‘Let us see’ PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 13 February 2016 13:59

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

Among 21 ADZU alumni artist-participants in the art display, “Alumni Art Exhibit: Past to Present,” at the Gallery of the Peninsula and the Archipelago of Ateneo de Zamboanga University last closing year, was Icelle Borja, a noted local mainstay in the field of arts.

This artistic event was initiated by the Alumni Relations and Development Center in cooperation with the ADZU Alumni Association, and was for a noble purpose. Sale proceeds of the art works went to the scholarship funds of the university.

There were 58 art works on display for sale then, which included Icelle’ 3 from among her precious art collections.

Alumni Vice-President Engr. George Ledesma, who led in welcoming the guests, said the event was not only showcasing the artistic talents of their alumni. “Art is a great leveler, it can draw us into their world and give them the tools to understand how they live or they think in a much deeper way. Through art, they are able to show more about themselves. Art ties people together,” Engr. Ledesma expounded.

At present, Icelle is busy traveling around the country as a Research Associate of the National Museum. She is also doing commissioned work for the Tetuan Parish history and the Tetuan Historiography. (With DZT reports)

* * * *

The AFP in Basilan is showing the way in the fight against the illicit drug trade.

In dawn of Wednesday, a suspected big-time drug lord, long wanted by authorities, was killed during a 10-minute gunfight with government authorities at dawn Wednesday during a buy-bust operation at    their hideout in Sitio Canas, Barangay Calangcanas, Maluso town, Basilan.

Major Felimon Tan, Western Mindanao Command Information Officer, made the announcement and identified the slain drug lord as Abubakar Mohammad Alias Abubakar Asa.

Eight of Mohammad’s followers, whom authorities did not name, were wounded and apprehended.

Tan told media, the soldiers initially engaged the lawless elements in a running gun battle at around 4:30 a.m. which resulted in the killing of Mohammad.

Seized after the encounter, were two M-16 Armalite rifles, one M-203 grenade launcher, two .22 caliber pistol, one rifle grenade, several rounds of ammunition, some 50 sachets of    methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally called shabu, and other prohibited drug paraphernalia.

Those arrested were later turned over to the Maluso Municipal Police Station for the filing of appropriate charges against them, Tan added.

According to Tan, the buy-bust operation, preceded by a week-long surveillance, was jointly undertaken by elements of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Maluso Police Station, the Marine Battalion Landing Team-11 and 4th Special Forces Battalion.

Basilan Police reports indicate Mohammad, together with his men, virtually controls illegal drug pushing and distribution in several municipalities of the island province. (MS-supplied)

* * * *

Reports that due to the low ratings of LP bet Manuel Roxas 2nd in the presidential-preference polls three months to the May 9 elections has added steam that balikbayan , now Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares, is the secret weapon of Pres. BS Aquino.

Bruited about is that, in exchange for protection when she wins the presidency, Pres. Aquino made a secret agreement to support balikbayan , Poe.

This perception was amplified when Poe joined Aquino’s birthday party in Malacañang on Feb. 8.

Claiming she did not sit at Aquino’s table, sources say that Aquino walked her out as she left the party and appeared to have been in serious talk with her, pausing several times to lean over to hear what she was saying.

Columnist Rigoberto Tiglao, queries, “Who in her right political mind would attend, in the heat of a campaign period, the birthday party of a President who officially supports a rival candidate? He then surmised, it could only be the only safe way to seal a crucial deal face-to-face.

Earlier, speculations that she may be Aquino’s secret candidate were fanned when in a press conference she said that she and Aquino are “friends,” even if they don’t agree on everything.

Accordingly, she certainly acted as a friend when Aquino needed her support at the Senate committee hearings last year on the Mamasapano massacre, making him unaccountable for the tragic deaths of government troopers even when nearly every evidence and testimony made in the hearings of the committee she headed proved otherwise.

Tiglao adds, she failed to follow up clear leads made in the hearings, such as summoning telephone company records to find out if sacked police general Alan Purisima and the President were in continuous communication the whole day of Jan. 25, which would belie Purisima’s fantastic claim that they stopped exchanging text messages at 8 a.m.

