Posts by Robert:

    Don’t rush your decision*

    February 15th, 2018

    WE understand why the government issued a total deployment ban on Filipinos who want to work in Kuwait.

    President Rodrigo Duterte asked workers in Kuwait to return as he provided free flights for those who are distressed, given amnesty, and others who simply want to be repatriated.

    The President’s order to bring home distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) stemmed from the death of Joanna Daniela Demapilis whose body was found inside a freezer.

    The case of Demapilis was among seven recent deaths in Kuwait. Duterte even threatened to withdraw all Filipinos if another worker dies there.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs has already coordinated with Kuwaiti police for its official report on Demapilis’s death. She was apparently strangled and her body allegedly showed signs of torture.

    Yet, the government should also take into consideration that not every employer is a devil in disguise who tortures and beats up his employees, and not every Filipino among the 251,000 OFWs in Kuwait is eager to return home. Some are actually getting along and doing well with their bosses.

    These OFWs include college graduates working as domestic helpers, licensed nurses working as caregivers and flight attendants, dentists working as dental assistants or hygienists, and even doctors working as nurses.

    If they concede to the government’s wishes, will these workers be given an alternative job with the same salary being given them in Kuwait? These Filipinos would be truly lucky if they even land a job back home.

    Remember, it is the lack of well-paying jobs or any type of employment that drove these Filipinos to seek employment abroad in the first place.

    *              *              *

    Bear in mind that even with a total ban on deployment, Filipinos would still find ways and means to leave the country and fly to Kuwait even if they have to go through the so-called “back door”.

    In this scenario, we would only be pushing them to seek help from illegal recruiters who have the gall to promise to turn their dreams into reality, collect huge fees and send their victims flying with fake travel papers to non-existent jobs. Most of these poor travelers get held at the airport and are sent back on the next available flight.

    And despite the threat of being duped, Filipinos would still take the risk if it meant that this could possibly provide a better future for their loved ones.

    *              *              *

    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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    Hilakbot sa Dengvaxia*

    February 13th, 2018

    SAAN mang bahagi ng mundo ay hindi masisisi ang mga tao kung magkaroon sila ng hilakbot o matinding pangamba sa bakuna dahil hindi nakasisiguro ang sino man sa puwedeng maging epekto nito.

    Sa katunayan, umani ang gobyerno ng Africa ng masidhing galit mula sa publiko nang isailalim ang mga kabataan at may sapat na gulang na mga kababaihan sa puwersahang pagbabakuna laban sa tetano noong 2014 at 2015.

    Ang hinala nila ay posibleng isterilisasyon o proseso ng pag-aalis sa kakayahan na magkaanak ang naganap at naging epekto ng naturang pagbabakuna.

    Ayon sa opposition leader ng Kenya na si Raila Odinga, hindi bababa sa 500,000 mga babaing nasa edad 14 hanggang 49 ang posibleng hindi na magkaanak bunga ng bakuna na ibinenta sa bansa bilang panlaban sa tetano.

    Unang pumalag ang isang grupo ng mga doktor na Katoliko na nag-akusa na ang bakuna ay posibleng nagtataglay ng hormone na beta human chorionic gonadotropin (BhCG) na mapanganib sa mga babae at posibleng maging dahilan ng isterilisasyon.

    Pero kumontra man ang Simbahang Katoliko at nangampanya laban sa naganap na malawakang pagbabakuna na puwedeng maging dahilan ng pagkakalaglag ng ipinagdadalantao ay nabalewala lang ito.

    Ayon kay Odinga, nakumpirma sa kanilang pagsusuri na tama ang Simbahang Katoliko na ang bakunang ginamit ay nagtataglay ng pinangangambahang hormone.

    Malaking krimen umano ito sa mga babae na dapat mabigyan ng pagkakataon na mamili kung kailan nila gustong magkaanak.

    Nang masuspindi ang pharmaceutical company na Agriq-Quest Ltd. Ay inakusahan nila ang gobyerno na kaya sila sinuspindi ay ayaw nilang doktorin ang resulta ng pagsusuri para palabasin na ligtas gamitin ang bakuna sa mga kabataan at kababaihan. Nakita kasi ng Agriq-Quest na tama ang hinala ng Simbahang Katoliko sa bakuna.

    Sa kabila ng kontrobersya na nilikha nito ay nakagugulat na nagpahayag ang UNICEF at pati na ang World Health Organization na ligtas gamitin ang bakuna na binili raw sa karapat-dapat na kompanya.

    Gayunman ay nagpahayag si Odinga na ang resulta ng pagsusuri ay mula sa kapita-pitagang mga institusyon na tulad ng mismong Agriq-Quest, Nairobi Hospital Laboratories, University of Nairobi at Lancet. Kenya.

    Ang kontrobersya na naganap sa Africa ay puwede ring mangyari sa ibang bahagi ng mundo. Kung tutuusin ay wala naman nakatitiyak kung magiging ligtas o hindi ang mga nagpapabakuna maliban na lang kapag may naganap na hindi kanais-nais sa pasyente.

    Masisisi ba natin kung magkaroon ng hilakbot ang mga magulang sa anumang klase ng bakuna tulad ng Dengvaxia kung kaligtasan ng mga anak ang nakasalalay rito?

    *              *              *

    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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    Is Federalism the key?*

    February 8th, 2018

    SOME people believe that shifting the system of government from unitary to federalism is the key to addressing the perennial problems of the country, especially on issues of governance and distribution of funds.

    Most administrative powers and resources currently belong to the national government and Malacañang decides on how much would be given to the local government units. Sometimes, governors and mayors would have to beg for approval of their projects.

    With Federalism, political units called states or regions would decide on these matters with little or no interference coming from the national government.

    The focus of the national government would be on foreign policy, defense and other national interests. On the other hand, states would be given autonomy and responsibility on the development of their very own industry, culture, public safety, education, transportation and healthcare.

    States would be given more power to handle their finances, development plans and laws since they have their own problems and situations to solve. They need not come to the national government for every problem they encounter.

    However, some states might not be ready for autonomy. As a matter of fact, some might not be as rich in natural resources or skilled labor as others.

    Naturally, states with effective leaders would progress faster than states with unproductive heads and their economy are expected to drop without the support of the national government.

    And federalism might not be enough for separatists who want a country and not just a state that they could call their own yet still remain under the Philippines. Bear in mind that armed clashes still continue in spite of the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

    *              *              *

    I like the idea of federalism in terms of regions and provinces having self-determination — the power to handle their own finances and development plans. However, were it left for me to choose, I would rather retain the bicameral system than the parliamentary form being proposed in Congress.

    In a bicameral form, there are more checks and balances and people can choose their president, vice presidents, senators and congressmen in a direct popular vote.

    Besides, I smell something fishy in some of the proposed amendments to the Constitution that only appeal to the whims and caprices of politicians.

    Finally, to me, the form of government is not as important as who runs it. No matter how good the system of governance may be, it will not run smoothly under a corrupt or abusive leader.

    *              *              *

    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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    Pangamba sa bakuna*

    February 6th, 2018

    UNTI-UNTING lumalawak ang pangamba ng maraming mamamayan sa iba’t ibang uri ng bakuna bunga ng kontrobersyal na Dengvaxia laban sa dengue na sinisisi ng ilan sa pagkasawi ng ilang mga bata.

    Maraming magulang ang tumatanggi ngayon na ipabakuna ang kanilang mga anak laban sa polio, chicken pox, tetano at iba pang mga sakit.

    Pero hindi rin naman sila masisisi dahil kapakanan lang ng mga anak ang kanilang inaalala, lalo pa ngayon na pumutok ang isyu sa kontrobersyal na Dengvaxia.

    Nakalulungkot ito dahil ang nais lang ng gobyerno ay maprotektahan ang mga kabataan at hindi sila madapuan ng kung anu-anong sakit.

    Taun-taon ay lubhang napakalaking tulong ang naidudulot ng mga bakuna upang hindi dapuan ng sakit ang mga batang Pinoy. Apektado tuloy ang programa ng pamahalaan dahil sa malawakang takot na nadarama ng mga magulang.

