihina na tinutugis at kailangan niyang ipagtanggol, kaya mahal siya ng mga taga-Caloocan.

    Sinasabing mahigit 14,000 Pilipino na ang nasasawi sa mga operasyon na isinagawa ng kapulisan at sa mga kamay ng mga walang awang vigilante.

    Maaaring lumalala talaga ang pagsama ng ugali ng marami. Dahil sa modernong panahon ay madaling ipaalam ang damdamin at sama ng loob ng isang tao sa kanyang kapwa sa social media kung saan sila nagsasagutan, nagmumurahan at nagpapalitan ng maaanghang na salita.

    Pero para sa Firing Line, ang pagbalewala sa lumalaking bilang ng mga napapaslang ay higit na nakababagabag dahil hindi lang ito pagkitil sa konsensya kundi pagkitil sa ating pagkatao bilang mga nilalang.

    Kung mabubuhay tayo ng walang pagpapahalaga sa buhay ng ating kapwa ay para saan pa ang ating pagiging tao?

    *              *              *

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

     

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

     

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    Embattled*

    September 21st, 2017

    THE Commission on Human Rights is in no enviable situation at the moment as the House voted to give it a P1,000 budget for 2018, along with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Energy Regulatory Commission.

    Still, this decision has to be reconciled through a bicameral conference that will consist of representatives from both the Senate and the House.

     

     

    Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said the House would be giving the CHR a P1,000-budget due to its failure to perform its job. Surprisingly, majority of the House members supported Alvarez as they voted 119-32 for that budget.

    The House plans to allocate funds supposedly for the CHR, NCIP and ERC to fund the free tuition law signed by President Duterte.

    The CHR has received criticism coming mostly from the camp of the administration following its statements against the ongoing war on drugs but not on the victims of crimes.

    The agency has frequently expressed concern over the deaths linked to the drug war, especially the ones which it believed were unjustified.

    But then, is this not the main function of the CHR? Our people should bear in mind that the mandate of the CHR is to help the victims of government abuses, and not victims of ordinary crimes, which is a police matter.

    If one falls victim to a criminal and gets killed, the family seeks the help of the police. But if the person gets victimized by the police or other government forces, he or his next-of-kin runs to the CHR.

    In plain and simple words, it is the body that implements the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. You cannot expect them to remain silent when a lot of people are getting killed.

    A senator even went as far as telling CHR Chairman Chito Gascon that he should resign if he cannot support the President’s war on drugs, to which Speaker Alvarez readily agreed.

    The P1,000-budget was probably made to symbolize the anger of our congressmen towards CHR. They should, however, realize that it could also symbolize the worth of the human rights of Filipinos under this administration.

    The plan to transfer the budget of the CHR, NCIP and ERC to free tuition is perceived by many as a means to divert the people’s attention to the real issue which is human rights, and make the people behind it appear pleasant under the public eye.

    *              *              *

    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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    Buong Caloocan police sibak*

    September 19th, 2017

    SUMAGAD na talaga ang mga pagkakasabit na kinasangkutan ng mga miyembro ng Caloocan City police, na kinilala pa naman bilang “Best City Police Station” sa National Capital Region noong isang buwan.

    Iniutos ni National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Oscar Albayalde na tanggalin sa puwesto ang lahat ng pulis sa Caloocan.

     

     

     

    Pansamantalang itatalaga ang mga miyembro ng NCRPO Regional Public Safety Battalion at Civil Disturbance Management upang palitan ang mahigit 1,000 pulis-Caloocan na isasailalim umano sa retraining.

    Nasagad ang pasensya ni Albayalde sa pinakabagong insidente na kinasangkutan ng mga pulis-Caloocan kaugnay ng pagnanakaw sa bahay ng 51-anyos na residente na nakilala bilang “Lorena”.

    Sa halip na armado ng search warrant ay bolt cutter ang ginamit ng mga pulis upang makapasok sa bahay ni Lorena.

