Small news item with huge impact PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 April 2016 11:54

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

A small news item the other day in the front page of DZT revealed the apprehension of three civilian residents of Mampang Barangay, site of the Masepla temporary transitory housing unit for refugees who were victms of the MNLF siege about a year ago. The news item although not prominently  played up for public consumption has a strong impact if dug deeper by our authorities. It will give the reading public explanaqtion on a controversy that started the split and division of a once impregnable political alliance of incumbent Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar and incumbent District 1, Congressman Celso L. Lobregat.The wedge is deep that also divided their followers at the City Council and even their political ward leaders in the barangays.

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Masepla (Mampang Seaweed Planters Association), an area offered by the Mampang barangay to house temporarily the thousands of refugees sheltered by the City Government at the multi-million Joaquin Enriquez Sports Complex (grandstand) at RT Lim Blvd and when the city was made aware of the massive destruction of the sports complex almost destroying all the sport ground facilities and buildings thereat, to include the nearby national high school building. Immediate transfer was decided by the city officials to save the existing sports properties from total destruction. The area decided was the Masepla in Mampang after several consultations from barangay officials and residents. It will be called a temporary transitory site for the siege victims instead as a refugee camp and the housing construction will be funded by foreign donations.

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From the very beginning the Masepla issue was already an irritant to our city officials and the members of the city council.The irritation bloomed into a controversial issue, when there were doubts in the housing construction done by the city and questions of proprietary rights that the barangay officials of Mampang raised. However, this controversy already caused the weakening of the Climaco-Salazar and Lobregat political alliance, since many council resolutions in support of the improvement of the Masepla transistory site, took a hard time for approval at the City Council because a division of opinion is in the oping.

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The issue blew into a magnitude that caused the political alliance of Climaco-Salazar-Lobregat to crumble, when information reached the city officials that some 100 units of transitory units were demolished and government construction materials were lost and nowhere  to be found. Some city officials were blaming each other, including the City Engineers Office (CEO) and the City Social Welfare Office (CSWO). Loose charges of misappropriation and operational lapses on the Masepla, took ground and more controversial issues  developed from bad to worse.

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The smoke grew into fire and broke the alliance when some city officials discovered that some vacant units abandoned by some refugees were converted into a honky-tonk “whore house” and involved some young female refugees, who allegedly sold their flesh cheaper than a kilo of rice and this issue reached the front pages of international news for violating women’s rights. It allegedly caused the Climaco-Salazar- Lobregat political split and became unfriendly when it was aggravated by the discovery of a road construction going to the Masepla area was allegedly already funded by foreign donors and the City Engineers Office (CEO)  allegedly approved by the Chief Executive was seeking another budget for road construction at the City Council allegedly on the same area. The controversial political split was also allegedly caused when the CEO was seeking authority from the city council to construct 100 units of new housing untis at the transitory site, when in fact some 100 units were discovered demolished and abandoned by refugees. This and more political issues caused the real reason for the political split of the Climaco-Salazar-Lobregat alliance that is now taking its toll at the local political scene.

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The three culprits apprehended and caught in the act demolishing a housing unit and again caught red handed selling the demolished construction materials to an enterprising individual, should be given prominence in the investigation of our authority. The nefarious act of the three culprits could have given the city officials “piece of mind” on the destruction of the 100 units of tenements at the Masepla transitory site. The three individuals could have given the authorities and the city government the real people involved in the demolition of those 100 units and free some city officials from some doubts on their integrity. Three robbers should be grilled by our authorities to shed light on the issue that has caused the political division and heated relationship of our city officials.

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Allegedly, the three individuals caught red handed demolishing and selling construction materials from the transitory site in Mampang are now under police custody and police are set to file a case of malicious mischief against them. Was it not they were caught red handed in selling those stolen government construction materials?  The Anti-Fencing Law must come in and prosecute the buyer and the seller who have the same gravity of culpability, Why only the three robbers?

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Scoop:”Double standards are inspiration to men of letters, but they are apt to be fatal to politicians” — Henry Brooks Adams in the Education of Henry Adams. Need Table Talk say more? Agree or disagree.

 

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