    Bumaba ang bilang ng mga batang sumasailalim sa imunisasyon kumpara sa mga nakalipas na taon mula nang suspendihin ng gobyerno ang pagbebenta at pamamahagi ng bakunang Dengvaxia na gawa sa France noong Disyembre.

    Nag-aalala ang pamahalaan sa posibilidad na magkaroon ng epidemya dahil sa hindi pagtangkilik ng mga magulang sa inihahandog nilang bakuna.

    Upang makatiyak kung may kinalaman nga sa Dengvaxia ang pagkasawi ng 14 na bata na kabilang sa 830,000 na tinurukan ng naturang bakuna ay iniimbestigahan na ito ng gobyerno.

    Ang Pilipinas ay isa sa may pinakamataas na bilang ng mga nasasawi sa dengue na nakukuha sa kagat ng lamok. Noong isang taon ay 732 biktima ang nasawi nang dahil sa dengue.

    Marahil ay kailangang paliwanagan nang husto ng pamahalaan ang mga magulang sa kahalagahan ng pagpapabakuna. Ang problema nga lang ay kung paano nila makukumbinsi ang mga magulang na ipabakuna ang mga anak hanggang hindi pa tuluyang nareresolba ang isyu sa Dengvaxia?

    Hindi maikakaila na maging ang mga dati at kasalukuyang opisyal ng gobyerno ay may kanya-kanyang pananaw at hindi nagkakasundo sa isyu.

    Ang Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) ay nagsasagawa ng pag-aawtopsiya at forensic investigation sa mga katawan ng mga pinaghihinalaang nasawi dahil sa Dengvaxia vaccine. Marami ang natutuwa sa pagsisikap na ibinubuhos ng PAO para matuklasan ang katotohanan.

    Pero nanawagan si dating Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Esperanza Cabral sa PAO na itigil ang kanilang pag-aawtopsiya at ipaubaya ang trabaho sa mga totoong eksperto. Hindi rin daw dapat isapubliko agad ng PAO ang kanilang findings dahil hindi pa tiyak kung may kinalaman sa Dengvaxia ang pagkasawi ng mga bata.

    Sa halip na magtalu-talo ay hindi ba makabubuti kung magtutulungan na lang tayo?

    *              *              *

    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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    When Death comes knocking*

    February 1st, 2018

    THE return of “Oplan Tokhang” or “knock and plead campaign” of the Philippine National Police  last Monday was peaceful.

    PNP-National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Oscar Albayalde clarified that police operatives in the new Tokhang tagged as “tokhangers” may not arrest suspected drug dependents but only urge them to seek medical help.

    Drug dependents could proceed to the police station to surrender or seek rehabilitation voluntarily and would not be detained. Buy-bust operations would be directed at pushers outside of the Tokhang campaign.

    Tokhangers could not enter houses of suspects without the owners’ permission or conduct operations outside office hours — from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Names of hostile suspects would be endorsed to drug enforcement units for “necessary operations”.

    Still, even Director-General Ronald dela Rosa, PNP Chief, expressed that it would be impossible to give a 100 percent assurance that no blood would be shed in the new campaign.

    This is precisely what many of our people, especially those living in the poor, congested areas of cities, now fear.

    To them, the resurgence of Tokhang also means that death may soon come knocking on their doors in the form of the old “tokbang”(katok sabay “bang!” or knock and shoot).

    *              *              *

    In the original Tokhang launched in July 2016, several drug suspects were killed every day. Apart from house-to-house operations and buy-busts conducted by the police, unidentified men riding in tandem on motorcycles gunned down users and pushers.

    Lifeless bodies were also found sprawled on streets with their faces wrapped in packaging tapes, their hands tied with cardboard on their chests declaring them as pushers.

    A father and his son, who were said to be pushers, were killed by the police in Pasay City then for allegedly resisting arrest. A CCTV footage, however, revealed that they did not and were shown being led by police peacefully.

    Without a doubt, I support the fight against illegal drugs done by the book. But apart from the police, who can say if a suspect being arrested was really armed and fought back (nanlaban)?

    I hope the new Tokhang will not be a duplicate of its forerunner and pray that the new guidelines will be followed to the letter. Otherwise, Death will just continue to haunt the poor who fear the police may yet revert it to Tokbang.

    *              *              *

    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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    Kuwalipikasyon, dinastya at halalan*

    January 30th, 2018

    SA PAGDAAN ng mga taon ay kung anu-anong pagbabago ang pilit na ipinapasok ng mga pulitiko sa ating mga batas at Konstitusyon.

    Pero ang pinakapayak at pinakamahalaga marahil na punto sa mga nagnanais tumakbo para maging opisyal ng gobyerno tungkol sa kanilang kuwalipikasyon ay hindi napapansin ng marami.

    Mabuti naman at binigyan ng pansin ni dating Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., miyembro ng consultative committee on charter change, na dapat itaas ang kuwalipikasyon ng mga gustong kumandidato.

    Kung tatakbo ka nga naman para sa barangay, Kongreso, Senado o sa pinakamataas na puwesto sa bansa ay kapuna-punang pare-pareho lang ang hinihinging kuwalipikasyon na dapat ay marunong magbasa at sumulat.

    Dapat nga naman ay dagdagan at taasan ang kuwalipikasyon sa mga tao na nagnanais tumakbo sa public office dahil ang pagiging public official ay hindi biru-birong usapan.

    *              *              *

    Tinukoy rin ng dating senador na kulang ang kababaihan sa consultative body na itinalaga ni President Duterte na binubuo ng 19 na miyembro dahil isa lang ang babae rito.

    Bukod dito ay dapat daw madagdagan ang representasyon ng indigenous peoples (IPs) para magkaroon ng balanse.

    Binuhay rin ni Pimentel ang dati na niyang panawagan na maglagay ng mga probisyon na magbabawal sa political dynasties at private armies kapag nagbago ang sistema ng tungo sa pederalismo.

    Kahit kasi ipinagbabawal sa Konstitusyon ang political dynasties, hanggang ngayon ay namamayagpag ito dahil hindi naman natin maaasahang ipatutupad ng mga opisyal ng gobyerno na magkakaanak at magkakapamilya ang naturang pagbabawal.

    Mayroon din mga opisyal ng gobyerno sa mga lalawigan na hanggang ngayon ay mahigpit na binabantayan ng private armies. Dahil dito ay nagagawa tuloy nilang maghari-harian sa mga lugar na kanilang hinahawakan.

    *              *              *

    Tahasan din sinabi ng dating pangulo ng Senado na hindi dapat suspendihin ang magiging halalan upang mabigyan lamang ng daan ang pagbabago ng gobyerno tungo sa pederalismo.

    Tama si Pimentel na hindi raw dapat isantabi ang karapatan ng mga tao na ihalal ang mga pulitiko na nais nilang manalo at maupong pinuno ng bansa.

    Nauna rito ay may mga pumutok na balita kasi na may mga nagbabalak maglagay ng transitory provision na magtatagal ng 10 taon upang maging plantsado ang paglilipat sa pederalismo.

    Pero alalahanin na kung suspendido ang halalan ay mananatili rin sa puwesto ang mga opisyal na abusado at isinusuka na ng mga mamamayan.

    At kahit sawang sawa na sila sa patuloy na pang-aabuso ng mga ito ay hindi sila makagagawa ng anumang kilos para patalsikin sila. Hindi ito nararapat.

    *              *              *

    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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    Desperate moves *

    January 25th, 2018

    TO MANY people, several members of the House of Representatives appear to be desperate in their attempts to amend the 1987 Constitution.

    House members have been criticized time and again for proposing amendments to the Constitution without the Senate since senators have refused to join them in a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass).

    However, several congressmen believe that if they finalize a draft and get a vote equivalent to three-fourths of their combined number, their proposals can be sent to the public for ratification.

    Thus, they do not see a need for a Constituent Assembly and have allegedly began amending the Constitution sans the Senate.