    Kitang kita sa CCTV na unang pumasok ang isang lalaking asset na may kapansanan na may nakaumang na baril at nakasuot ng police vest. Kasunod niya ang isang menor de edad na nakasuot ng hoodie at ibang pulis. Ibinulsa ng bata ang mga relo, cell phone at natuklasan din ni Lorena na nawala ang kanyang P30,000 cash.

    Ayon sa may-ari ng bahay ay itinuro siya na kinukuhahan ng droga ng isang drug suspect na alyas “Bebe” na nahuli noong araw na iyon. Pero ang giit ni Lorena ay ni hindi pa nakatutuntong sa kanilang bahay si Bebe. Inamin niya na may alitan daw ang kanyang asawa at ang ama ni Bebe.

    Mahirap talagang umasa sa mga inginunguso ng mga asset o nahuhuling suspek dahil maging ang walang kasalanan ay nabibiktima kapag naituro kahit na personal na alitan naman ang dahilan.

    Hindi ba’t ang ugat ng pagkakapatay ng mga pulis-Caloocan kay Kian delos Santos ay itinuro siya ng isang drug personality?

    Bukod sa kontrobersyal na pamamaslang kay Delos Santos na ayon sa awtopsiya ay binaril nang walang laban ay ganito rin ang natuklasan sa pagkasawi ni Carl Angelo Arnaiz sa kamay rin ng mga pulis-Caloocan.

    Sa pinakabagong kapalpakan ay isinama pa ng mga pulis ang asset at menor de edad sa operasyon nang hindi inaalintana ang kanilang kaligtasan.

    Pinupuri ng Firing Line ang ginawang pagsibak ni Albayalde sa mga pulis-Caloocan. Pero sapat na ba ang pagpapatupad ng disiplina?

    Hindi maitatanggi na may mga pulis na matitino at tunay na sumusunod sa batas. Ibukod sila sa mga tunay na iskalawag na dapat alisin nang tuluyan at parusahan sa kanilang kasalanan. Ito ang pagpapatunay na may integridad pa rin sa PNP at totoong sumusunod sila sa batas.

    *              *              *

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

     

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

     

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    DNA test challenged*

    September 14th, 2017

    BASED on the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP), the body fished out of a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija last week is not that of 14-year-old Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman.

    The police said the DNA test from the samples taken from the cadaver and those from De Guzman’s parents was a 99.9 percent negative match.

     

     

     

    However, Kulot’s father Eduardo Gabriel refused to accept the PNP findings and asked for a new round of DNA tests to be conducted by another institution.

    Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta dismissed the announcement of the PNP regarding the DNA findings, saying the body was identified by De Guzman’s parents themselves as that of their son.

    Also, there were several marks found on the corpse, including a wart on the leg, that matched those of Kulot. Acosta questioned who asked the PNP to conduct a DNA test.

    But Attorney Jose Justiniano, a criminal law expert, said it is the prerogative of a police investigator to have the DNA of an unidentified body tested to establish its identity.

    Despite the DNA test, De Guzman’s parents remain firm in the belief that the cadaver belongs to that of their missing son.

    *              *              *

    Kulot was last seen with 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz on August 17 before they both went missing.

    Arnaiz allegedly shot it out and was killed by members of the Caloocan City police who reportedly accosted him for robbing a cab driver. However, autopsy reports indicate that Arnaiz could not have fought back when shot by the police.

    The cab driver himself, Tomas Bagcal, claimed Arnaiz was still alive when he took him to a precinct following the alleged robbery and the “shootout” as claimed by the police was merely “scripted.”

    Another vital witness surfaced at the office of Senator Panfilo Lacson. This 21-year-old man said he saw a boy, believed to be De Guzman, together with Arnaiz inside the police vehicle before the killing took place.

    President Duterte said some quarters may be using the recent teen deaths as a way to sabotage his campaign against illegal drugs and criminality to fuel public anger.

