Callousness PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 30 January 2016 10:34

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

Water scarcity, after all is not that miserable as announced three weeks after the implementation of water rationing in this city.

This was clarified by the Zamboanga City Water District, disclosing that the new water rationing schedule will provide eight hours of water service daily and not four as earlier published.

The eight-hour water service is four hours down from its previous schedule providing for 12 hours earlier imposed on January 8.

The new schedule took effect yesterday at 5 p.m. and is four hours less than the previous schedule as water district officials disclosed water levels at the diversion dam has dipped to 74.06 and inflow into its production plants dropped considerably the past two weeks due to the absence of rainfall.

Rainfall is the natural recourse in replenishing water sources of the city and improving water depth in the Tumaga River, the main source of aquifiers inflow to the ZCWD filtration plant in Pasonanca.

Water district officials are closely monitoring the water inflow situation even as mitigation measures are being contemplated to help improve the situation.

Among these is the implementation of a cloud seeding operation to induce rainfall in the city.

The city is in the midst of a debilitating ‘El Nino’ phenomenon, described by PAGASA as one of the worst to hit Zamboanga in the past few years. (DZT-sourced)

* * * *

In Isabela City, the capital of Basilan province, government troops foiled a bombing attempt right in mid-town proper, a few days.

Chief Inspector Rogelio Alabata, Police Regional Office Zamboanga Peninsula information officer, said an improvised bomb was recovered at Mabuhay Trading along Roxas Avenue, Barangay Isabela proper, Isabela City.

Alabata said prior to the recovery of the IED, alert intelligence operatives of the Army’s 15th Special Forces Company noted two riding-in-tandem men who were carrying a suspicious item.

The men boarded a motorcycle without a registered plate in the vicinity of the Sta. Isabel Cathedral Church.

Alabata said the two men, who then trailed under cover threw the item in the vicinity of Mabuhay Trading and sped towards the village of Kaumpurnah where the intelligence operatives tailed them.

It was disclosed if the two men feel into the hands of  the police operatives.

But personnel from the Explosive Ordnance Demolition (EOD) and Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) were immediately called in to cordon the area in the vicinity.

The object was later disposed of with a water disruptor when it was confirmed to be an improvised bomb.

According to Alabata, the motive could only be at causing fear and panic among the populace, as management of the Mabuhay Trading told authorities they have received no extortion demand or threat of any sort.(Nonoy Lacson-fielded item)

* * * *

Spice-tongued columnist Rigoberto Tiglao filed this piece. “If presidential candidate Manuel Roxas 3rd looked so morose at the Senate hearing the other day on the Mamasapano massacre – especially when Senator Juan Ponce Enrile grilled him on why he did not do anything to save the massacred police commandos – it was most probably because he has already been mourning the fatal impact of that incident on his bid to be the next Philippine President.

Enrile growled at him and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin: “You two are in charge of the nation’s security! You on internal security, Secretary Gazmin (who sat beside Roxas) on external security, but you did nothing (to save the 44 Special Action Force troopers)?”

By his own admission, Roxas said that he was informed of Oplan Exodus, its success in killing a wanted international terrorist, Marwan, and of the troopers’ difficulties at about 7:00 in the morning, after which, he said, he promptly informed President Aquino through an SMS message of what he just learned.

“What was Aquino’s response?” he was asked. Roxas said, “He replied: ‘thank you’.”

Ganon? (Just like that?), inferred Tiglao, giving the impression of callousness to the highly risky mission and the dangers then hounding the SAF raiding posse.

He questioned the kind of a head of our internal security, when a dreaded international terrorist was terminated, with an ongoing operation wherein government troopers were in deep peril, yet Roxas didn’t even take the initiative to discuss these important developments with the President.

As clearly pictured, Roxas was with Aquino almost the whole day of Jan. 25, 2015 in Zamboanga, with the defense secretary in company, aware the police troopers were beleaguered in enemy territory, yet express orders to the military and other allied forces to save the SAF troops was not issued.