    But a lot of people think that the House cannot discuss any type of amendment without the presence of the Senate.

    No one can deny the fact that Congress is divided into two – the Senate and the House of Representatives – which functions as a bicameral legislature.

    And though it may not be indicated in the Constitution in plain and simple words, it is only natural to assume that they vote separately on issues. Otherwise, the stand of the Senate on any subject will only be gobbled up by the sheer number of our honorable congressmen.

    Judging from the way things have turned out, many believe that the House is interpreting the Constitution in a way that will best benefit their wishes and nothing more.

    Quite evident to the public eye are the vested interests behind the efforts of the current administration officials to hastily change the Constitution, particularly concerning term extension.

    In the rush, the House may have forgotten that the 1987 Constitution states that the charter can be revised either by Congress sitting as a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass), or a body composed of elected or appointed delegates known as the Constitutional Convention (Con-Con).

    Senate President Koko Pimentel says the House should wait for the Senate’s decision regarding the revision of the Constitution.

    Also, people see no reason behind the hurry to change the Constitution other than to perpetuate the terms of office of government officials who are about to reach the end of their tenure and to wield power without any conflicting party to deal with like the Senate, which they want to abolish.

    Earlier efforts of past administrations to change the Constitution have always failed. Will the people allow our congressmen to have their way at this point in time?

    Let’s wait and see…

    *              *              *

    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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    Pansariling kapakinabangan*

    January 23rd, 2018

    NOON pa man ay sinasabi ko na maraming magagandang puntos ang pagpapalit ng sistema ng gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng charter change (cha-cha) tungo sa pederalismo na hindi naman dapat balewalain.

    Pero lalo sana itong magsisilbing kapani-paniwala kung hindi nakikita ang term extension o pagpapalawig ng panunungkulan na hangarin ng mga nagsusulong nito.

    Sa katunayan, mas magiging maayos ang pagtanggap ng mga mamamayan kung hindi nakikita na ang lahat ng pagsisikap ay papabor sa kasalukuyang administrasyon at sila-sila lang ang mabebenepisyuhan ng bagong batas.

    May mga naniniwala tuloy na kung magkakaroon man ng pagbabago sa 1987 Constitution ay hindi ito dapat isagawa ng mga miyembro ng Kongreso.

    Ayon sa Konstitusyon ay maaari lang baguhin ang Saligang Batas sa pamamagitan ng isang Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) o Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) na binubuo ng mga inihalal o itinalagang mga delegado.

    Ito talaga ang nararapat pero alalahanin din natin na magkakaroon lang ito ng kredibilidad kung ang mga susulat ng batas ay hindi inuuna ang kanilang pansariling kapakinabangan sa halip na interes ng mga mamamayan.

    Ito ang dahilan kung bakit pati si Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas ay naniniwala na kung aamyendahan man ang Konstitusyon ay dapat umanong sa pamamagitan ng Con-Con na hindi kinakailangang buuin ng mga inihalal na delegado kundi ng mga mamamayan na may sapat na kaalaman sa batas, Konstitusyon, at tapat sa pagtatanggol ng human rights, civic rights at political rights na may takot sa Panginoon sa kanilang mga puso.

    Sa kasalukuyang isinusulong na cha-cha ay lumutang ang anggulo na posibleng hindi magkaroon ng halalan. May nagsabi rin na puwedeng mapalawig ang termino ni President Duterte at ng mga kongresista na nakatakdang magtapos ang termino.

    Ayon kay Villegas ay batid nila na ang pagbabago sa Konstitusyon ay maaaring gamitin ng iba upang mapalawig ang termino. May mga nagsabi pa kasi na ang term extension ay hindi maiiwasan at talagang kinakailangan. Pero para kay Villegas ay oportunista lamang ang maghahangad nito.

    May mga naniniwala na may lumilinlang lang sa mga mamamayan para isipin na sila ang makikinabang sa gobyernong pederalismo samantalang ang tunay na hangarin ng mga sumulat ay mawala ang limitasyon na itinakda ng kasalukuyang Konstitusyon.

    Kawawa naman ang mga mamamayan dahil sa halip na sila ang pangunahing makinabang sa mga pagsisikap umano ng mga kagalang-galang nilang mambabatas ay pansariling kapakinabangan pa rin ang mangingibabaw.

    Bakit nga ba nila hahangarin na mapalawig ang kanilang termino at labanan ang itinakda ng kasalukuyang Konstitusyon kung hindi pansariling interes ang kanilang pinaiiral?

    *              *              *

    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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    Mafia in DoH?*

    January 18th, 2018

    IS THERE any truth to the issue that there are “mafia-like operations” happening inside the Department of Health (DoH)?

    The disclosure came from Doctor Francis Cruz, a former consultant to the DoH, who revealed names of past and present officials who allegedly benefited from the government’s dengue vaccine program worth Php3.5 billion.

    Cruz named 12 current officials and four past officials, including former Health Secretary Janette Garin, as part of the alleged mafia that allowed the purchase of the controversial French-made dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

    Garin issued a challenge for Cruz to prove his claim by filing charges so the issue could be clarified and put to rest.

    To some people, Cruz is a symbol of courage in naming names to back up his accusation. Obviously, how can he be considered credible enough if he kept the names to himself?

    Others consider him a fool for trying to stop a system of corruption that is widely practiced in government.

    For his part, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III says he is open to an investigation. If Cruz can present documents to prove his claim, Duque will not hesitate to initiate a probe. Neither will he make any move to prevent Cruz from filing a complaint. The DoH will allegedly review the contracts of the accused officials.

    *              *              *

    Cruz said he had already submitted his evidence to the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) last May 2017. He also presented a copy of his evidence to the Senate.

    Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur admitted last year that their vaccine might cause severe dengue symptoms if administered to those who have not had the disease.

    For this reason, the government stopped the immunization program and sale of Dengvaxia but not before the vaccine had already been given to more than 800,000 public school students.

    A lot of parents panicked especially when news that some of the inoculated suffered severe dengue and died.

    The forensic team of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) is convinced that the dispensation of Dengvaxia had something to do with the deaths of seven children that they examined.

    If the administration of Dengvaxia did cause their deaths, Firing Line believes everyone involved in the project, especially Sanofi, should be made accountable.

    Heads should roll.

    *              *              *

    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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    Handa ba tayo sa pederalismo?*

    January 16th, 2018

    NAPAKAINIT na isyu ngayon kung dapat bang palitan ang sistema ng ating gobyerno mula unitary tungo sa pederalismo.

    Ano ba talaga ang pederalismo? Ito ay uri ng gobyerno kung saan ang kapangyarihan ay nahahati sa central government at sa mga estado o rehiyon.

    Ang atensyon ng national government ay nakatutok lang sa mga pambansang interes tulad ng foreign policy at depensa.

    Ang mga estado o rehiyon na nahahati pa sa mga local government unit (LGU) ay mahaharap sa kanya-kanyang problema, ekonomiya, kultura at sitwasyon na puwede nilang bigyan ng solusyon nang hindi umaasa sa national government na sa Maynila pa matatagpuan.

    Puwede silang magdesisyon kung paano pamamahalaan ang sariling industriya, kaligtasan ng publiko, edukasyon, kalusugan, at transportasyon.

    Magkakaroon sila ng higit na kapangyarihan sa aspeto ng pinansiyal sa sarili nilang pera, planong pagpapabuti sa lugar at mga mamamayan at mga batas sa kanilang nasasakupan.

    Ang mga rehiyon ay mabibigyan ng pagkakataon na tumutok sa ekonomiya at industriya na magpapaunlad sa kanila. Ang mga tagarehiyon ay mas mapalalapit sa kanilang mga opisyal.

    Puwede ring mabawasan ang pagsisiksikan ng mga tao sa Metro Manila kung makikita nila na puwede pala silang magkaroon ng kabuhayan sa ibang mga rehiyon.