    Firing Line is in total support of the government’s fight against drugs. But how can a teen death be perceived as an act of sabotage when forensic analysis revealed that Arnaiz was shot while already on the ground, possibly tortured and handcuffed as well?

    *              *              *

    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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    Biktima*

    September 12th, 2017

    NADAGDAGAN muli ang talaan ng mga kabataang nasasawi bunga ng karahasan matapos matagpuan ang bangkay ng 14-anyos na binatilyo na si Reynaldo de Guzman alyas “Kulot” sa isang punerarya sa Gapan, Nueva Ecija noong isang linggo.

    Nakita raw ang katawan ni De Guzman sa isang creek ng mga residente ng lugar. Nagtamo raw ito ng 30 saksak sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng katawan at binalutan pa ng packing tape sa mukha. Ganito ang karaniwang nakikita sa mga biktima ng “extra-judicial killings”.

     

    Si De Guzman ang kasama ng 19-anyos na si Carl Angelo Arnaiz, ang dating estudyante ng University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, nang mawala sila noong Agosto 17 matapos umalis sa kanilang tahanan sa Cainta, Rizal na ang paalam ay bibili lang ng mapapapak.

    Si Arnaiz, anak ng isang overseas Filipino worker (OFW) sa Middle East, ay napatay ng Caloocan City Police matapos silang rumesponde sa isang panghoholdap sa taxi noong Agosto 18. Nanlaban at nakipagbarilan daw kasi ito sa mga dumating na pulis kaya nasawi.

    Pero hindi ba gasgas na gasgas na ang katwirang ito ng mga pulis kapag may napapatay sila kaya marami ang hindi na naniniwala?

    Lumabas sa isinagawang pagsusuri ng Public Attoney’s Office (PAO) na may palatandaang si Arnaiz ay na-torture at may posibilidad umanong binaril habang nakaposas.

    Nasibak sa puwesto ang dalawang pulis na itinurong nasa likod ng pagkamatay ni Carl. Natagpuan ang kanyang bangkay sa isang punerarya sa Caloocan 10 araw matapos itong maiulat na nawawala.

    Naniniwala ang pamilya Arnaiz na imposible mangholdap si Carl dahil mabait itong bata. Valedictorian daw siya nang magtapos sa elementarya at gradweyt sa Makati Science High School bago mag-aral sa UP.

    Lumutang na ang taxi driver na si Tomas Bagcal at kinumpirma na hinoldap siya ni Arnaiz. Pero “scripted” daw ang pahayag ng pulis na nagkaroon ng barilan. Matapos i-turn over si Arnaiz sa mga pulis ay panandalian daw itong nakulong.

    Nang ilabas umano si Arnaiz ng mga pulis ay pinasunod si Bagcal sa C3 Road. Doon ay pinalakad daw si Carl bago nakarinig ang driver ng mga putok ng baril. Nagkubli raw si Bagcal sa likod ng poste at nakitang bumagsak si Arnaiz.

    Ano ang nangyayari sa ating mga alagad ng batas? Sakali mang sangkot sa holdap o droga ang suspek ay hindi naman sila kailangang paslangin nang walang kalaban-laban.

    Palaisipan din kung paano umabot sa Gapan ang bangkay ng kasama ni Arnaiz nang ito ay mawala? May mga naghihinalang konektado ang sinapit nina Arnaiz at De Guzman.

    *              *              *

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

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    ‘You can’t kill the truth’*

    September 7th, 2017

    FORMER Environment Secretary Gina Lopez is alarmed that the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) reviewing the ban on open pit mining is being assisted by a lawyer who used to work for the mines and co-chaired by an official who is clearly pro-mining.

    Lopez claims that her experience in the Commission of Appointments opened her eyes to business maneuverings even if the people suffer as a result.

     

     

    Open pit mining was banned by Lopez when she was still Environment secretary. She described this heartless practice as horrendous beyond words.

    Firing Line tends to agree in that conclusion and that the suffering will indeed go on forever.

