P100M only for food, electricity and power, that’s a record of sorts PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 September 2015 11:53

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato


For the third straight day, there appears no movements in local politics. Opposing camps, former close allies have both been silent.

Only Monsi dela Cruz in Dist. 1 it seems is far from sleeping. And up until now, neither camp has endorsed its respective congressional bet. Very possibly, any interested bet may just possibly wake up with only crumbs left of what Monsi has amassed.

And what about the feelers strewn around of a supposed third mayoral wannabe in the person of friend Ret. Gen. Mario Biong Yanga? Seems quiet, too.

Save for his recent failed visit with Baliwasan Barangay Capt. Jaime “Boday” Cabato, the presence of the whispered alternative candidate has likewise been scarce. His botched visit to Baliwasan came not as a sign of unwelcome in the hall. Boday was simply informed, Gen. Yanga was downstairs inquiring about his presence. When the emissary went back to inform him that Boday will meet with him, he was gone.

* * * *

“The city government has spent roughly P100 million since the early days of the Zamboanga siege in September 2013 onwards to the recovery efforts, two years after the infamy.” (DZT)

Of the reported amount of P100 million total expenditures, the Mayor said P50 million were the so-called bridging funds from the national government and the P29 million from various donors.

Now, that is where transparency must apply. P100 m is P100 m, that’s a hefty sum of money. Accordingly, the expenses included food for the crisis management council members who closely monitored the siege as it unfolded from Sept. 9, 2013 up to the early recovery period.

The news release went on, the biggest bulk of the expenses went to the payment of water and electricity consumption in various evacuation centers to include the grandstand and the transitory sites.)

P100 million only for food, electricity and power. My, that’s a record of sorts.

Just wondering in amazement.

* * * *

The Philippine Marines and Army troops-conducted rescue operations for the nine road construction workers abducted by Abu Sayyaf gunmen in the province of Basilan was effected in only six hours after abduction.

That’s a “hell” of a record there. Splendid valorous deeds, indeed. The officers and men concerned deserve praises in the highest of accolades. Promotions even.

Had they not acted with precisioned dispatch, the nine ordinary workers, once in the hills of Basilan, one of the strongholds of the terrorist group, would suffered would have suffered untold miseries .

As government espouses a no-ransom policy, how would relatives of the nine captives have raised money for their safe release? Kudos to the joint team. And it is equally noteworthy to name the commander of the military’s joint task group in Basilan. He is Col Rolando Joselito D. Bautista,

It’s a pity, names of the officers and men who undertook the hot pursuit are not available as of writing time.

* * *  *

Sen. Grace Poe, taking a clear dig at LP’s anointed bet Mar Roxas, has finally announced her presidential plans, claiming nobody has a monopoly on “Daang Matuwid (Straight Path).

One thing though strikes me hard when in said forum she publicly praised Pres. Noynoy Aquino, saying that the latter has done a lot to prosecute those who were corrupt, even thanking him for allegedly bringing back people’s trust to an honest leader”

Something fishy, to me, there. Shades of a scripted scenario. Remember Noynoy had earlier expressed interest as to what Poe was to say. And there it was. Hitting Mar and flattering PNoy are indeed unusual acts.

On the other hand, Roxas, for his part, displayed a feeing of unconcern on Poe’s announcement. Of whatever significance it was, he declared that the administration coalition will still have the strongest ticket for the 2016 elections.

Strongest, when their hunt for Poe was relentless?

* * * *

With the announcement that COMELEC has directed Smartmatic-TIM to move the production of the voting machines from China to Taiwan after it was allegedly informed through intelligence sources that Beijing might attempt to sabotage the 2016 elections, truth comes to fore then that PCOS, now termed as Optical Mark Readers (OMRs) is a highly distrustful machine.

At the same time the COMELEC pronouncement reveals (OMRs) PCOS can be manipulated.

But then again, admittedly distrustful and maneuverable, will shifting manufacturing sites from China to Taiwan, ensure that Taiwan will not tamper with the machines to favor the administration-backed ticket?

Whew … the opposition could still be in a fix. Say you?

* * *  *

The truth to the Mamasapano tragedy is supposed to be a foregone conclusion, as the Senate had wrapped in its own investigation, and so with the independent Board of Inquiry of the Philippine National Police (PNP). And seemingly, the separate bodies have come up with practically similar findings, particularly laying the blame on the head of government. Those responsible of the massacre were all identified. Warranting charges against them.

This can be gleaned from yesterday’s statement of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. demanding the Department of Justice (DoJ) to file the corresponding criminal charges against 90 persons, most of whom members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who killed 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) at Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25.

Having kept the filing of the charges by DoJ Secretary Leila de Lima under wraps, as is awaited by the nation. has denied justice to the families of the slain policemen, Marcos said.

Marcos also questioned the silence of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on its own investigation of the infamy.

* * * *

Vice President Binay was reported to have had a sorry day in his recent sortie with students of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Los Baños, where he was allegedly jeered.

“Earlier in his speech, Binay first criticized the leadership-style of President Benigno Aquino III and blamed the lack of decentralization for the slow decision-making process in the government.

He made his speech even as Malacañang on Wednesday said he should answer the corruption allegations against him in reaction to his speech in Los Baños.”

Also, in the same forum, Binay criticized his announced rivals in the presidential fight for what he termed as their alleged lack of experience, incompetence and indifference.

However, Binay got himself in the hot seat when the students started asking him why he was slamming the Aquino administration’s ineptitude when he was part of it.

Binay was in the cabinet of Aquino for five years until he resigned in June to launch his presidential bid.

A student cited his role when he was vice chairman of the university’s student council and was active in his post, questioning later his alleged inactivity, claiming now that he cannot do anything or doesn’t have control over matters. What does that say about our government?, the student asked.

Binay was staggered further when issues were raised against him, such as the existence of so many squatters in Makati, the country’s financial district, when he claimed there was none, accusations of earning kickbacks from overpriced buildings, bid rigging. and supposed ghost beneficiaries.

He, however, stood his ground later and took things in stride, saying he earned a lot from the experience.