Missed golden opportunity PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 10 October 2015 11:08

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

A presentation was made here recently by Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and its consultant Chadaro Consortium on the privatization plans for the sale of the Zamboanga City Golf Course and Beach Park.

Soon after, Zamboanga City District 1 Rep. Celso L. Lobregat expressed his objection to the sale of the said asset.

While his reasons for objecting were not carried by DZT in its report, it is presumed he has his valid reasons.

This corner then is not concretely adversative to his objection to the sale of the Zamboanga Golf Course and Beach Park. Still and all, I will express my observations on pervious objections on a junked semi-privatization of the tourist-attracting TIEZA property, not necessarily Celso’s as I am not aware whose.

My observations. A Korean business empire came overa  year back applying to lease the sublect property for a hefty sum spread in so short a time period. Exact details not also known to me.

The plan fizzled out due to strong objections from several quarters. Thereupon, that foreign conglomerate back-tracked to Cagayan de Oro City, where they did not only lease a property but bought one for their own.

Now, eminent there and in full bloom are a world-class golf course and a five-star hotel, named KORESKO, a stone throw away from the gigantic SM Mall.

In those times that I was able to drop by the place, with my own two eyes, I witnessed throngs upon throngs of golf aficionados and tourists from here and several countries, topped by Korean nationals, filling its hotel rooms.

Advertised inside and outside the hotel premises were almost semi-monthly schedules of handsomely-offered prizes to winners.

Should one wonder why the Korean business enterprise simply wanted to lease a piece of land here and not buy one as they did in the City of Friendship, there could be just one reason. There is nary a piece of property here close to town that is as vast as the golf course and beach resort.

You may also wonder why I know of certain details about that mothballed lease desired by the concerned Korean venture. Reason. Those are the facts related to me by the manager of KORESKO Hotel herself, whose name I have forgotten. What I remember well is, she was an employee of TIEZA here, who was pirated by the Korean moguls.

One more woe of such a missed golden opportunity. Except for the Zamboangueña manager and one cart driver, I learned that from the hordes of workers there, all others were locals of C de O and proximities.

Income lost for Zamboanga, and jobs deprived for Zamboangueños.

Therefore, a thorough review of the Chadaro Consortium proposal must be undertaken. If this will be seen as a repeat of the lost Korean undertaking, by all means, this new pitch must be supported.

* * * *

On more minimal slip. But this time I was misled by a local paper at where I read the item; which paper I opt not to name. The latest neighboring bomb attack was in Isabela City and not in Lamitan as stated here. Pardon me.

* * * *

A good breathing spell for Zamboanga workers nears. There are two holidays lined up here.

Monday, October 12 is declared a special non-working holiday in fitting celebration of the feast of Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar.

This is pursuance of Republic Act 7350 approved on April 2, 1992, and authored by the late Congresswoman, who also served as Mayor, Maria Clara Lobregat.

The law set October 12 of every year as a special non-working day in Zamboanga City.

October 12 is the most celebrated town fiesta and is dedicated to religious activities in honor of Nuestra Sra. La Virgen del Pilar.

Also in fitting observance of “Amun Jadid” or Islamic New Year, Wednesday, 14 October is a Muslim Legal Holiday.

This is covered by Presidential Decree No. 1083 otherwise known as the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines. Other cities and provinces also celebrates this day. They are the province of Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur and in the cities of Cotabato, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian and Zamboanga and in such other Muslim provinces and cities.

The Muslim holiday shall be officially observed by all Muslim government officials and employees in places other than those enumerated under Article 170, and they shall be excused from reporting to office that they may observe Muslim holidays.

* * * *

The Aquino government has come under some more fire. This time from the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UN WGAD). The prestigious group declared that the Philippine government violated international laws for the continued “arbitrary and illegal” detention of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

This is the information Amal Alamuddin Clooney, wife of popular American actor George Clooney, relayed to the camp of the former President. Clooney made a name in calling international attention on the plight of Arroyo, when she filed a complaint against President Aquino and the Philippine government before the UN.

On one hand, Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. disputed the findings that Arroyo’s continued detention is “arbitrary and illegal.”

Adding bigger fire, he said that neither the government (could be meaning foreign bodies) nor any international organization could meddle with the legal matters involving the former President.

The Sandiganbayan also sided with Malacañang, saying the UN cannot pressure the anti-graft court to act favorably on Arroyo’s case as its opinion is not legally binding.

Still firing away, it said the UN cannot compel the Sandiganbayan to grant bail to former President Arroyo, Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Samuel Martinez said.

While all that the government says may be true, for sure somewhere along the line, the ailing Arroyo’s human rights are being trampled upon.

This is part of UN opinion as stated Clooney in an email sent to lawyer Larry Gadon, one of the legal counsels of Arroyo that finds that “the detention of former President Arroyo was arbitrary and illegal under international laws because the Sandiganbayan court failed to take into account her individual circumstances when it repeatedly denied bail, failed to consider measures alternative to pre-trial detention, and because of the undue delays in proceedings against her,” (MB)

You judge.

* * * *

Such tribulation in the highest degree, this seems. Following flaks from all corner, including a group of influential retired generals, only days ago the Department of Justice announced it has filed multiple murder cases against some 99 members of the MILF and allied forces for the killing of 44 SAF members in the infamous Mamasapano carnage. Even names were announced.

Bravo!

Now this, “A team of investigators have turned in their second report on the Mamasapano massacre nine months ago but Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said no criminal charges could be filed against any member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) or private armed groups in the death of nine Special Action Force (SAF) troopers from the 84th Seaborne Company.” (MB)

Boo ..!

No one can be charged for none was identified as to have figured in the slaying of 84th Seaborne commandos, Sec. Lilia De Lima said in a press briefing.

Now you see, now you don’t. Quien makamira, quien makahabla. Hoot hoot ..!

* * * *

Ha ..! Here is yet another adversity. COMELEC itself says it cannot guarantee a clean election in 2016. Such temerity. Imagine ..!

This is a misfortune of astounding magnitude. This is what we get even if government has spent $766,000 or P35-million for a contract with SLI Global Solution. for testing and review of the source code, a voting software program customized for Philippine elections that would be installed in the OMR (Optical Mark Reader) counting machines. See the word “customized”

Brace up. “Customized” could just mean tailored in favor of the administration. Recall that SLI, a US-based company, is the same firm that conducted the source code review during the 2013 elections.

Shades of mind-conditioning. You think ,so?

God, oh God. Whereforth thou art, Philippines?