    May mga batas na posibleng ipatupad ng Metro Manila na hindi katanggap-tanggap sa rehiyon ng Bangsamoro o iba pang mga estado kaya hindi nila ito kailangang sundin.

    Pero sa tingin ng iba, ang problema sa pederalismo ay maaaring lalong magkahati-hati ang mga mamamayan at magningas ang hidwaan ng mga Tagalog, Cebuano, Bicolano, Ilocano, Zamboangueño at pati na ang pag-aaway ng mga Kristiyano at Muslim.

    May mga estado rin na posibleng hindi pa handa sa awtonomiya dahil wala silang sapat na yaman sa larangan ng natural resources o skilled labor at lalo lang maghihirap sa ganitong sistema dahil wala ang tulong ng national government.

    Sa pederalismo ay posible ring magpatuloy ang kaguluhan kung papalag ang mga Muslim na ang nais ay magkaroon ng hiwalay na bansa at hindi sariling rehiyon.

    Hindi rin puwedeng balewalain ang katotohanan na bilyun-bilyong piso ang gagastusin kung lilipat tayo sa pederalismo at kakailanganin ding gumastos ang mga rehiyon kung magsasagawa sila ng halalan.

    Ang mga natalakay natin ay iilan lang sa mga mabuti at hindi magandang epekto ng pederalismo. Kakailanganin ang masinsinang talakayan ng mga kinauukulan upang ito ay madesisyunan.

    Pero nagpapaalala lang ang Firing Line na anuman ang maging desisyon nila ay hindi dapat kalimutan na kakailanganin ang pagpayag ng mga mamamayan kung ito man ay matutuloy.

    *              *              *

    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.

    1 Comment "

    ‘Under attack’*

    January 11th, 2018

    APART from its lawmaking functions, the Senate is one of the pillars of democracy that plays an integral part in providing the necessary check and balance to hold our officials accountable to irregularities.

    Hence, it is naturally quite saddening and alarming as well to hear that there are deliberate efforts to weaken the Senate and lay the ground work for its abolition to come out with a unilateral system of legislature.

    This is highly credible information since no less than Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon believes the Senate is under attack to weaken and embarrass it as an institution.

    The Senate has been bombarded with negative criticisms hurled against it by members of the House of Representatives led by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

    The Senate Minority Leader allegedly sees the attack on the Senate as similar to the attacks being thrown against the Ombudsman, the Commission on Human Rights, and the Supreme Court.

    Drilon may not necessarily be right. Still, we all know all the trials and tribulations these institutions have been going through.

    Drilon says he has already urged Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III to be more vigilant in defending the integrity and independence of the upper chamber.

    Although the independence of the Senate is being guarded seriously by the senators, Drilon expresses the belief that Pimentel must rise above partisan political interest in order to fully defend the Senate in spite of his political connection.

    If not, he thinks the Senate will become immaterial and may even appear unimportant as an institution of democracy in the government.

    Pimentel is the president of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). On the other hand, the House speaker can be considered an ally being a member of the ruling party.

    *              *              *

    To some people, having a unilateral system of legislature, if the Senate does get abolished, would mean members of the ruling party would get away with anything. No one could contradict them.

    But before jumping to conclusions, everyone should never forget that the rule of law should always be followed no matter what. We have an existing Constitution that should serve as the guiding hand.

    If there are changes that truly need to be accomplished that remain contradictory to our charter, Firing Line believes that the Constitution should first be amended with the public’s consent. Nothing could be accomplished with relevance without public support.

    *              *              *

    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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    Mag-ingat sa Traslacion*

    January 9th, 2018

    MULING magsasama-sama sa araw na ito ang mga kababayan nating deboto upang maipakita ang hindi matitibag na pananampalataya sa pagsama sa prusisyon ng Itim na Nazareno.

    Sa tuwing sasapit ang petsa ng Enero 9 taun-taon ay milyun-milyong deboto ang naniniwalang sila ay mapagmimilagruhan at matutupad ang mga panalangin kapag nakibahagi sila sa prusisyon ng Nazareno na ilang daang taon na isinasagawa.

    Sa katunayan, sinasabing 12 milyong deboto ang nakipagsiksikan nang sumali sa prusisyon noong isang taon.

    Kahit walang sapin sa mga paa at nakababad sa init ng araw ay hindi nila alintana habang mabagal na umaandar ang karosa sa makikipot na kalsada sa prusisyon na kadalasan ay inaabot ng mahigit 20 oras sa hangaring makalapit at mahawakan ang sagradong imahe.

    Ang prusisyon ay tinatawag din na “traslacion” na sa Kastila ay nangangahulugan na paglilipat ng isang bagay mula sa isang lugar papunta sa iba.

    May mga kritiko na pumupuna na ang ipinakikitang paniniwala ng mga deboto sa Nazareno ay paglabag sa kautusan ng Panginoon dahil isang uri ito ng pagsamba sa idolo.

    Pero alalahanin na ang bawat isa sa atin ay may karapatan sa relihiyon na ating pinaniniwalaan at pagsasagawa ng mga bagay-bagay kaugnay ng pananampalatayang ito.

    Kung ang pamamaraan ng ating mga kababayang deboto sa Nazareno ay ang sumama sa prusisyon sa paniniwalang ito ang magiging daan upang lalo silang mapalapit sa Panginoon ay hindi natin ito dapat tutulan o pigilan. Ang pagpapakita ng taos-pusong pananampalataya nang hindi nakapananakit ng ating kapwa ay dapat nating irespeto.

    Pero nagpapaalala ang Firing Line sa mga makikibahaging deboto na mag-ingat nang husto. Iwasan ang magkatulakan. Walang masama sa pagpapakita ng pananampalataya pero alalahanin din natin ang kapakanan ng ating kapwa at tiyakin na hindi sila masasaktan.

    Iwasang matumba dahil mahirap nang makatayo at malalagay sa panganib ang inyong buhay kapag natapakan kayo ng ng libu-libong mga paa. Tiyakin din na hindi magugulungan ng karosa ang inyong mga paa.

    Kung may sakit kayo sa puso o mataas ang dugo ay makabubuting umiwas na lang sa pagsama sa prusisyon dahil baka ito pa ang maging mitsa ng inyong buhay.

    Huwag niyo ring isama ang mga batang anak o apo dahil baka mawala lang sila sa malaking bilang ng mga magkakahalubilong mga deboto.

    Iwasan din magdala ng malaking pera o mga alahas dahil may mga masasamang-loob na nagpapanggap lang na deboto upang makatiyempo ng madudukutan nila.

    Bagaman 5,000 pulis ang ipakakalat sa prusisyon ay mabuti nang nag-iingat nang husto ang mga kakabayan nating deboto.

    *              *              *

    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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    Tamed Year of the Dog*

    January 4th, 2018

    THE whole of Asia seemed to have behaved its best in the recent New Year’s Eve celebration.

    Surprisingly, even the Philippines bit the bullet and woke up to the first day of the year with no one kicking the bucket – a big improvement as compared with previous years that saw several up to dozens of people killed by firecracker explosions and stray bullets.

    Even the number of injured revelers sharply dropped this year to 191 as compared with over 630 hurt in the riotous welcome to the previous year.

    Definitely, the strict enforcement of the new policy regulating the use of firecrackers and the police’s early campaign operation and surprise inspections at stores selling pyrotechnics had something to do with it.

    While there’s no way of totally stopping the tradition of making the last night of the year literally an explosive one, Firing Line hopes the newest casualty figures reflect a trend of straining interest in firecrackers and guns among Pinoys.

    A tamed and behaved Year of the Dog, perhaps?

    *              *              *

    Although it’s good to know that no one died by firecrackers or stray bullets as we welcomed 2018, we could not turn our backs on the fact that 191 people were injured by ‘cracker explosions since December 21.

    Among the banned firecrackers, Piccolo remained the leading cause of injuries with 94 cases. This was followed by “kwitis” with 14 cases. Most of the victims suffered hand injuries.

