Terror from politicians PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 13:45

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

The Moro National Liberation Front on Tuesday claimed that the presence of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) during a meeting of its forces in Sulu last January 10 was not meant forge to to an alliance.

MNLF spokesman Absalum Cerveza, in a radio interview over a dzMM-Manila, denied reports that they invited the Abu Sayyaf Group to their January 10 meeting to establish ties.

Presence of the ASG fighters, he said, was coincidental as that meeting day was the observance of “kanduli” (fiesta). And he added that many ASG and MNLF members are relatives by blood.

There it goes, relatives by blood, If that isn’t virtual links, we do not know what is.

In any case, Cerveza described the event as an open convocation, where all were welcome to come if they liked. The spokesman denied allegations that they are protecting the Abu Sayyaf and its alleged extortion and abduction acts.

He even claimed they have distanced themselves from the Abu Sayyaf, saying they do not want to be attached to what he termed as shenanigans. In conclusion, he was heard to have taken a snipe on government, quipping, just as the military has no control over the ASG, so do they

In the interview, Cerveza confirmed that MNLF founding chairman, fugitive Nur Misuari, led a meeting in Sulu last week.

* * * *

This time around, it is not outlaws who terrorize civilians, reportedly, it is politicians.

Residents of a village in the Island town Pata, sought government help to prevent another attack on their community which one townster said was precipitated by their refusal to commit support to the incumbent mayor, Anton Burahan.

60-year-old Bidin Jubail, a resident of Saimbangon village, lamented they are powerless against the marauders.

Jubail reported that alleged followers of Burahan, armed with M203 grenade launcher, and M-14 and M-16 rifles attacked their town last Jan. 2.

During that raid, armed villagers engaged them in a fight that lasted for at least 16 hours.

The clash ceased only when soldiers and policemen arrived in the afternoon of the following day.

Julamin Jubail, Bidin’s son, however, described the encounter as to be on intruders side as their weapons were high-powered and ammunition in abundance.

* * * *

China is getting to bully the Philippines even more now. After reclaiming an island in the Philippine-claimed island, then building airstrips on it, its aggression in the West Sea Philippine Sea  South China Sea) is aggravating.

Only recently, they drove away Filipino fishermen. Now the Chinese are shooing away Philippine planes flying to an island in Palawan.

The Philippine aviation regulator on Monday disclosed that China’s Naval force harassed a Philippine-registered aircraft flying over Pagasa Island in the West Philippine Sea. The Cessna plane was flying personnel of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) who went to the island to inspect a possible site for the installation of a radar.

Cruising some 40 miles away from the Rancudo airstrip, the plane received a admonition from the Chinese Navy -

“Foreign military aircraft, this is the Chinese Navy, you are threatening the security of our station,” the Chinese Navy warned.

But CAAP technical consultant Inocencio Yncierto, a member of the team that visited Pagasa, said the pilot disregarded the Chinese warning and landed still.

On the other hand, CAAP spokesman Eric Apolonio described the proposed radar to be installed as an Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment in a two square meter land beside the runway of Rancudo Airfield at Pag-asa Island.

It will allow the Philippines to monitor commercial flights passing through the West Philippine Sea.

Apolonio explained that the ADS-B technology is a system that an aircraft uses to determine its location via satellite navigation.

It makes flying significantly safer for the aviation community by providing pilots with improved situational awareness.

Malacañang also on Monday said the CAAP incident had been reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs. (With TMT lifts)

* * * *

All eyes of political pundits interested in the Mamasapano re-investigation will soon be on Sen. Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on public order and illegal drugs that handles the probe.

Pundits claim Poe, a presidential hopeful, has been observed to be tentative in her moves, as she is seen “playing safe” when she pulled her punches every time PNoy seemed to be in the firing line in the course of the first investigation.

TMT’s Atty. Dodo Dulay, however said, she took the right first step by not inhibiting from the reopened probe, as Senator Alan Peter Cayetano had suggested. But now that she’ll be back at the head of the table, she cannot be a passive participant.

Dulay noted that her pronouncements in a recent radio interview that she will “just moderate in the hearing” smacks of political fence-sitting.

He added, this time around, her true mettle will be tested to determine if she has the intestinal fortitude to extract the answers to the many lingering questions about the Mamasapano massacre, even if it means antagonizing PNoy and his allies.

It is also believed, per backdoor chatter, Poe is treating PNoy with kid gloves because she is still holding out for his last-minute support or endorsement.

On that score, it was only yesterday that we wrote on that here. A refresher -

“Party stalwarts, with President Benigno Aquino III as no exception,, are reportedly considering to dump the tandem of Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, and shift their support to the team-up of Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

According to sources from the group of Poe and the Palace, this will come into play if the Roxas-Robredo billing will still fail to take off in the next surveys.

The sources said Poe and Escudero will be the administration’s reserve if the survey standings of Roxas and Robredo will remain in limbo.”

With that, all eyes will indeed be on Poe.

* * * *

TMT’s Tita Villarama writes, “The decision to reject the bill hastily approved by Congress barely four months before an election and less than six months before this administration bows out of office is obviously an extremely unpopular move.

To this corner, a lot more later - yes - very unpopular after learning that government has granted rebels sizeable Pagibig health benefits. But we repeat, granting health benefits to rebels, per se, is understandable. For it is a sign of peace offering. But the president should be fair to other sectors. Do not deny the oldies, who under these trying times, need much help. The pensioners’ amount of take is yet of the vintage days. It needs augmentation.

Valderama rightly continues that “Had it not been for the hefty bonuses and honoraria of board members and executives as well as the bad investments of the Social Security System (SSS), it would have been easier to understand the reasons behind the presidential veto of the enrolled bill granting P2,000 across-the-board increase in the monthly pension of SSS retirees.

In view thereof, he criticisms were harsh and rude: heartless, insensitive, stupid, merciless, indifferent, among others.

* * * *

Critics as well as administration allies, including Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, said the President’s decision to reject the pension increase would adversely affect candidates endorsed by Aquino.

Robredo, it seems is being practical. But her standard bearer appears not. Mar Roxas even looks as callous as his endorser, Pnoy.

Try this for size - LP presidential candidate Mar Roxas said he is not worried about the possible backlash of the President’s decision, stressing that the people will eventually understand that what the Chief Executive did was the right thing to do.

“I support the President’s decision. I think it is not right, it is not part of Daang Matuwid (straight path) that just for the sake of political points, because of election, we will destroy the future of 31 million SSS contributors,” said Roxas. (With MB lifts)

* * **

The Supreme Court (SC) meets this afternoon (Jan. 19) to hear oral arguments on two disqualification cases  against Sen. Grace Poe.

A marathon debate on the Poe case is expected, reports say. And the SC had earlier said it will rule expeditiously on the merits of Poe’s two petitions in consideration of the timeline of the Comelec’s preparations for the May elections.

Will the SC indeed be able to beat that Comelec timeline. We can only hope but not expect. (With MB feeds)