Not even in Beng’s wildest dream PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 28 August 2015 11:16

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato


Drum-beaters of the the local chief executive continue what I see as a psy-war on Cong. Celso Lobregat, who from all indications is aiming for a return to the mayoralty post. So writes Vic Larato, a city hall PR staff, “Mayor Beng Climaco hinted on Monday that if there is anyone most fitted and deserving to represent the voice of Zamboanga City in the Halls of Congress, it’s no other but the incumbent District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat himself, who she considers her “Big Brother” and fondly calls him “kuya”.

Mayor Climaco told the press briefing in City Hall that Cong. Lobregat has been doing his fare share to speak for and represent the voice of Zamboanga City in the House of Representatives.

“In fact, I think there was a gathering last Saturday where he (Lobregat) spoke about his defense of Zamboanga City in the Supreme Court, and his eloquence is needed in the halls of congress,” Climaco said as she reiterated her intention to seek re-ealection for a second term in 2016 elections.

Will Celso ever be coyed? If you ask me. I would bluntly say, not, even in Beng’s wildest dream.

If her desire as quoted earlier does materialize and one would give way, “I really want that we run together but we cannot both run for the same position,”  I bet my bottom peso, it will not be Celso .

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Sammy Santos, writing back then in this city, another proud Zamboangueño achiever, at present the Media Director of the Philippine Senate had shared an article in this paper which I find uplifting. Read on.

“A Zamboangueño, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Superintendent Miguel C. Antonio Jr., is the new police director of Western Mindanao (RDO-9). He is an adopted member of the Ateneo de Zamboanga High School Class 1977 of Samuel Santos.

Antonio, or Jun as they fondly call him, is a true-blue Zamboagueño. This is significant to our city since it has been quite a while since a Zamboagueño has been named PRO-9 chief. He speaks fluent Chavacano and is a Western Mindanao native by heart.

A native of Lamitan in Basilan Province, Gen. Antonio finished his grade school studies in Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) and moved on to finish his high school in Luzon before he joined and graduated at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 1983.

Yes, Sam, it has been quite a while since a Zamboangueño has been named PRO-9 chief. But what I find more significant is that this Zamboangueño now PNP RD Jun is the first to be named as one in Western Mindanao, with two (2) others a notch lower, incumbent Deputy RD Gen. Ramon Ochotorena, and Gen. Mario Yanga.   who recently retired,

If memory serves me right, truly there were other PNP RDs, but both served in other regions. They are Gen. Jun Coloma in Region 8 and Gen. Damming Unga in Region 12. And there was one other deputy before, Col. Reinerio Camins in the Caraga Region.

* * * * *

The backlash on the Aquino administration initiated opening of balikbayan boxes is unceasing, On Friday Filipino OFWs have banded and will go on a no remittance day. The consequences as related by Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero yesterday, “... the government stands to lose some P3.1 billion when Filipino migrant workers hold their “Zero-Remittance Day (ZRD)” tomorrow in protest of the attempt of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to tighten its policy on balikbayan boxes.

At least 1.6 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are expected to join the remittance holiday, a move downplayed by Malacañang.

Downplaying such matter is simply coyish. It will not cushion the impact as forecast above and hereunder, for it’s a fact. The least government should do or have done is task its diplomats and hold talks with leaders of the migrant leaders and talk them out of their plan, considering that it had softened its stand on the move. It’s a simple matter of throwing one’s pride into the garbage bin. Gloss over some more,

“Escudero said a one-day remittance boycott could translate to losses of over US$67 million, or some P3.1 billion, for the Philippine economy – money which could have been spent for the basic necessities of relatives of OFWs here such as food, clothing, shelter, and utilities.” (MB)

Downplay pa more.

* * * * *

With what are reported in the newspaper, I do begin feeling relieved for unlike in the lower house, the senators are truly doing their homework. Or so it appears, the majority are no puppets of Malacañang. Here is a part of he senate deliberations plenary sessions. “The annual block grants in billions of taxpayers’ money was the focus of floor debates as the Senate started deliberating on the merits of the proposed Basic Law for Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR) that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., speaking before students of the University of Perpetual Help in Las Piñas, said while he had reservations on the block grants, he included this controversial feature in his substitute bill so that the Senate can discuss the issue thoroughly.

“Under the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the proposed lump sum appropriation is four percent of the national collections. Until now, nobody has given any explanation why it has to be four percent. Why not two percent? Why not 10 percent?” said Marcos, chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee.

The number, according to Marcos, appears to have been “snatched out of thin air.”

Asked by Sen. Pia S. Cayetano on whether there are guidelines on how the block grants would be spent, Marcos assumed that the Bangsamoro Parliament, which would appropriate the block grants, would be bound by the provisions of the Constitution.  Aside from Cayetano, Senators Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, TeofistoGuingona III and Ralph G. Recto have interpeLlated Marcos (MB)

Leafing through the deliberations, it gives me the satiating feeling that the Aquino brokered BBL will soon enough be acceptable to both us and the MILF

* * * * *

The Aquino woes persist. Even relatives are turning their backs on him. First, It was Peping Cojuangco. Now his spouse. And even more biting as the attack has mounted to impeachment initiatives. “… a group that included former Tarlac governor Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco filed an impeachment complaint against President Benigno Aquino 3rd with the Supreme Court (SC).

Cojuangco is the wife of the President’s uncle, Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. who in recent months had been vocal in criticizing the government. Mrs. Cojuangco was in the senatorial slate of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance in the 2013 elections.

Aside from Cojuangco, petitioners included former Manila councilor GregoBelgica, Bishop Reuben Abante, Quintin San Diego, Rev. Jose Gonzales and lawyer Glenn Chong.

In their 45-page petition for mandamus with preliminary mandatory injunction, they asked the High Court to order Ombudsman ConchitaCarpio-Morales to investigate and file a verified complaint for impeachment against Aquino and other government officials in connection with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), infamously known as the pork barrel.

The DAP and the PDAF were declared unconstitutional by the SC. (MT)

Pnoy seems lucky though. These present turn of events are coming in the twilight months of his administration. Had this happened earlier, he could not have lasted this long.