What are they allies for PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 February 2016 13:47

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

Here are quickies for today’s edition.

Areas in this city that are prone to frequent shooting incidents and other forms of killing are acknowledged to be with high incidence of the illicit drug trade.

Thus, spoke Zamboanga City Police Office Officer-in-Charge Supt. Luisito Magnaye, revealing that the city’s drug menace is alarming.

Magnaye said his men are now positioned to combat the drug problems in the different coastal  barangays  in the city from Recodo, Ayala, Sinunuc, Baliwasan Seaside, Rio  Hondo, Sta. Catalina, Talon- Talon, Mampang, Arena Blanco and also within the seven kilometer radius of the city.

He called on the public to help by way of informing the police of any leads to drug trafficking, even if only thru text messages, which he described as very vital to solve the problem.

* * * *

Mayor Beng Climaco appears to do a King Herod, as she sought to clarify issues related to the representation of the indigenous peoples in the City Council.

In effect, she is telling us she simply transmitted the letter of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) regional director pertaining to the removal of Ismael Musa as the representative of the IPs in the City Council, to the various offices including the Sangguniang Panlungsod for information and appropriate action.

She clarified, Mr. Musa was not suspended, but removed by the Council of Elders for loss of confidence.

The mayor issued the statement, in the face of a complaint Musa formally filed before the Commission on Elections,  alleging that she conspired with Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde to remove him as member of the City Council.

* * * *

The Chinese aggression on its claim of part of the Spratley Islands, is heightening.

China’s most recent move was to deploy surface-to-air missiles on a contested island in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The information was bared by Taiwan on Wednesday, as Beijing insisted it had a right to build “self-defense” systems in the strategic region, even as President Barack Obama called    for “tangible steps” to reduce tensions in the region.

Washington says the move threatens free passage in a strategically vital area and has sent warships to sail close to the disputed islands to assert freedom of navigation, raising fears of escalation.

Australian military aircraft also regularly overfly the area.

* * * *

As this developed, Pres. B.S. Aquino 3rd said the Philippines has no intention of challenging the military might of China, noting that his administration has no plan to rise up in arms against its neighbor over disagreements on some disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

This was the gist of his speech at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council in California after the two-day US-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.

The President maintained that the only way to resolve the conflict is through “legal and peaceful” means.

On that we do readily agree, but should China over-abuse its might, our government must be prepared for contingency plans, and stop being bullied. Lets’ face it, we are almost defenseless against armed giant nations. And one such stefp or readiness, is the strengthening of our ties with friendly nations that also wield considerable power and might.

What are they allies for!

* * * *

There are moves in Manila for the Supreme Court (SC) to compel the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to use the voter verification paper audit trail (VVPAT), one of the four minimum security requirements mandated by law, in the May 9 elections.

The move is spearheaded by a group influential bishops, former military and police officials and IT experts. The petition for mandamus at the High Court is poised for filing on the first week of March.

Personalities leading the fight include seven bishops from various denominations, former Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Rey Santillan, Bernie Malitao, Boner Andaya, Larry Celda, Butch Belgica and Noel Pantoja and IT experts Glenn Chong, TotiCasiño and Greco Belgica.

It is supported by former Bukidnon congressman Al Lopez and two former Philippine National Police chiefs—Roberto Lastimoso and Hermogenes Esperon, and former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency head Dioniso Santiago, also a former Armed Forces chief of staff.

The plan includes a mass protest to be attended by members of their churches, including the Catholic Church.

Restoring the use of the Comelec-junked VVPAT is the only way to ensure honesty in the counting of votes. The said. It also serves as a way of verifying if the canvassing is correct, said Belgica.

He added that the VVPAT is important because it will be used for random audit.

Sen. Richard Gordon, who authored the Automated Election System (AES) Law, is also planning to file a suit against the Comelec because of its decision to ditch the use of the VVPAT.

He warned that Comelec officials could be impeached because of their action.(TMT-fed)

* * * *

Missing out on the political party of Sen. Miriam Defensor- Santiago, which was not included in the ballot face that bears the names of presidential candidates, forced (Comelec) to halt the printing of ballots on Tuesday.

According to Director Genevieve Guevarra, head of the Comelec Printing Committee, the error was discovered on Monday during the printing of the final testing and sealing (FTS) ballots which form part of the 56,772,230 ballots that the commission will print.

Guevarra, however, gave assurances that the glitch created no substantial wastage because only 39 FTS ballots have, so far, been printed when the error was noted by personnel of the ballot verification team.

She said printing was stopped the whole day on Tuesday.

And printing resumes only once they receive the corrected ballot face that will bear the name of Santiago’s political party, the People’s Reform Party (PRP).

* * * *

The tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero took own potshot of a snipe at Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd for his alleged failure to maximize the potential of his home province, Capiz, despite being “close” to three presidents of the country.

In a satirical swipe, Escudero on Wednesday said the province is very lucky to have a son like Roxas, who has been allied with the current and previous administrations, because the province could benefit a lot from it.

The two other presidents close to Roxas are former Presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Escudero said Roxas could have done more for his province, considering his closeness to Malacanang but unfortunately his home province still faces the problems it has been facing for many years.

He clarified that he is not saying that Roxas did nothing for his province, only that the LP standard-bearer could have done more as compared to what people are seeing now. (TMT-supplied)

* * * *

And yet another one. Independent presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe scored the administration’s supposed “Daang Matuwid” policy when she and her running mate Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero were allegedly barred from holding a consultation forum with students of a school in Capiz city, the hometown and bailiwick of Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

Poe, however, absolved the school authorities of any wrong doing. She said it has been a standard procedure for the Partido Galing at Puso to hold consultations with students whenever they visit a province.

Poe said that she experienced the same thing before when she was given only two minutes to talk to students in a certain school. The media who were supposed to cover the event were prevented foprm getting in the school premises..

Not much other details were given. (MB-sourced)

* * * *

For his part, LP presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd slammed Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero for his “ignorance” about the province of Capiz, as he reacted to Escudero’s statements made while campaigning in Roxas’ hometown of Capiz on Wednesday that Roxas has not done enough to steer Capiz to progress.

Roxas likened Chiz to a “saling pusa” (who dips his hands in everything).

He chastised Escudero as one who just wants to include his name in the national conversation.

Roxas then dared Escudero to name the things he did for the benefit of his home province of Sorsogon, asserting that Capiz, which used to be a poor area with no water,  no electricity and not much business investments, is now a progressive province with lots of Jollibee branches and malls.

Capiz, Roxas averred, has been developing well, and his constituents can attest to that. There are jobs and the families can spend for their food and other basic needs,” Roxas added.

* * * *

At first glance, this story in the TMT, gave a an inkling that the disqualification case against Sen. Grace Poe is set to be resolved soon, as is soon.

Here it goes, The Supreme Court (SC) is yet uncertain if the disqualification case against Sen. Grace Poe will already be decided during its Baguio summer session or earlier.

But lookie here, “The SC en banc is set to issue a resolution setting the Baguio summer session on April 3 until April 23.

Gosh, such a long way to April, and the 28 is target date for all ballots to be done printing.

That is where problems may arise. And where does that lead the country if in the end Poe is disqualified, with her name carried on the ballots?

Mayhem!

Brace up, folks if that happens.

* * * *

But there’s one development going strong that may avert that frenzying scenario.

Pnoy could truly be behind  Poe. With his six (6) appointees in the High Court, only three (3) more are needed for a ruling in Poe’s favor.

And with the reported entry of Danding Cojuangco in the SC fray, his millions may easily scoop the three, may be even more.