    Records from the National Capital Region Police Office showed that 60 percent of fireworks-related injuries nationwide or a total of 115 cases came from Metro Manila. Next was Western Visayas with 15 cases. Calabarzon, Central Luzon and Bicol had 13 cases each.

    Manila led the number of injuries in Metro Manila at 63. This was followed by Quezon City with 14, Pasig City at 11 and Valenzuela with six. But these numbers could still increase in the coming days.

    Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the total cases recorded since December 21, 2017 was the biggest reduction which was 68 percent lower than in the same period last year.

    *              *              *

    It is an undeniable fact that the government can be credited with the zero-fatality achievement.

    However, the campaign against illegal firecrackers still cannot be considered a great success as long as there are a number of people who lost an arm or some fingers during the celebration.

    Firing Line wants to know how in the world did Piccolo remain the top culprit with 94 victims? The authorities apparently missed out on imported firecrackers being smuggled in like Piccolo, which is manufactured in China. They should have widened their watch and covered all angles in the campaign.

    As long as imported firecrackers find their way to our people and the injuries continue, the campaign against firecrackers can only be deemed a partial success.

    *              *              *

    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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    Palpak na trabaho*

    January 2nd, 2018

    MULI na naman nalagay sa alanganin ang pagtitiwala ng madla sa pulisya nang dahil sa kapalpakan ng ilan nilang kabaro na nagresulta sa pagkasawi ng dalawang tao kabilang na ang isang babae, at pagkasugat ng iba pa sa Mandaluyong City.

    Nagpahayag na si Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar na hindi magkakaroon ng pagtatakip sa isinasagawang imbestigasyon sa naganap na pamamaril na kinasangkutan ng 10 pulis at ilang barangay tanod. Ang ibang tao na sangkot ditto ay dapat din umanong mapanagot.

    Totoo naman na mabilis ang naging aksyon ni Director Oscar Albayalde, hepe ng National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

    Agad nitong sinibak, dinisarmahan at isinailalim sa ballistic test ang mga armas ng 10 pulis na sangkot sa kaganapan upang matukoy kung sino sa kanila ang nagpaputok ng baril. Isinailalim din sila sa “restrictive custody” ng Eastern Police District (EPD).

    Pati na ang hepe ng Mandaluyong Police na si Senior Superintendent Moises Villaceran Jr. ay tinanggal sa puwesto nang dahil sa “command responsibility.”

    Sinuspinde naman ng alkalde ng Mandaluyong ang mga barangay tanod na sangkot sa naganap na pamamaril at ipinasuko ang kanilang mga armas.

    Ayon sa kapulisan, sa kasagsagan ng mainit na pagtatalo ng dalawang grupo sa construction site sa Mandaluyong City College Freedom Park ay pinaputukan ng isang LPG delivery man sa ulo ang biktimang si Jonalyn Ambaon. Agad sumaklolo ang mga kasama ni Ambaon para maisugod siya sa ospital.

    Pero ini-report ng kanilang mga kalaban na may mga armadong kalalakihan na lulan ng kulay puting Mitsubishi Adventure na namamaril at hiningi rin ang tulong ng pulisya. Hinabol ng mga barangay tanod ang sasakyan ng mga biktima at pagdating sa Shaw Boulevard ay pinaputukan.

    Dumating ang mga operatiba ng Mandaluyong Police at nagsumbong ang mga tanod na armado ang mga sakay ng behikulo. Nang hindi bumaba ang mga nasa sasakyan ay pinaulanan nila ito ng bala. Narekober daw ang 36 na basyo ng bala sa crime scene.

    Dahil sa tinamong tama ng bala sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng katawan ay nasawi sina Ambaon at Jomar Hayawon at sugatan ang iba nilang kasama.

    Palaisipan para sa marami, kabilang na ang Firing Line, kung bakit nakinig ang mga pulis sa sabi-sabi ng kung sinu-sino nang hindi ito napatutunayan. Hindi ba standard operating procedure (SOP) sa mga pulis na i-check muna kung totoo ang impormasyon na kanilang nakuha bago ito aksyunan? Ano ang nangyari?

    Ang tanong pa ay kung bakit armado ang mga tanod ng Mandaluyong na hindi naman awtorisadong magdala ng baril?

    Ang puna ng iba ay baka naman umano dati nang magkakakilala ang mga pulis at tanod na ito at magkakasamang naghahari-harian sa Mandaluyong.

    *              *               *

    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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    Pangs of hunger*

    December 28th, 2017

    SOCIAL media took pity on the plight of supermarket clerk Paul Matthew Tanglao after he was jailed for stealing a can of corned beef.

    In his Facebook account, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David who is also vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), appealed for the 21-year-old’s freedom.

    Tanglao was detained at the Manila Police District (MPD)-Santa Ana station for more than a week for qualified theft for stealing the canned food worth P31.50.

    A report said Tanglao went to work on December 10 at Save More Santa Ana with only P10 in his pocket. When he could no longer control his hunger, Tanglao went to the supermarket warehouse and took a can of corned beef.

    He was caught by the security guard for hiding the can in his apron. The supervisor of the supermarket asked the cashier to file a complaint against the clerk.

    David even expressed his readiness to repay Tanglao’s employer a hundred times over if this meant the clerk would gain his freedom.

    A lot of Facebook users posted their empathy for Tanglao, some of them pointing out the absurdity in the fact that this is a country where plunderers reportedly get acquitted while others even remain in their seats of power.

    Bear in mind that the tax evasion case faced by Jeanne Napoles, daughter of the alleged “pork scam queen” and mastermind of the biggest corruption scandal involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of some members of Congress, was recently dismissed by the court.

    Like many others who were touched by Tanglao’s experience, Firing Line would like to know why he had to spend more than a week in jail. Was this proportional to the crime committed — stealing a can of corned beef?

    Some people commented that Tanglao should have just approached his supervisor and asked for food. But how could a man then being consumed by the pangs of hunger be expected to think properly?

    The cop handling the case said that if it were up to him, he would not file a case and would just fire the clerk. The money spent on photocopying the documents needed for the case was allegedly more expensive than the price of the corned beef.

    Some people said Henry Sy, owner of the supermarket and richest man in the country, should have more heart for his former employee this Christmas season.

    *              *              *

    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.

    1 Comment "

    Hagupit muli ng bagyo*

    December 26th, 2017

    HINDI pa man nakahihinga nang maluwag ang ating mga kababayan sa kalupitan na ipinaramdam ng bagyong “Urduja” ay nakaranas na naman tayo ng hagupit ng mas malakas na bagyo na pinangalanang “Vinta.”

    Naulat noong Linggo na libu-libo ang napilitang lumikas at iwan ang kanilang mga tahanan sa katimugang bahagi ng bansa nang humagupit ang bagyo noong Biyernes na nag-iwan ng 182 katao na nasawi.

    Ayon sa Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) ay aabot sa mahigit 70,000 tao ang apektado sa Mindanao.

    Natataranta umanong nagsilikas ang mga tao upang iligtas ang mga sarili at biglaang iniwan ang kanilang mga ari-arian dahil sa pananalakay ng flash floods at mudslides bunga ng bagyo.

    Ayon sa pulisya ay nawawala ang 153 tao. Mahigit 40,000 naman umano ang nagsilikas sa mga evacuation center.

    Nagtulung-tulong ang mga pulis, sundalo at mga sibilyan na kusang kumilos at gumamit ng mga pala upang hukayin ang mga putik at hanapin ang katawan ng mga biktima.

    Ayon sa isang pulis mula Tubod, Lanao del Norte ay tumaas ang tubig sa ilog kaya inagos ang karamihan ng kabahayan at tuluyang nawala ang nayon.

    Ang Lanao del Norte ay isa sa mga lalawigan na nahagupit nang husto ng bagyo. Ayon sa mga awtoridad ay 127 ang kumpirmadong nasawi rito samantalang 72 ang nawawala. Dose-dosenang katawan ang nakuha ng mga tagapagligtas sa umapaw na Salog River.

