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Friday, 23 October 2015 11:00

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

Four. In this crazy political scenario in Zamboanga City, there are actually four and only three non-Mar Roxas supporters in the Climaco LP ticket.

From re-electionist Councilors Rommel Agan and Kim Elago, in the company of FEBARKASA President Jihan Edding, a respected newsman whispered to this corner, re-electionist Councilor Josephine Pareja is also a non-Mar Roxas supporter, and is for VP Jojo Binay, UNA presidential bet.

If this is with the blessings of Mar Roxas, with whom LP Mayoral Re-electionist Beng Climaco last talked to the night prior to their filing of CoC’s, the set-up is crazier.

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Definitely sad as it is to China, the killing of two top Chinese diplomats and the wounding of yet another in Cebu City turns up the other around for the Philippines. Otherwise, their government’s already strained relationships with the Philippines would have further soured.

What makes the incident soft on the Philippines is because the arrested suspect attackers are fellow Chinese. Had they been Filipinos, I can certainly picture how China would have howled. You can very well see, even when Philippine authorities arrest ordinary Chinese poachers in Philippine waters, they already growl.

Even Hongkong, back now as a Chinese territory, roared when some of their nationals were killed in a tourist bus by a sacked policeman.

What with top diplomats assaulted!

The police are still looking deeper into the case. But what is important, no Filipino hand is seen in the misdeed.

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It’s not over until it’s over. In the Duterte merry-o-round, that accounts for my remark, “For the moment, case closed”. when he announced disinterest in the presidency.

Statements such as these are loaded. Read on, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who is running for Vice President in next year’s elections, on Wednesday said he is not giving up on Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

As Cayetano has been in close contact with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in recent days, he must know something that others don’t.

These Cayetano revelation appears to cast doubts on Duterte’s “no-run” vow. Cayetano bared that Duterte had told a gathering of his supporters over the weekend that nothing is final yet about his possible entry into the 2016 presidential derby.

He quoted Duterte as saying that he has until December to finally decide if he will run as substitute presidential candidate.

He added, Duterte had told him in a telephone conversation that “it’s only God who knows if I will become President, and then there is still December.”

Recall, anti-crime advocate and a Duterte ally Martin Diño filed his COC for President shortly before the final hour struck as a candidate of PDP-LABAN..

And it is on these contexts that we shall test the word of Duterte, who spoke on the solemnity of one’s honor and nobility.

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China remains unfazed in the face of Philippine and US protests on its latest Spratly travail.

The Chinese  Foreign Ministry insists it does not seek to change the existing status of territorial claims in the South China Sea with its newly built lighthouses, arguing that Beijing already had “indisputable sovereignty” in the contested waters.

Further China claimed its lighthouses on Cuarteron Reef and Johnson South Reef in the Spratly islands are meant to assist navigational security.

Experts and diplomats, however view them a shrewd move to buttress Beijing’s territorial claims.

China stressed it has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha islands and surrounding waters, the Chinese name for the Spratlys.

And clearly seen as a dare to China, the United States, which has criticized China’s building on artificial islands, has said it would sail or fly wherever international law allows.

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There is too much fanfare on the supposed DNA testing to trace the roots of Sen. Grace Poe, an independent bet for president.

By the look of things that seems impracticable when it is said that Poe is a foundling, with no father nor mother ever surfacing. With no father and mother, there could be no brother and no sister, and even no identified relative.

The little we know, through readings and other sources, DNA testings are done by the testing of blood specimen and body tissues of  close relatives. With whom then will the experts compare Poe’s blood specimen  or body tissues?

Interesting, for that is what is talked about in the disqualification case versus Poe in the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), with of Poe asking the SET that they be given until November 5 to submit the results of the DNA test that could trace her filiation.

Yesterday was the deadline set by the SET to submit the DNA rest result. And according to a SET source, the motion for extension would have to be acted upon by the SET which is chaired by Supreme Court (SC) Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio.

Aside from Carpio, the SET is composed of SC Justices Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro and Arturo D. Brion, and Senators Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay, Pia Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Tito Sotto, and Cynthia Villar.

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It looks as if the campaigning is now fair game, as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) control of candidates who campaign before the start of the official election period.

According to Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista, premature campaigning is no longer in the statute book because of the SC’s decision on the Comelec vs. Penera case, when the Supreme Court (SC) issued a ruling, in effect superceding the election laws, which used to consider electioneering outside of the campaign period as an election offense. The ruling was penned in November 2009.

Based on subject decision of the Supreme Court on the Penera case, Bautista cited, one can only engage in prohibited campaign acts during the campaign period itself, adding, essentially, before that, one is free to do anything.

Repeat. It’s fair game now.

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Per newspaper reports, Mar Roxas took time out to explain his visits to places heavily hit by Typhoon “Lando” (international name (Koppu).

That he did in answer to a query from newsmen on whether his and running mate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni  Robredo’s visits there could be considered a campaign sortie, he said, “We made no speeches, it was all direct distribution of relief goods; there was nothing yellow, no campaign, no mention of ‘vote’ and no pictures,” Roxas told reporters in Infanta town in Pangasinan province on Wednesday.

As aptly clarified immediately-above by Comelec Chair Bautista, per se, there was no campaigning. But the question, to me, was not appropriately laid. It should have been, “Mr. Secretary, you were then DILG secretary.

When Yolanda struck Leyte, we never saw you as how you are now. Aren’t you politicking amidst the sufferings of people?”

Come to think of it deeper, even now there are questions of misused and unused Yolanda funds.

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I was misinformed of the ERC hearing yesterday. It was for the joint Power Sale Agreement between ZAMCELCO and WMPC.

Nothing much had come of it. Other hearings have yet to be convened.

Last Updated on Friday, 23 October 2015 11:09