    Lopez points out that open pits need to be maintained forever. If left not detoxified and neutralized regularly, the acid water and toxic metals they generate will continue to pollute the rivers, streams and adversely affect the lives of the communities living in the area.

    Miners will not be there forever. This makes the open pits a continuing financial liability to our government as it will be left to shoulder their maintenance.

    Another reason for her ban is open pits kill the economic potential of the area, the biodiversity, possibilities of ecotourism and a lot more. There are more than 14 open pit mines in the Philippines. Ten of them are abandoned or suspended while five are filled with toxic acid water or heavy metals.

    The Constitution says that the state shall promote social justice in all phases of national development. Yet, the government has allowed open pit mining near rivers and streams, putting communities eternally at risk.

    An example is Marcopper Mining Corporation in Marinduque which stopped operations in 1996 and is considered one of the worst mining disasters in the world. Two rivers were declared biologically dead due to the open pit mine.

    It has disastrously affected the economic potential of the entire province for 21 years while children, farmers and fishermen whose lives are destroyed continue to suffer from the poisons of the open pit.

    She points out that mining is not a right but a privilege granted to operators under certain conditions. It is subject to the police power of the state to protect the common good and general welfare of the countrymen.

    Lopez has a genuine concern for the environment and the people affected by the monstrosities of its abusers. Will there still be hope for the victims?

    *              *              *

    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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    Nabunutan ng tinik*

    September 5th, 2017

    TOTOONG hindi matatawaran ang mga accomplishment ni Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido bilang opisyal ng pulis, lalo na kaugnay ng digmaan laban sa droga.

    Pero hindi lahat ng naisin ay ating makukuha. Maaalalang si President Duterte pa mismo ang nagpahayag na maililipat si Espenido sa Iloilo City noong Agosto 28.

     

     

     

    Pero nagpahayag si Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 Director Cesar Binag na si Senior Superintendent Henry Binas na ang mamumuno sa Iloilo City police simula Septiyembre 1.

    Kailangan kasing maging senior superintendent si Espenido para mapamunuan ang malaking lungsod na tulad ng Iloilo. Sa kasalukuyang ranggong chief inspector ay mangangailangan pa siya ng dalawang promosyon para maging karapat-dapat sa puwesto.

    Mabuti at ibinatay nila ang desisyon sa mga umiiral na patakaran at hindi dahil sa iniutos lamang ito ng Pangulo.

    Marami sa mga nakatutok at nagmamasid sa mga nasasawi bunga ng kampanya ng administrasyon laban sa droga ay parang nabunutan ng tinik nang makansela ang appointment ni Espenido.

    Maaalalang tinukoy mismo ni Duterte ang dalawang alkalde na kapwa nasa drug list niya na napaslang sa mga raid ng pulis noong si Espenido ang nakaupo bilang hepe sa kanilang lugar.

    Si Espenido ang hepe sa Albuera, Leyte nang mapatay si Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. sa police raid sa kanyang selda. Siya rin ang hepe ng Ozamiz City nang mapaslang si Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog sa isang madugong operasyon ng mga pulis.

    Kaya nga inisip ni Duterte kung makaliligtas daw kaya si Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog sakaling si Espenido ang hepe ng kanyang pulis. Si Mabilog ay kasama rin sa talaan ng droga ng Pangulo pero itinanggi ito ng alkalde.

    Biro man o hindi ang pahayag ng Pangulo, para sa maraming nag-aalala sa sunud-sunod na pamamaslang sa mga suspek sa droga ay hindi ito katawa-tawa.

    Dahil nga sa walang habas na mga pamamaslang ay nasawi ang 17-anyos na grade 11 student na si Kian delos Santos na iginigiit ng mga pulis na nanlaban samantalang iba ang lumabas sa isinagawang awtopsiya.

    Ang laging ikinakatwiran ng mga pulis kapag may mga napapatay sila sa drug operation ay nanlaban ang suspek. Hindi naman itinatanggi ng Firing Line na may mga lehitimong operasyon kung saan lumaban talaga ang suspek.

