SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH
By Ernesto M. Maceda
The Philippine Star
Under his definition of working hard, President Aquino worked hard last week. He woke up early to go biking with his Cabinet at the Quezon City Memorial Circle. He also woke up early to ride a helicopter (was it US Navy?) to visit the aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson in international waters.
Again, we quote senior columnists Emil Jurado and Jojo Robles who made the same comment: “Why didn’t he wait until the USS Carl Vinson had anchored in Manila Bay?” But that would have deprived him of a nice helicopter ride to the ship. TUCP Labor leaders had a meeting with President Aquino at Malacañang. “Sen. Boy Herrera, TUCP Secretary General said “not much was discussed”. Most of the time was spent listening to the President recounting his visit to the USS Carl Vinson.
The President must have worked so hard he watched the Hotdog Reunion Concert at Dusit Thani Hotel with PAGCOR Chairman Bong and Mrs. Naguiat and a new date named Bunny, a preschool teacher from Pasig City. Also in the group were Secretaries Jose Rene Almendras, Butch Abad, Edwin Lacierda and Ricky Carandang. No, Jojo Ochoa was not invited.
Sec. Carandang said it was incoming Chief of Staff, Mar Roxas who invited Noynoy to watch the Hotdog concert. In fact, he bought and paid for the 34 tickets used by the Presidential party. Does that mean the Chief of Staff, Mar Roxas will also be in charge of the President’s nighttime schedule? Consider the title Presidential Adviser on Nocturnal Affairs (PANA).
BETTER LATE… It had to take the death of UP Professor Lourdes “Chit” Simbulan to get President Aquino to take note of the many bus accidents that has been happening on Philippine highways for the last 10 months. Yesterday, 11-year old Dilberto Acuyan was killed by a pickup truck while crossing Commonwealth Avenue.
Once again, we reiterate the speed limit on the Commonwealth Avenue, Edsa, SLEX and NLEX should be reviewed. The speed limit on Commonwealth Ave., should be reduced to 50 kph from the present 60 kph. NLEX and SLEX speed limit of 100 kph should be reduced to 60 kph especially when the roads are wet. Stiffer penalties including cancellation of franchise should be imposed after the first offense.
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LAZY TOO… While President Aquino has been criticized for working only five days a week, the same should apply to members of Congress who hold sessions for three-four hours only for three days from Monday to Wednesday. Out of 365 days a year, they have three month long vacations, resulting in the total number of sessions of only about 150 a year. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Sonny Belmonte should increase the session days to at least four days a week and limit the recess to no more than 15 days each time. Remember, Senators spend about P15 million a year. Congressmen spend about P6 million a year.
Incidentally, the Philippine Congress is one of the few legislative bodies in Asia where attendance and voting is not computerized.
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CURBING CRIMINALITY… In his defense of President Noynoy’s big drop in satisfaction ratings reported by SWS two weeks ago, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda cited the achievement of the President in “curbing criminality”. How did he do that Sec. Lacierda?
Three kidnappings in North Upi, Maguindanao, Indanan, Sulu and Jolo, Sulu were committed the last two weeks. Larry Tan de los Santos, resort owner in Isabela, Basilan kidnapped Dec. 16 is still unreleased. Barangay Chairman Billy Palma, 56, was shot dead outside the LTO office in San Pablo City.
On Sunday, a clan war erupted in Barangay Culiat, QC resulting in the killing of SAF Policeman Elias Baladji. In Tondo, Joseph Leneses, 32, was stabbed to death and his brother Herminio, 34 was wounded by a passerby. Jeepney driver Allan Bersabes shot Jerick Saraosas, a jeepney driver.
In Tuguegarao, Lyndon Obispo, 43, a losing Liberal Party mayoralty bet of Peñablanca town was shot dead with a .45 caliber pistol. This follows the killing a week earlier of a Councilman also in Tuguegarao. People are often robbed after leaving a bank or even just an ATM machine. Akyat Bahay robberies are happening daily in Metro Manila. The latest victim, businessman Manuel Go of GSIS Village, Barangay Sangandaan, QC.
The murder of Calbayog Mayor Reynaldo Uy is still unsolved.
P-Noy can start to curb criminality if the PNP can now collect 1 million loose and unlicensed firearms, if corruption at the PNP Firearms and Explosive Unit is curbed. And more importantly, if smuggling of firearms is prevented by the Bureau of Customs.
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NOT IMPRESSED… The JBC released a list of 25 aspirants for the post of Ombudsman who will also be considered for the two positions of Deputy Ombudsman vacated by Mark Jalandoni and Emilio Gonzales III.
Except for three names, the list is not impressive. The problem is the JBC requires nominated persons to sign a consent form. Prestigious persons will not agree to sign a consent form because it will be embarrassing if they are not recommended. They will be “rejects”.
It is best to do away with that requirement and just get their consent only if they are one of the three included in the list to be submitted to the President.
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TIDBITS… POEA reports that overseas deployment went down 3.7 percent for the 1st quarter of 2011 to 380,000 from 395,000 in 2010.
Vice Gov. Rodito Albano of Isabela reports a bumper rice crop which he attributes principally to good weather. He believes rice importation must be completely halted to provide more incentives to farmers to increase their yield. The COA audit of NFA reported that under GMA, the NFA over imported overpriced rice.