Llamanzares even obviously rushed to end the hearings called for by Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile to reinvestigate the Mamasapano massacre in a day’s time. Senate President Franklin    Drilon, one of Aquino’s closest political advisers, sat beside Llamanzares during the whole proceeding and appeared to be advising her.

He continues that the quid pro quo includes for the President to leave no stone unturned in getting the Supreme Court to overturn the Commission on Elections’ ruling, and allow her to run.

And it is also said that Aquino’s support will be mainly financial, set to be unleashed late next month.

Towards that “deal” Tiglao disclosed, Aquino has already made a major step and sent a strong signal to Poe of his support when he, through his operators, allegedly managed to get Associate Justice Martin Villarama, Jr. to retire Jan. 16, three months earlier than his mandatory retirement age of 70 on April 14, 2016.

The move was seen so as to allow Aquino to evade the ban on appointments, 60 days before an election.

And such retirement paved the w ay for the latter to install college classmate Benjamin Caguioa, who had hardly warmed his seat as secretary of justice, replacing Leila de Lima, in October last year.

That master stroke brought to six the justices Aquino appointed to the Supreme Court.

Tiglao analyzes that with the six Aquino appointees, only three more justices are needed for Poe to hurdle the DQ filed against her, and be allowed to run.

He, however believes that the nine remaining justices are very principled people who wouldn’t betray their oaths of office. (RT)

Again, the “chabacano lingo”, Let us to see.

* * * *

The mouth of presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte seems to be raking for him more danger.

He now faces the risk of losing the support of workers and labor unions in the country after threatening to kill members of the Kilusang Mayo Uno if they continue organizing labor unions.

Duterte allegedly made the threats on February 9 during his team’s kick-off rally in Tondo, Manila.

The warning was caught on video and went the rounds on social media.

Speaking on the first day of the election campaign, Duterte was heard saying mostly in Pilipino, “I will establish economic zones. I will bring in investors … Come and work here. Don’t expect things would go fast.

Then you KMU people, stop the labor unions. I myself am pleading with you. We are one in ideology. [But] do not do that because you will destroy my administration. If you do that, I will kill you all. What would happen is, the solution would be killing. [Why? Because] I’d ask you to have a discussion and you wouldn’t bring yourselves to the table.

So do not do that – an active labor front. Because if you do, companies will pull out. Do not do it. Give the Philippines respect for about 10 years.”

In view thereof, KMU strongly criticized Duterte and said “its ranks are ready to defend themselves from whatever form of repression Duterte or any other president may unleash on the militant trade union movement.”

Joel Maglunsod, KMU vice president for Mindanao, said knowing Duterte’s penchant for hyperbole, his statement is prone to be taken literally. He chastised Duterte for making such threats, which Maglunsod described as “irresponsible and disrespectful” to workers, the urban poor, and drivers, sectors that are represented in the labor organization.

Other labor groups such as the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Associated Labor Unions (ALU), PartidoManggagawa(PM), and the BukluranngManggagawang Pilipino (BMP) also expressed dismay and said they will reject Duterte’s bid for the presidency.

Last week, the Davao mayor was also assailed by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) for “quickly” changing his stand on the land reform program in favor of foreign investors.

(With TMT feeds)

* * * *

Concerns over reports of incompatibilities in the electronics systems used in the counting of votes mount.

The joint congressional oversight committee on Automated Elections System (JCOC-AES) on Thursday expressed disappointment over the problems bugging the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which they said could cause the postponement of polls in some areas.

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd, chairman of the JCOC-AES, said these issues are very disappointing because these are all happening when the campaign period is already and, and gives the impression that with less than 90 days from the elections, resolution of these ills will be difficult to come by.

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, also alarmed by the reported glitches, said these problems show that the preparations for the upcoming electoral exercise are ill-prepared.

Speaking in Pilipino, Marcos said, “Of course we are all worried. The problem is the source code, that’s the root cause of it all.”

Which necessarily means, conduct of the elections in May are imperiled.

Likewise, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) expressed fears that the glitches in the source code might prompt the Comelec to invoke its powers to suspend the national and local elections.