    Pero kapag sunud-sunod na ang balita na pawang nanlaban ang hinuhuli ay nagkakaroon na ng pagdududa sa isipan ng nakararami. At ang tanong pa nila ay ilan na raw kaya ang mga “Kian delos Santos” na pinalabas na lumaban kahit na binaril nang wala umanong laban?

    *              *              *

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

     

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

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    ‘Cry for Justice’*

    August 31st, 2017

    THE funeral march for slain 17-year-old grade 11 student Kian delos Santos made a brief stop in front of the Caloocan City PCP 7 where the cops involved in his killing were assigned.

    In an attempt perhaps to shake the conscience of those involved in the crime, Father George Alfonso, Santa Quiteria Church parish priest, read “Panaghoy sa Katarungan (Cry for Justice)” in front of the precinct.

     

     

    Hundreds of people who attended the march all prayed that Delos Santos and other victims of the bloody drug war would get justice.

    At present, Delos Santos has become the symbol of the alleged police abuses in the war on drugs. Thousands have already perished since President Duterte launched his bloody campaign.

    On her Twitter account, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions Agnes Callamard expressed her heart-felt condolences to the Delos Santos family and to all families who were suppposedly victimized by this cruel war.

    Callamard urged the Philippines to make the death of Kian the last in the war on drugs. She said that the teenager’s death was murder and that all unlawful deaths must be investigated.

    Autopsy results showed Kian was on the ground when he sustained a gunshot wound to the back, to the back of the left ear and one inside the left ear from the shooter who was standing up. This contradicted the cops’ claim that the boy resisted arrest and traded shots with them.

    *              *              *

    One of several witnesses under the care of the Public Attorney’s Office allegedly has a cell phone video that captured scenes showing Kian’s execution. PAO intends to examine this video as it seeks to find additional pieces of evidence to the killing.

    Still, PAO chief Persida Acosta maintains that the evidence they already have against the respondent-lawmen are already strong and airtight.

    Firing Line believes that even if Kian was truly involved in illegal drugs as the police claim, there was no reason to kill him in cold blood.

    Intentionally killing someone not involved in drugs is an even bigger blunder. It raises more doubts on how trustworthy our police really are, as well as the safety of the public they ought to protect. All police operations should be conducted by the book.

    *              *              *

    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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    Hustisya*

    August 29th, 2017

    INIHATID na sa huling hantungan ang 17-anyos at grade 11 student na si Kian delos Santos noong Sabado, Agosto 26, sa La Loma Cemetery.

    Inilibing si Delos Santos mahigit isang linggo makalipas ang malupit na police operation kung saan natapos ang kanyang buhay sa kamay ng mga pulis na hanggang ngayon ay iginigiit na sangkot siya sa iligal na droga.

    Pero nanatiling matatag ang kanyang magulang na sina Saldy at Lorenza sa pagpapahayag na ang kanilang anak ay hindi drug courier na tulad ng sinasabi ng mga pulis. Tahasan din nilang itinanggi ang sinasabi ng mga awtoridad na si Saldy at ang kanyang kapatid ay konektado sa droga.

    Daan-daang mga tao kabilang na ang mga kaanak, kaibigan, kapitbahay at tagasuporta ang sumama sa martsa at iba’t ibang grupo ang naghintay sa lansangan sa pagdaan ng motorcade na naghatid kay Delos Reyes sa libingan.

    Iisa ang kanilang panawagan: Hustisya para kay Kian at matuldukan ang mga pamamaslang na nagaganap sa digmaan ng gobyerno laban sa iligal na droga.

    Si Delos Santos ay pinagbabaril sa isinagawang operasyon ng mga pulis sa Caloocan City dahil nanlaban umano ito sa mga humuhuli sa kanya. Pero hindi ba ito ang laging lumalabas sa mga kuwento ng mga pulis kapag may hinuhuli at napapaslang sila?

