Belated Xmas and advance New Year gift for Grace Poe PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 15:51

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

The reported sighting of close to 100 sub-leaders and members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Barangay Bauboh, Kalinggalang Caluang, Sulu Saturday afternoon, per se, appears meaningless, as they were said to have attended the celebration of Mauludin Nabi on the same night. Well, that’s a religious observance.

But chancing upon another development, second thoughts flashed on my mind. It bears noting for our uniformed troops on the ground to monitor the movements of such large a group of militants.

It was reported that Abu Sayyaf rebels carried out a fresh attack on a Marine outpost in Talipao, Sulu before dawn on Monday, killing two government soldiers and wounding another, military officials said.

The aggression took place at the post manned by the 22nd Marine Company, leading to a 15-minute firefight with the rebels.

No report of Abu Sayyaf casualties was made by officials and would not also disclose how the rebels managed to get so close to the marine outfit undetected, leading to the assault.

It was also unclear on the number of extremists who assaulted the post manned by about 20 Marines at the time.

Sulu is one of five provinces under the restive Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

And It was the second time in two weeks that rebels have stormed the military right in its own turf.

On December 15, dozens of Abu Sayyaf gunmen under Radulan Sahiron also hit the base of the 32nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in Patikul town, leaving at least seven soldiers wounded.

The latest assault came barely a week after the military claimed to have killed five Abu Sayyaf rebels under Commander Ninok Sapari in a clash in Barangay Liang, also in Patikul, but a saddening twist.

Village officials denied the military report and charged the marines of killing an innocent civilian they identified as Datu Kimar Amirul. They claimed Amirul was allegedly taken by the soldiers as guide Liang and was eventually killed in cold blood. (With DZT reports)

* * * *

Beleaguered presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe got what could the biggest belated Christmas and advance New Year’s gift on Tuesday, two in a row.

Beating the end of official business hours, the Supreme Court issued two separate temporary restraining orders (TROs) stopping the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from enforcing its decision to disqualify Poe from running in next year’s elections and from removing her name from the ballot, until a final decision has been made by the High Court.

Highlight that point, “… until a final decision has been made by the High Court.”

This means that Poe remains a candidate for President, at least for now.

TROs were issued by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno as the tribunal is on recess until January 10.

SC internal rules allow the Chief Magistrate to act on urgent petitions, which later on must be ratified by a majority of justices.

The SC, sitting en banc, tackles the issue on January 19, alongside oral arguments in the case of Rizalito David vs. Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and Poe.

The TROs were issued upon the joint recommendation of the ponente of the cases, Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo and Marvic Leonen.

Comelec was ordered to file its “non-extendable” comments within a period of 10 days from notice. (With TMT lifts).

And repeats, if it happens that the SC will overturn the ruling, “alam na” (You already know the possible consequences)

* * * *

Both the government peace panel and that of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Monday lauded the optimism of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos on the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as they noted that there is still time to approve the same.

But as to how the senate will act on the bill, hopefully, both panels, especially the MILF will retain the same feeing of elation. For this was part of the Marcos statement, “I am confident that the Senate would do its best to pass the measure within the remaining session days of Congress after considering all the amendments introduced by the senators”

Got the catchphrase? This - “considering all the amendments introduced by the senators.”

From the looks of things, and as optimistic as Sen. Marcos sounds, the senate is set to delete from the original BBL draft, all of what has been interpreted as unconstitutional.

Will the MILF maintain its present elation and abide by the senate act.

For its part of the House of Representatives has concluded the period of interpellation on the proposed Bangsamoro law on its last session day last December 16. Rep. Rufus    Rodriguez, chairman of the ad hoc committee on the BBL, vowed to pass the bill when Congress resumes session in January.

And while the picture on the fate of BBL in the senate appears ironed out and cleansed, the same may not hold true in the lower house.

That is the analysis of this corner - at times having had the chance to view the extensive congressional debates replayed on MCTV 17, where Cong. Celso Lobregat clearly dominated the floor all throughout.

But Cagayan de Oro’s Rodriguez stood adamant, too, in defense of the Aguino-crafted BBL measure that he sponsored on the floor.

At a time, when any other upright individual would have sealed his lips in embarrassment, in defense of his unraveled flip plop, he even shamelessly thanked Lobregat for flashing his face on the big screen during the deliberations, and shamelessly fought back.

But very few may have been able to view the scene, so I will narrate the scene for you judge if Rodriguez would not have been embarrassed and shamed.

The video shown were two separate TV footages during interviews conducted after the conduct of his committee’s initial hearings, where he already drafted a report on it. In brief, this was the gist of his statements quoting his very own report. In the first footage, Rodriguez identified six provisions that he pronounced as unconstitutional.

Later, in a second TV interview, quoting from his revised report, he cited two additional provisions, which he professed to also be unconstitutional.

. Lobregat barraged him, commenting to this effect, “From six to eight unconstitutional provisions that you yourself identified, what happened to them? Why are all of them declared constitutional in this your report now?

And that is where Rodriguez replied, first thanking Lobregat, saying to this effect, “Thank you for flashing my face on the screen. You know I like seeing my face on TV”

Grrrr . . . The impudence!

He labored on explaining to this effect, “My vice chairman made a separate a second report. And it was his report that I adopted. You see,. my vice chairman is intelligent, I liked his report, and it is the one I adopted as the committee’s own.

Then, Lobregat shot his version of a “sound snipe” to this effect - “and all these came about after Rodrguez and the Speaker were secretly called to Malacañang for what only they know, and what is now apparent..

Decipher, please. Would one and the other have sunk in embarssment and fall shamefully after that revelation or stand in arrogance still?

Hmph! Need we have to listen to your judgment?

* * * *

Get a load of this. A paid ad in The STAR yesterday showed how our senators spent their respective budget allocations for the year 2014, where the COA report listed the itemized amounts paid to and expenses incurred by each senator from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2014.

And it appears two of the top 3 big spenders are Vice Presidential wannabes.

It was reported that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV “remained” the highest spender in the Senate, with total expenses of P86 million.

Majority leader Alan Cayetano, another VP wannabe, disbursing P76.167 million is on 3rd place, following Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, on 2nd, with expenditures reaching P76.912 million.

Ferdinand “Bongbong Marcos, also a VP bet, however is way down the list at 12th place.

And reported to have spent the least in 2014 is Sen. Teofisto Guingona III.

Last year, Trillanes justified having spent most, saying the description “highest spender” is unfair since every senator has a ceiling for each item under their respective office’s allocation.

Distancing himself from other senators, Trillanes claimed he maximized the use of his office funds so that he could reach out to as many constituents who need help.

Yes, reaching out to the most number who need help. His brother just must be one. As consultant, the elder Trilanes was reported to have been receiving something like P76,000 as one among others in Trillanes’ list. (With PS excerpts)

* * * *

This is a case of a helpful PNP member, whose name this corner just missed.

A member of the local police caught our fancy last night.

The Monggueh cabinet members, on way home from session at Astoria, were having difficulty flagging down a tricycle, probably at the sight of Tuat “Tauwa” Gan, a differently-abled person, having suffered a stroke sometime ago.

Noticing perhaps the group’s predicament, a PNP member on the other side of the road, without our requesting for help, easily flagged one and directed the driver to make a u-turn proceed towards us. After assisting Tauwa to board, this corner looked toward the policeman’s way to thank him and ask for his name for proper crediting here, but saw him no more. He must have proceeded on to patrol his beat long Sucabon.

But should we chance upon seeing him again, you will know who.