    Nakatanggap naman daw ng mga babala ang mga tao pero hindi ito gaanong sineryoso ng mga naninirahan na malapit sa mga ilog dahil bihira naman silang tamaan ng mga bagyo.

    Ilang araw pa lang ang nakalilipas nang maranasan ng ating mga kababayan ang galit ni Urduja na kumitil din ng ilang Pilipino. Sa katunayan, may mga nawawala tayong kababayan bunga ng naturang bagyo na hindi pa rin natatagpuan hanggang ngayon.

    Lubhang nakalulungkot isipin na hinagupit tayo ng dalawang malulupit at magkakasunod na bagyo nang ilang araw na lang bago sumapit ang Pasko. Sasalubungin ito ng iba nating mga kababayan sa pamamagitan ng mga burol at paglilibing sa kanilang mga yumaong mahal sa buhay.

    May mga ahensya ng gobyerno na kumikilos na para sumaklolo sa mga sinalanta nating kababayan.

    Hinihimok ng Firing Line ang ibang mga pribadong organisasyon at samahan na maghawak-kamay sa pagkakataong ito upang tumulong at makapagbigay ng makakain sa kawawa nating mga kababayan na biktima ng bagyo.

    At para naman sa mga sinalanta nating mga kababayan, huwag ninyong balewalain ang mga maririnig na babala dahil ito ay para sa inyong kaligtasan at kapakanan.

    *              *              *

    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.

    1 Comment "

    Help ‘Urduja’ survivors*

    December 21st, 2017

    IT IS sad that some parts of the country were again ravaged by a strong typhoon a few days before Christmas.

    Just the other day, Chief Inspector Ma. Belle Rentuaya, Police Regional Office (PRO) 8 spokesperson, stated that 42 people died in Eastern Visayas alone from typhoon “Urduja.”

    A report from Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) revealed that a couple, both aged 60, perished in a landslide in San Fernando, Romblon. One housewife died in Camarines Norte while another drowned in Planas, Masbate.

    There were also 86 people reported injured while 33 were declared missing after being pummeled by the typhoon that took everyone by surprise with the unexpected strong winds and heavy rainfall it packed.

    For Tacloban residents, the Urduja experience brought back memories of the horror they suffered from super typhoon “Yolanda” which ruined their city four years ago.

    Floods were described as massive and severe as some 15,000 people were evacuated when Urduja unleashed its wrath. Flood waters also engulfed a relocation site for families that were transferred away from coastal areas that suffered deadly storm surges during Yolanda’s onslaught.

    Sadly, some of the affected families would have no choice but to welcome Christmas with the memorial service and burial of their loved ones.

    Transportation in and out of Biliran proved difficult since the roads affected by floods and landslides remained impassable. Some residents braved through the mud-covered roads in order to get food and water.

    Residents were forced to climb ladders to cross the damaged Caraycaray Bridge that connects the province of Biliran to mainland Leyte. Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said it would take 30 days at least to rehabilitate the bridge.

    Some local government officials already extended efforts in distributing relief goods such as rice, canned goods and instant noodles.

    But why was Urduja’s strength unexpected? Was the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), with all its modern equipment, unable to foresee this nature’s force?

    Is PAGASA again going back to its old ways of being unreliable in weather forecasting, of reporting rainy days when the sun would shine as bright as it could and sunny days where heavy rains would leave the streets flooded?

    The devastation could have somehow been lessened had they been forewarned and were prepared for the worse.

    While Firing Line grieves over the victims and losses incurred, it urges the government, non-government organizations, civic groups, and everyone else to help the Urduja survivors weather this predicament.

    *              *              *

    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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    Kampanya vs paputok*

    December 19th, 2017

    SA WAKAS ay nagmumukhang epektibo ang kampanya ng pamahalaan laban sa mga iligal na paputok.

    Kung inyong napuna sa mga nakalipas na taon, malayo pa ang Disyembre ay sunud-sunod na ang ingay na idinudulot ng mga paputok sa ating kapaligiran.

    At natural lang na kaakibat nito ang mga kawawang nasusugatan na karamihan ay mga kabataan. May mga napuputulan ng daliri, napipinsala sa mukha at kung anu-ano pa na isinusugod sa mga pagamutan at madalas laman ng mga balita.

    Kadalasan ay biktima sila ng piccolo na madaling mabili ng mga bata sa mga tindahan. Paminsan-minsan ay ang mismong kapit bahay pa natin ang nagtitinda ng piccolo kaya pala sunud-sunod ang putukan sa mga katabi at katapat nating lansangan.

    Pero ngayon ay hindi na natin naririnig ang mga pagsabog na dulot ng piccolo at ibang mga paputok sa paligid na malamang ay bunga ng pangamba ng mga nagtitinda sa pagbabawal ni President Duterte.

    Kung hindi pa ninyo alam, noong Hunyo ay naglabas ng direktiba si Duterte, ang Executive Order No. 28, na nagbabawal sa pagbebenta at paggamit ng paputok na nagiging sanhi ng pagkakapinsala at pagkasawi ng gumagamit nito at pati na ang mga nagdaraan sa kalsada.

    Ang pinapayagan lamang umano ay ang pyrotechnics at fireworks na puwedeng gamitin sa mga piling lugar na itatalaga. Bawal din itong gamitin sa mga lansangan o harapan ng mga bahay.

    Kung nagawa ni Duterte na ipagbawal nang tuluyan ang mga nakapipinsalang paputok at naging epektibo ito ay dapat lang papurihan ang Pangulo. Alalahaning ilang pinuno na ng bansa ang naupo at umalis sa puwesto nang walang nagagawa laban sa mga iligal na paputok.

    Naulat na may mga tindahan ng paputok sa Bulacan ang nagsara na o kaya ay hindi nag-renew ng lisensya upang hindi sila maparusahan sa paglabag sa batas at sa utos ng Pangulo.

    Hindi biro ang mga pinsala na idinudulot ng mga paputok. Hanggang ngayon ay punumpuno ng pagsisisi ang mga biktima na nawalan ng kamay, braso o ng ibang bahagi ng katawan o kaya ay nabulag.

    Ang iba nga ay minalas na mamatay sa malalakas na rebentador. May mga tumatawid lang sa kalsada nang masabugan. Nagiging sanhi rin ng sunog ang mga paputok.

    Sa katapusan ng buwan ay aabangan natin kung tunay na naging epektibo ang pagbabawal ng Pangulo sa paputok at makikita kung walang nabiktima at isinugod sa ospital sa pagsalubong sa Bagong Taon.

    Laging isaisip na hindi natin kailangan ang paputok na nagdudulot lang ng disgrasya para makapagsaya sa pagpasok ng taon.

    *              *              *

    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.

    2 Comments "

    Corruption in Dengvaxia deal?*

    December 14th, 2017

    WAS there really?

    Philippine Red Cross lead for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Dr. Susan Mercado stated last week that the Formulary Executive Council (FEC) denied the request of the Department of Health (DoH) leadership under former Secretary Janette Garin for approval on the purchase of Dengvaxia vaccine worth PhP3.5 billion.

    Mercado served as DoH undersecretary under the late Health Secretary and Senator Juan Flavier.

    The Dengvaxia purchase became controversial after manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur revealed that the vaccine may cause severe dengue for those who have not been infected with the virus before.

    Reports said Dengvaxia was administered to at least 830,000 people by the DoH without passing the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The FEC still failed to give its approval on the purchase of Dengvaxia even after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed the sale.

    Still, Garin gave an exemption for Dengvaxia although DoH exemptions could only be granted for a current or potential health situation.

    Garin admitted that she met previously with Sanofi Pasteur officials in Paris for a briefing on the vaccine but there was allegedly no irregularity since it was done in the presence of officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

    However, Senator Dick Gordon, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee conducting an inquiry into the deal, said the procurement of the vaccine could not be justified by the emergency need for it.

    He maintained that there was malice in the procurement considering the questionable meeting of former President Aquino with Sanofi Pasteur officials in Paris on December 1, 2015. He found it surprising that the FDA approved the vaccine merely days after the meeting.