    Taliwas ito sa sinasabi ng mga testigo, sa kuha ng CCTV at sa mismong awtopsiya kung saan lumabas na si Kian ay hindi lumaban at nasa lupa nang barilin sa likuran, sa likod ng taynga at loob ng taynga kaya nasawi.

    Ang dalawa sa tatlong pulis na sangkot sa pamamaril kay Delos Santos ay umamin sa imbestigasyon ng Internal Affairs Service (IAS) na ang nasawing estudyante nga ang kanilang kinakaladkad patungo sa isang eskinita.

    Maaalalang sumabog ang galit ng publiko nang makita sa social media ang CCTV footage na nagpapakitang kinaladkad ng mga pulis si Delos Santos.

    Sa pagdinig ng Senado ay inamin ng mga pulis na nalaman lang nila na sangkot si Delos Santos sa droga batay sa pahayag ng isang pusher ng droga at sa pamamagitan ng social media nang matapos ang kanilang operasyon.

    Ano na ang nangyari sa pagmamanman na dapat nilang ginagawa muna para matiyak kung sangkot ang kanilang target sa droga?

    Umaayon ang Firing Line sa kampanya ng administrasyon upang mawakasan ang iligal na droga. Pero ang panawagan lang natin ay sumunod sana sa batas ang mga pulis at hindi ito maging daan para sa walang kapararakang mga pamamaslang at pang-aabuso kung saan sinu-sino ang nadadamay.

    *              *              *

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

     

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

     

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    ‘Without a fight’*

    August 24th, 2017

    THE Caloocan City policemen insist that Kian Loyd delos Santos, the 17-year-old 11th grader whom they killed, was involved in illegal drugs.

    After the slaying hit the headlines, Philippine National Police Director-General Ronald dela Rosa said Delos Santos delivered drugs for his father and uncle and presented a professed pusher who claimed to have had transactions with the victim. Next, the cops said Delos Santos sold 10 grams of shabu to his customers every day on a regular basis.

     

     

    Most people, however, believe these cops are frantic to find justification for killing Delos Santos. They insist that Kian resisted arrest and shot it out during their anti-narcotics drive.

    However, the CCTV video footage showed policemen dragging Delos Santos to the place where he was eventually shot.

    The same footage sparked the anger of lawmakers, celebrities, human rights groups and majority of the people leading to the condemnation of the cops involved in the operation.

    More importantly, results of the autopsy conducted by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) forensic laboratory showed that Delos Santos was on the ground when he sustained a gunshot wound to his back, to the back of his left ear and one inside his left ear from the shooter who was standing up.

    Doctor Erwin Erfe, chief of the PAO Forensic Laboratory, said it would appear as an intentional killing in forensics parlance. There were no indications that Delos Santos fought back.

    He also questioned why the gun supposedly used by Delos Santos to fire at the cops was found near his left hand when the boy was right-handed. It was allegedly impossible for a right-handed person to shoot using his left hand unless he was a trained shooter or law enforcer.

    Firing Line has been supportive of the administration’s anti-drug campaign. With addicts and pushers in jail, it would eventually result in a much safer environment for the public.

    But the spate of killings from these police operations now includes the death of a teenager like Delos Santos who wanted to be a cop and was described by his family, neighbors and friends as a clean-living youth.

    Should we now be wary not only of the addicts and pushers but the police as well who might attack us in case their asset points an accusing hand and says we are involved in illegal drugs?

    *              *              *

    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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    Nakaaalarma*

    August 22nd, 2017

    MAGING ang Senado ay naaalarma na sa lumalaking bilang ng mga nasasawi sa mga isinasagawang operasyon ng kapulisan laban sa iligal na droga.

    Ang lalong nagpainit sa paksang ito ay ang naganap na pagpatay ng mga pulis kamakailan sa 17-anyos na si Kian delos Santos dahil nanlaban umano ito sa pag-aresto.

     

     

     

    Nagliliyab sa galit ang maraming senador at pati ang mga kaalyado ng Pangulo ay nagpakawala ng maaanghang na salita laban sa mga pulis dahil hindi nila maiwasang barilin ang mga pinaghihinalaang kriminal.

