The scientific logic of symbiosis PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 January 2016 15:09

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

“We don’t deserve a DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) Secretary like him.”

Thus spoke Senator Grace Poe on Joseph Emilio Abaya in a grim statement in talks with the media.

This comes following the continued refusal of Transportation of Abaya to vacate his post in spite of his alleged failure to address the traffic congestion and other transport woes in the country.

Add to that, friends, the scandalous billions in pesos of the no-bid award for the maintenance of MRT-3, which is already scandal-rocked upon Abaya’s assumption as DOTC secretary.

Poe, who led the Senate probe on the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 mess, insists that the DOTC’s alleged failure to mend the MRT problems is sufficient ground for Abaya’s dismissal from office.

The Abaya camp is saying that the MRT 3 failure is that of the past administration.

My friends, refreshing our memory on this, reprinted hereto is a portion of our 7th Jan. edition of Sound Snipings - “Former general manager of the Metro Rail Transit-3, Al Vitangcol wants company in the case he now faces before the Sandigandayan. He said, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya should be charged alongside him for approving questionable maintenance contracts for the commuter train system.

“The one accountable for that contract is the one who awarded and signed that contract. If I’m the only one who signed the contract, then I’m accountable,” Vitangcol told reporters in Club Filipino.

But, he added, “The final approval came from Abaya,” noting that the Transportation secretary had signed the contract and renewed it several times. He must be charged, too he said.”

So there, who was and is at fault?

* * * *

A 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Binugao, Toril, Davao City was put into operation in appropriate rites presided over no less than by Pres. B S Aquino.

The power plant is owned by Aboitiz-Power and is operated by its subsidiary, Therma South, Inc. (TSI).

It will supply more than 20 electric cooperatives and distribution utilities in Mindanao.

Aboitiz-Power said the power plant is one of the critical projects needed to finally solve the long-term Mindanao power shortages.

Mindanao has long since suffered shortage of power supply coupled with other problems such as bombings of transmission utilities.

Parts of Zamboanga peninsula is reported to be also served by the new power source.

In any case one looks at it, that would mean greater power supply for Zamboanga City. (With MB quotes)

* * * *

This corner knows several minds opposing the operation of certain facilities, such as a coal-fired power plant, citing pollution as chief reason. But politely, this keyboardist entertains a different view.

Some 5 years back, we once embarked on a trip to Cagayan de Oro City where were one such facility has long been in operation.

To our astonishment, even if the plant at that was in full operation, no smoke was visibly being emitted from its giant chimneys.

That visit was capped by a question and answer portion with plant authorities.

One such question thrown was, “How come no visible smoke is emitted by your engines, coal-fired as they are?

Answer - “Gentlemen, we use only imported coal coming from Indonesia. Such material is smokeless.”

And this corner shot back one at them, “Smoke may not be visible due to what you say is coal coming from Indonesia. But being burned as they are, there are definitely emissions, though not seen by the human eye. Comment, please.”

Reply - “Take a peek, please, on the windows of all sides of the building, you will see the answer.”

Folks, hectares upon hectares were trees on all sides of the plant site.

Need we still explain the scientific logic of symbiosis.

This was taught to us in the grades.

Case rested.

* * * *

The Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada petition for bail, consuming over a year of hearings has finally been decided. But to the chagrin of petitioner Estrada. Bail was denied.

The case, arising from Estrada’s detention relative to the P183-million plunder case he is facing in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel fund scam, was heard before Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division

Defense lawyer Alexis Abastillas-Suarez has confirmed the anti-graft court’s decision.

Estrada was one of three senators charged in June 2014 in connection with the pork barrel scam. The other two were Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile.

And the Revilla separate bail petition was denied by the Sandiganbayan’s First Division in December 2014, Enrile, however, is out on bail after the Supreme Court granted his bail petition on humanitarian grounds.

Both Estrada and Revilla remain detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

* * * *

Worldwide rage over North Korea’s self-admission to have tested its nuclear weapon - in what was described as “shocking”, - continues to spread.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) “deeply troubling (and) profoundly destabilizing” while members of the UN Security Council called it “a clear threat to international peace and security” after an urgent meeting.

Officials and experts, though, remain highly skeptical of the claim. But said it was a sophisticated H-bomb. And that the latest test provided unnerving proof - if proof were still needed - of North Korea’s steadfastness to developing advanced nuclear weapons capability.

China, although Pyongyang’s sole major ally, backed the 15-member council strongly condemning the test and said it would begin work on a new UN draft resolution that would contain “further significant measures.”

UN diplomats confirmed that talks of intensifying several sets of sanctions already in place on secretive North Korea since it first tested an atomic device in 2006.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a strong demand for DPRK to cease any further nuclear activities. He was voicing international condemnation of the test aired not just by the North’s traditional adversaries like the United States and South Korea, but also like China, a known ally .

The censure and sanctions threats are synonymous, to similar outrage earlier that greeted the North’s previous tests in 2002, 2009 and 2013. Some even harshly suggested the need to find a strategy that combined coercion with negotiation. (With MB reports)

* * * *

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Thursday warned of the raising of a red flag if attempts to restrict air and sea travel in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) would be imposed.

His statement came amid China’s announced landing of three planes over Fiery Cross Reef in recent days, that incited protests from rival claimants Vietnam and the Philippines.

Fears were sensed that it could impose military controls in the area.

“Freedom of navigation and overflight are non-negotiable. They are red flags for us,” Hammond told a joint news conference with his Filipino counterpart, Albert del Rosario, in Manila.

Other than to stress Britain would continue to assert its right to sail in the area, Hammond, whose Manila visit followed a trip to China, made no mention on what action would be taken if the “red flag” is hoisted.

But, friends, all and sundry know the connotation of a red flag. Yes, “WAR”

On the other hand, del Rosario, expressed wariness that with the test flights, China was laying the groundwork for the declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), similar to the one it declared in the East China Sea that incensed Japan. (With TMT lifts)

* * * *

The Monggueh cabinet had a grand time last night. The group was at the golden wedding anniversary celebration of spouse Hernando “Lando and Gloria Herrera. The chairman, who usually ends the session on or about 7 pm, stayed on until close to 9 last night. And after about a week of no-beer days due to coughs, resumed playing golf - gulp gulp gulp.

Somewhere in the pages of DZT is a photo of the cabinet with host Lando in session.

* * * *

In Qatar, ten Filipinos are more fortunate than those in neighboring Riyahd.

Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on the occasion of the Qatar National Day celebrated every 18th of December, granted them clemency.

This was the statement issued the other day by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), citing report of the Philippine Embassy in Doha.

Granted clemency were nine males and one female, the DFA said.

The Emir usually issues pardons twice a year, the other during the holy month of Ramadan.

Normally, clemency beneficiaries are often those who have already served a substantial portion of their sentences. In any case, freedom is a lot more fulfilling than remaining in prison. It was n ot cited whether thedr were death convicts among those freed.

The embassy is now facilitating their repatriation in coordination with the Search and Follow-Up Department under the Ministry of Interior (With MB reports).

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 January 2016 15:14