    The senator pointed out the extreme speed and undue haste in the deal. To be able to release money reportedly needed a very high influence from the President to get the funding from the Finance Department. The senator saw no justification since there was no dengue pandemic that time.

    Gordon earlier said the P3.5-billion immunization deal smacks of a midnight deal since it was approved on December 29, 2015 before the 2016 May election campaign period began.

    It seemed the Dengvaxia deal was done prematurely and might have tinges of corruption.

    Furthermore, why did Sanofi Pasteur officials go on with the sale if they were unsure that their vaccine was safe for everyone? Were they using Filipinos as their guinea pigs?

    *              *              *

    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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    Problemang STL*

    December 12th, 2017

    MASALIMUOT ang sitwasyon na kinalalagyan ngayon ng Happy Cool Gaming Inc. dahil maaaring ma-revoke ang lisensya nito dahil umano sa hindi pagbabayad nang husto sa Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

    Ang Happy Cool Gaming ang may hawak ng prangkisa ng small town lottery (STL) sa southern Metro Manila kaya natural lang na may obligasyon silang bayaran ang Presumptive Monthly Revenue Receipt (PMRR) sa PCSO subalit hindi raw nila ito nagagampanan.

    Habang patuloy daw na lumolobo ang kanilang pagkakautang sa PCSO ay apektado rin ang kapasidad ng pamahalaan na suportahan ang kanilang mga programa na magbibigay ng tulong sa mga maralita nating kababayan na may problema sa kalusugan.

    Hindi ba nakukonsensya man lang ni katiting ang mga kinauukulan sa problema na kanilang nililikha at sa mga tao na posibleng lumala ang sakit at masawi dahil dito?

    Napag-alaman na kung patuloy pa rin umano na babalewalain ng Happy Cool ang obligasyon nito sa PCSO ay wala nang magagawa ang ahensya kung hindi i-revoke ang lisensya nito para makapag-operate.

    Kakarampot lang daw ang nire-remit ng Happy Cool sa gobyerno na wala pang 10 porsyento sa milyones nilang obligasyon. Hindi ito puwedeng balewalain o palusutin ng pamahalaan.

    Nagawa pang mangatwiran ng Happy Cool at ibinunton ang sisi sa mahinang pagtaya at pagtangkilik sa STL ng mga mananaya bunga raw ng mga nagkalat na sugal na tulad ng jueteng, ending, lotteng, bukis ng karera at iba pa.

    Si Toto Albano ang financier ng Happy Cool na nanalo sa bidding ng STL sa southern Metro Manila noong Enero. Pero ipina-subcontract pa ng Happy Cool ang lisensya nila sa STL sa isang Prosy Terrei.

    Ang management na nagbubukis sa ilalim ng STL ni Prosy ay sinasabing sina Joy, Edgar at Deck-deck sa Parañaque; Boy Arojado, Richard, Gie, Emy, at Tisay sa Muntinlupa; Leo at Alan sa Las Piñas; Olan, Daguis at Jovit sa Pateros; at Ayungen sa Taguig.

    Sino kaya kina Albano at Terrei ang sisingilin ngayon ng gobyerno rito?

    Ang problema pa ay binubukis umano sila nina Totoy Haruta, na dating jueteng operator ng Laguna, at ABC president Walter ng Muntinlupa. Ang financier daw ng bukis ay si Edwin Tose.

    Usap-usapan pa na niraraket umano ni Haruta ang kanilang STL dahil ang kombinasyon ng mga numerong nanalo ay nagmumula raw sa bolahan na ginawa sa northern Metro Manila.

    Hindi ba sumasagi man lang sa isipan ni Prosy ang anggulong ito at kuntento na siya na laging abonado sa araw-araw nilang operasyon? Paano nga sila makababawi kung may gaguhan na nangyayari?

    *              *              *

    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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    Caloocan cops again*

    December 8th, 2017

    CONTROVERSY still hounds members of the Caloocan City Police as several cops were relieved from their posts recently for their involvement in the killing of a shirtless man during an operation.

    The 32-year-old Mario Balagtas and two other men were outside a hardware store when Caloocan lawmen accosted them for being shirtless in public.

    Balagtas ran to his rented room about 30 meters away while his companions fled on a motorcycle. The cops knocked on Balagtas’s door but they were met with gunfire, Forcing them to shoot back.

    A witness, however, had an all-too-different version of the incident. He said Balagtas was already surrendering and begging for his life when he cops shot him dead.

    Director Oscar Albayalde, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, said he already instructed Senior Superintendent Jemar Modequillo, Caloocan City Police chief, to probe the killing.

    This is the first death under Oplan Galugad since the previous Caloocan police chief, Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, was relieved for the controversial deaths of teenaged suspects during operations.

    Observers noted that this could be another Kian delos Santos case. The police claimed that Delos Santos, a 17-year-old grade 11 student, was a drug courier who resisted arrest and started shooting at them, forcing them to retaliate in self-defense.

    However, forensic investigation showed that Kian was on the ground when he suffered a gunshot wound to his back, to the back of his left ear and one inside his left ear from the gunman who was standing up.

    This also brings to mind the case of 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz who was killed by the police after allegedly attempting to rob taxi driver Tomas Bagcal in Caloocan.

    The cab driver himself said that after Arnaiz tried to rob him, he took the young man to the police through the help of some barangay tanod.

    Two witnesses revealed in a Senate inquiry that they saw Arnaiz already on his knees when policemen shot him.

    A probe by the Public Attorneys’ Office (PAO) revealed that Arnaiz was tortured, handcuffed and unable to fight back when he was shot five times.

    Firing Line has always been on the side of law and justice. A suspect should be apprehended and punished if he committed a crime. This becomes a different matter if a victim was tortured and killed by cops who were supposed to uphold the law and protect the citizens.

    *              *              *

    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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    Palpak na bakuna?*

    December 5th, 2017

    MARAMI ang naalarma nang pumutok ang balita na posibleng nanganganib ang mga estudyante ng pampublikong paaralan na naturukan ng bakuna laban sa dengue.

    Sino nga ba ang hindi kakabahan matapos magpahayag ang Sanofi Pasteur na manufacturer ng bakunang Dengvaxia na hindi ito dapat iturok sa mga estudyante na hindi pa tinatamaan ng dengue virus dahil puwede itong maging sanhi ng mas malalang impeksyon kapag dinapuan sila ng dengue sa unang pagkakataon.

    Bunga nito ay ipinag-utos ng Department of Health (DOH) na itigil ang pagbibigay ng dengue vaccine sa mga estudyante.

    Hindi ito maituturing na biru-biro dahil aabot daw sa 733,713 kabataan na may edad na siyam na taon gulang pataas ang nainiksyunan ng naturang bakuna. Ayon sa DOH ay may 789,010 units ng Dengvaxia na nakatakdang mag-expire sa 2018 ang hindi pa nagagamit.

    Mahigpit na mino-monitor ng Department of Education ang kondisyon ng mga estudyanteng nabigyan ng Dengvaxia lalo na’t nasa ilalim ito ng school-based dengue vaccination program ng pamahalaan.

    Nagpahayag ang DOH na may 30 buwan pang proteksyon ang mga nabakunahan kahit hindi pa dating nagkakaroon ng dengue. Pagkatapos ng panahong ito raw posibleng makita ang malalang dengue na puwedeng idulot ng bakuna. Gayunman ay wala pang linaw kung gaano kalala ito puwedeng umabot.

    Ayon kay Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre ay uutusan niya ang National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) na alamin kung nakapagbigay ang Sanofi Pasteur ng sapat na babala sa DOH sa panganib na posibleng dala ng bakuna.

    Dapat itong sumailalim sa masinsinang imbestigasyon upang matukoy kung may katiwalian nga na naganap at may mga namantikaan ang nguso sa pagbili ng bakuna kaya nagkaroon ng kapalpakan lalo na’t nagkakahalaga ang deal na ito ng P3.5 bilyon.