    Magtitipun-tipon ang mga senador upang desisyunan ang mga panawagan na magsagawa sila ng pagsisiyasat sa sunud-sunod na operasyon ng Philippine National Police (PNP) na nagresulta sa kasawian ng marami.

    May mga pumupuna na parang nagpapaligsahan umano ang mga pulis sa paramihan ng mapapaslang.

    Sang-ayon ang Firing Line na nararapat paigtingin ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga pero kailangan isagawa ito nang naaayon sa batas. May mga patakaran na itinakda ang kapulisan sa ganitong mga operasyon na dapat sundin.

    Hindi ko naman inaalis ang posibilidad na may mga lehitimong operasyon ang mga pulis kung saan totoong lumalaban ang mga hinuhuli kaya nauuwi sa putukan ang operasyon.

    Ayon kay Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III ay hindi na nila kailangan pang hintayin ang magiging resulta ng pagsisiyasat ng Internal Affairs Service (IAS) ng PNP dahil puwede naman nilang simulan ang sariling imbestigasyon sa naturang isyu.

    Kapag naaprubahan ang naturang pagsisiyasat ng Senado ay isasagawa ito ng committee on public order and dangerous drugs na pinamumunuan ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, na isang dating hepe ng PNP.

    Magiging detalyado ang imbestigasyon. Sisilipin kung paano ba ipinatutupad ng kapulisan ang “Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded”. Ano ba ang batayan bago sila gumamit ng dahas?

    Pati ang mga case folder ng bawat biktima, mapabata man o matanda, ay kanilang sisilipin upang malaman ang mga detalye. Mahirap nga naman tanggapin ang pare-parehong kuwento na pawang nagtatapos sa nanlaban ang mga biktima.

    Pero kung sakaling makapagsagawa ng masinsinang pagsisiyasat ang Senado sa naturang isyu, may mga nangangamba sa kahihinatnan nito.

    Hindi maitatanggi na maaaring lumakas ang loob ng mga tiwaling pulis at umabuso sa kanilang kapangyarihan dahil na rin sa buong suporta na ibinibigay sa kanila ni President Duterte.

    Baka raw sa halip na mapanagot ang mga pulis na tunay na nagkasala, ang ipinangangamba ng iba ay ang posibilidad na ma-promote pa sila at mapaganda ang mga puwesto.

    Kanino pa raw babaling ang kaanak ng mga biktima sa paghahanap nila ng hustisya kapag nangyari ito?

    *              *              *

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

     

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

     

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    Untouchable?*

    August 17th, 2017

    TO THIS day, small town lottery or simply STL is still being used and abused by those involved in the illegal numbers game, particularly “jueteng”.

    Although STL operates legally under the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), illegal gambling syndicates have been using it as a cover for their jueteng operations.

     

     

     

    Once these gambling lords are given an STL franchise by PCSO, they seem to think they are untouchable and can freely operate jueteng under the guise of STL anywhere they want.

    A retired general who happens to be a “mistah” of a PCSO official in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of ’82 lawyers for an STL franchise holder that operates as an illegal bookie. The franchise owner known as “Don Ramon” is reportedly subcontracting his operation to a group that runs the bookie joint. With the retired general flexing his muscles whenever the franchise is raided by the police, can anyone blame these gambling lords for their audacity?

    I am not insinuating that PCSO officials are corrupt in any way. However, some people are in doubt if these officials have remained unaware of these gambling lords and their illegal activities concerning jueteng which have come out in the news so many times before.

    Even Director-General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, has had enough and ordered a nationwide crackdown on syndicates operating jueteng under the guise of the government-authorized STL.

    Dela Rosa wants an out-and-out war against jueteng as he gave all his 18 regional directors 15 days to stamp out illegal gambling in their respective areas of jurisdiction or be relieved from their position.