* * * *

On the other hand, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. lamented, if Pres. Aquino had observed standard operating procedure (SOP) in launching police operations like Oplan Exodus, the 44 police commandos slain in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, would still be alive today.

Pointedly, Marcos said, very clearly as the President disregarded procedures in the planning and execution of the operation, at the same disregarding the chain of command, the massacre occurred.

He opined that while there may have been no bombshell dropped during the reopening of the Senate inquiry into the Mamasapano bloodbath, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile succeeded in showing the evidently clear role of Aquino in the botched operation and how he (mis)handled it.

Marcos concluded that the main focus of reopening the Senate investigation was to find out what really happened back then and Enrile was able to accomplish it.

Clearly, he added, there was lack of coordination due the President’s move to keep the operation secret to other officials of government, particularly to the officer-in-charge of the PNP (Philippine National Police.

Cabinet and security officials present during the hearing still had the temerity to claim that Aquino was not aware of the real situation of the SAF troops deployed in Maguindanao to capture suspected terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, because no clear information reached him that day.

But Marcos maintained that it was unlikely for Aquino not to get information regarding the status of the operation and the impending doom of the police commandos.

There were text messages and exchanges of information among Cabinet and security officials as early as 5 a.m. that day, and they were even discussing it,” he said.

Marcos also noted that if the President did not know what was happening on January 25, 2015, it would only mean that he was not monitoring the operation that he put in place without the knowledge of the police and the military. (TMT feeds)

* * * *

Even a miracle will not save the BBL from collapse.

Such is the displayed impression of two officials of the Lower House, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Deputy Speaker Pangalian Balindong.

The House leader said, with only three days left before Congress adjourns for the election campaign period, there is no longer any chance for the BBL to be passed as Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had hoped.

Belmonte admitted that for it to become a law at this stage is impossible because the Senate version is different and has not even been discussed in plenary.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd had prodded lawmakers to pass the measure but the House was dogged with quorum problems.

And Balindong, for his part, attributed what he called as an aborted Bangsamoro Law to the Mamasapano tragedy.

Balindong said most lawmakers showed no interest in passing the measure even if the Ad Hoc panel on the Bangsamoro revised the draft bill by removing the opt-in provision, which would expand the core Bangsamoro area through a plebiscite.

Provisions on the establishment of a Bangsamoro military command, Bangsamoro police, Bangsamoro auditing body, Bangsamoro Civil Service Commission and a Bangsamoro poll body were also removed.

Likewise, a government official as he is gave the notion that the lack of support was due to discrimination of Muslim. (With TMT feeds)

* * * *

With that said and done, contrary to Balindong’s inkling it is worthier to note of the change in outlook of a previously tough-talking MILF top honcho, the now-mellowed  spokesman, Mohagher Iqbal.

Impressed as this corner was, we wrote about his renewed stance, meriting a re-print pf the item herfe - “ And this one here sounds even better. MILF peace panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal said “… there were signs that the BBL would not be passed and there would be frustration in the ranks of the MILF. But the MILF would still pursue the path of peace even if the measure is not enacted.

Well said, Sir. And it is very elating to note that the MILF stand is getting more and more domesticated.


I   qbal added, “.. If the BBL doesn’t pass, I think we’re back to zero. But in terms of the peace process, I don’t think we’ll be back to zero, except if a new president would adopt a war policy, that’s another matter,” he added.

That’s is what we call a decent viewpoint. (With PS reports)

* * * *

The jackpot prize in Saturday’s Grand Lotto 6/55 draw has climbed to P160 million.

According to Jose Ferdinand Rojas 2nd, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) general manager, nobody hit the Wednesday draw’s winning combination of 18-12-32-09-23-50.

Thus, Rojas said, the 6/55 estimated jackpot prize for the Saturday draw has ballooned to P160 million.