    Alalahaning maraming opisyal ng gobyerno na ang nakitang nasilaw, naging ganid at luko-loko kapag humahawak ng public funds na mas maliit ang halaga.

    Kinuwestyon na sa Kongreso ang pagbili sa naturang bakuna bago matapos ang 2016 dahil sa halaga na ginasta rito at sa paunang target nito na isang milyong kabataan. Ang ibang mga katulad na programa ay nangailangan lamang ng 20,000 hanggang 30,000 mga bata.

    Mabigat na responsibilidad ang nakaatang sa balikat ng pamahalaan sa pagpapatupad ng mga programang pangkalusugan. Noon pa man ay umaasa na ang ating mga mamamayan lalo na ang mga maralita sa bakuna na ibibigay ng pamahalaan para sa kanilang mga anak.

    Kung totoong nakapipinsala ang Dengvaxia, hindi man ginusto ng gobyerno na magkaroon ng kapalpakan ay sila pa rin ang pagbubuntunan ng sisi dahil sa kapabayaan.

    *              *              *

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

    Read More:

    Dengue Prevention Program in Philippines Could Actually Worsen Disease

     

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

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    Duterte vs Sison heats up*

    November 30th, 2017

    THE word war between President Rodrigo Duterte and his former professor, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison, continues to heat up.

    Sison accused Duterte of lying about his intention to create a coalition government with communist and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) guerrillas if he is elected president. This came out in a report in a major daily in December 2014.

    The CPP leader said the President is a consistent political swindler who depends heavily on lying.

    He also accused the President’s family of alleged involvement in large-scale drug smuggling. He claimed the Duterte regime reportedly protects the biggest drug lords and protectors at the level of governors and generals which worsened the problem on illegal drugs.

    Sison’s disclosures are truly colossal but may not necessarily be true and merely come from a sour-graping man who found himself at the losing end of a very important deal.

    Earlier, Duterte signed a proclamation ending the peace talks with the CPP. He also ordered dozens of rebel leaders he freed temporarily last year to surrender.

    The biggest blow, perhaps, to the CPP founder’s ego was the President’s warning that Sison would not be allowed to enter his native land and would be arrested upon his return.

    *              *              *

    Firing Line finds it hard to imagine the President aligning himself with illegal drugs syndicates, considering his apparent resentment against narcotics which led to a campaign that claimed the lives of thousands of users and pushers since last year.

    Duterte also denied earlier allegations that his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, was part of a Chinese drug triad. He allegedly ordered authorities to kill his son if he was caught linked to drugs.

    New People’s Army (NPA) attacks against government are expected after the scrapping of peace talks. But are these rebels hiding in the jungles and mountains ready to go on an all-out war and still blindly follow the whims of their leaders who are living in luxury abroad?

    Undoubtedly, the ideologies being espoused by local communists are no longer in keeping with the times. They have remained as Maoists even when the People’s Republic of China has already moved on and left them.

    Thousands of combatants and civilians have perished and hundreds may soon follow in this five-decade long communist insurgency.

    Don’t mind the Duterte-Sison word war. Stop the hostilities today.

    *              *              *

    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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    Pagbabalik ng drug war sa PNP*

    November 28th, 2017

    KUNG may natutuwa man ay marami ang nababahala sa balita na balak ibalik ni President Rodrigo Duterte sa Philippine National Police ang pangangasiwa sa kanyang kampanya laban sa droga.

    Nangangamba sila dahil mula nang masimulan ang giyera ng Pangulo sa iligal na droga nitong nakalipas na taon ay naging kontrobersyal ito sa dami ng mga nasawing suspek.

    May mga nagsasabi na kahit sumusuko na ang suspek ay binabaril pa rin ito ng mga pulis. Ang iba raw sa mga hinuhuli nila ay hindi naman gumagamit o nagbebenta ng droga kundi napagkamalan lamang.

    Ayaw man natin maniwala na magagawa ito ng mga alagad ng batas ay pumutok naman ang balita ng mga kabataang nasawi umano sa kamay ng mga pulis sa walang kapararakang dahilan.

    Kabilang na rito ang 17-anyos na si Kian delos Santos na nakuhanan ng CCTV na kinakaladkad ng mga pulis sa lugar kung saan siya napaslang.

    Kahit nakaluhod si Kian sa lupa ay binaril pa rin umano ng mga miyembro ng Caloocan City Police na nanindigan na pusher ito na nanlaban sa kanila. Sinibak na ang dalawang pulis na bumaril kay Delos Santos at pati ang kanilang hepe ay tinanggal sa puwesto.

    Nang bumaba ang trust rating ng Pangulo sa gitna ng sunud-sunod na nasasawi sa madudugong anti-drug police operations ay ipinasa niya ang pamumuno ng digmaan sa droga sa Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) mahigit isang buwan na ang nakalilipas.

    Ang PNP at pati ang National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) ay pinagbawalan na sumawsaw sa laban sa droga.

    Sa loob ng panahong ito ay bahagyang kumalma ang sitwasyon dahil natigil ang mga pamamaslang na ayon noon sa walang kamatayang katwiran ng mga pulis ay bunga umano ng paglaban ng mga suspek.

    Kahit kulang sa tao ay naging matagumpay ang PDEA sa panghuhuli ng malalaking isda kabilang na ang mag-inang Yu Yuk Lai at Diane Yu Uy at pagkumpiska ng sandamakmak na droga. Pero mukhang hindi pa rin kuntento si Duterte at nakukulangan siya sa performance ng PDEA.

    Naniniwala ang Firing Line na makabubuti kung ang budget ng PNP sa drug war ay ipapasa sa PDEA para makakuha ang ahensya ng karagdagang mga tao at makakilos nang lalong maluwag.

    Bakit pa tayo nagkaroon ng PDEA kung hindi sila ang pakikilusin para pamunuan ang drug war? Puwedeng magsilbing suporta ang PNP sa bawat operasyon pero huwag na sanang maulit ang walang patumanggang pagtutumba ng mga drug users at pushers kung saan nadadamay pati na ang mga inosenteng sibilyan.

    *              *              *

    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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    Angels in real life*

    November 23rd, 2017

    SOME people believe that angels appear in many forms at the most unexpected time, especially when their help is needed most.

    This could be true for Angeline Fernando who recently fell onto the tracks of the Metro Rail Transit just as the train was pulling out of the Ayala Station. The accident resulted in the loss of her arm.

    The 27-year-old Charleanne Jandic, a postgraduate medical intern at the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center who was also inside the station, did not waste a minute and quickly attended to the bleeding victim. She was assisted by rookie policemen and members of the District Public Safety Battalion of the Eastern Police District — PO2 Dan Agustin Jr. and PO1 Ramil Almano.

    Agustin and Almano were deployed to the Ayala Station as part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit security. After hearing the people shouting, they rushed to the scene and saw Fernando lying on the floor with Jandic by her side.

    Agustin’s background as a nursing graduate of Capitol Medical Center College was extremely helpful. He and Jandic tied a belt around the arm of the 24-year-old victim to stop the excessive bleeding that could have led to her death.

    Jandic and the two cops went to the Makati Medical Center where the victim was rushed and waited until she was stable. And thanks to modern science, Fernando’s arm was reattached successfully.

    Still, let’s not forget the fact that if Jandic, Agustin and Almano were not there to provide the needed assistance, the victim could have died right there and then.

    Isn’t it amazing that they were there at the right place and right time to save Fernando’s life?

    Fernando’s life was extended because of these three individuals who may not be seraphs in the true sense of the word but acted as if they were at the time the victim needed it most.

    Firing Line lauds the quick thinking, expert and humanitarian actions displayed by Jandic, Agustin, and Almano.

    Jandic should be recognized by the medical community for her efforts. Director-General Ronald dela Rosa, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, ought to give appropriate medals and recognition to Agustin and Almano who should be made role models for the entire police force.

    As we have said time and again, not everyone in the PNP is abusive and corrupt. Some officers may be crooked but I believe majority remain dedicated to their sworn duties.

    Give credit where credit is due.

    *              *              *

    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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