    Although mayors and other local officials want to save and shield their constituents from being hooked on gambling, they appear powerless and too weak to lift a finger and fight these gambling lords who continue to bleed out the underprivileged of the hard-earned coins in their pockets.

    A word of advice from Firing Line to these mayors who sincerely want to get rid of the gambling lords in their areas. You can do what a former mayor of Metro Manila did to stop them some years back: Raid and lock up the place of their operation for not having a mayor’s permit.

    These gambling lords are of the mistaken notion that the STL franchise they acquire comes with an iron hand to do anything, and they would need nothing else. But the fact remains that the franchise is not enough and they cannot operate without the necessary mayor’s permit.

    Don’t let these syndicates lord it over your cities and municipalities. Illegal gambling should be stopped.

    *              *              *

     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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    Ugat ng problema*

    August 15th, 2017

    NAPAKAINIT na isyu ang kargamento ng iligal na droga mula China na nagkakahalaga ng P6.4 bilyon na nakalusot sa Bureau of Customs (BoC) bunga umano ng katiwalian ng ilang opisyal.

    Ito ang pinakamalaking shipment ng shabu na nakapasok sa bansa kaya nararapat masibak ang mga sangkot na opisyal.

     

     

     

    Pero ayon sa liham ni Zhang Xiaohui, pinuno ng International Enforcement Cooperation Division-Anti-Smuggling Bureau (ASB) ng Customs ng China, batay sa kanilang intelligence ay wala raw Pilipino na sangkot sa pagpupuslit ng droga sa ating bansa nitong nagdaang Mayo.

    Bukod dito ay nag-iisa umano itong shipment ng droga na ipinadala sa Pilipinas at walang iba silang natunugan.

    Ang liham ay kanilang ipinadala kay Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon na namumroblema at ilang ulit hindi nakadadalo sa pagdinig ng Kongreso dahil daw sa masamang kalusugan.

    Pinuri pa ng ASB ang BoC dahil sa matagumpay nitong pagkumpiska sa 605 kilo ng shabu batay sa impormasyon na nagmula sa China.

    Pero wala sanang magiging problema kung hindi nakalabas ang droga sa China. Sa kanila nag-ugat ang problema at kung hindi sila naging pabaya ay hindi ito makararating sa Pilipinas.

    *              *              *

    Nilinis ng pinuno ng ASB ang pagkakaugnay ng mga Pilipino sa pagpasok ng droga sa Pilipinas.

    Pero nakaligtaan yata niya ang katotohanan na hindi makalalabas ng BoC ang napakalaking kargamento ng shabu kung hindi pinalusot ng corrupt na mga opisyal.

    Kumanta na sa pagdinig ng Kongreso si Mark Ruben Taguba II, broker ng naturang kargamento ng shabu, at pinangalanan ang ilang opisyal ng Customs na regular umano niyang sinusuhulan para palusutin ang mga kontrabando.

    Kung paulit-ulit siyang nakapagpupuslit palabas ng BoC ng mga kontrabando ay maliwanag na may korapsyon pa rin nagaganap dito. Alangan naman isipin na ang nilalagyan ni Taguba rito ay ang tagapagwalis lang ng Customs.

    *              *              *

    Ang droga ay nasamsam ng pinagsanib na puwersa ng BoC at National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) sa isang warehouse sa Paseo de Blas, Valenzuela City.

    Ang grupong dapat nauna sa pagpasok sa warehouse ay ang Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), pero tinawagan ang ahensya ilang oras makalipas ang raid.

    Bukod dito, 100 kilong shabu lamang ang ipina-safekeeping sa PDEA samantalang ang 505 kilo ay ipinatabi sa NBI.

    Kinuwestyon ito sa Senado at kinondena ang isang opisyal ng Customs. Batay sa batas ay dapat mapunta sa PDEA ang lahat ng droga na nakumpiska sa raid at hindi sa ibang ahensya.

    May nagtatanong tuloy kung ano raw kaya ang balak ng Customs sa droga?

    *              *              *

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    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

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