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Tuesday, 19 July 2016 14:12

Sound Snipes

BY Jimmy Cabato

The acid test for the young and demure youngster of a petite Baliwasan Barangay Chair, Aimie Cabato, is taking a turn to complication of sort. With only one Kagawad appearing to be confirmed engaged in the illegal drug trade, the suspects are now two (2).

Complicated, as it so stands. Right?

But for Writing Sniper to describe the Cap’s task — an acid test and complicated could be wrong.  Aimie told me last night she will know who is and who is not in of the two suspects at the latest by 6.30 tonight.

How she would arrive to that conclusion, she did confide in me in confidence, requesting to keep things under wraps so as not to jeopardize her moves.

You will know tomorrow.

In chabacano, they say - Tingnan tayo.

* * * *

Such sweeping action. We refer this time to the move of Zamcelco GM, Engr. Edgardo Ancheta. He ordered the disconnection of power supply to the Justice Hall for its failure to settle the amount of P900,000 it owes the cooperative since 2007.

With that, Court services at the Hall were disrupted early this week. But after a day without electricity, the Supreme Court’s chief of office issued a check of P200,000 and requested Zamcelco to immediately reconnect their electricity because services of the various courts including the Department of Justice and Public Attorney’s Office have been hampered.

The Court official vowed to settle their debt obligations within the year.

Ancheta offered the Supreme Court can ask for restructuring of its outstanding debts to be paid on installments terms on top of its current monthly bills.

It so happens, too, the city government and the Western Mindanao Command are also indebted to the cooperative amounting to millions of pesos.

Ancheta said the city government last year paid P8 million in electric bills utilized by the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in various transitory sites.

“However, it still owes the cooperative millions of pesos in electric consumptions for the streetlights and the city coliseum,” he added.

The WestMinCom, on the other hand, has pledged to settle its debt amounting to P6 million within the year.

* * * *

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte now has in possession of a more detailed “drug matrix” showing the extent of the illegal drug problem in the country.

The list contains the names of personalities who are either operators or protectors of illegal drug syndicates. Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said, he had seen the document and described it as “unbelievable”, to a point that made him want to “throw up.”

The Cabinet official added he could not say when the President would make the matrix public.

Last Friday, Duterte met with businessman Peter Lim of Cebu, who was earlier named by the President as one of the top drug lords operating in the country.

The President threatened to execute Lim if it would be proven that he was involved in the illicit trade. Lim promised to help the government in its anti-drug campaign.

Andanar said it “pained” him to see some names in the drug matrix.

* * * *

From the simple oath-taking rites of the President in Malacañang last 30 June, it appears for his State of the Nation Address (SONA), there is a shift. Although there is said to be with no talent fee or extra expenditures at government expense, the affair could be glittering showbiz.

The SONA will be by the baton of award-winning film director Brillante Mendoza.

Sec. Andanar said Mendoza has simply offered his services for free, and that those with similar talents could also volunteer in ensuring a successful production of the SONA, he said.

Andanar has held an initial meeting with the film director last week to start the creative preparations for the SONA.

This is gonna be showbiz, for sure.

* * * *

Under threats of losing control over the police, mayors and other local officials have been ordered to curb the illegal drug trade in six months.

This was the warning Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno yesterday issued.

Sueno gave them six months from now up to December, and said, if they cannot lower the number of people with drug addiction in their area, they may be charged with serious neglect of duty.

Sueno noted President Duterte’s pronouncement that there were about 23 mayors protecting drug trafficking.

Duterte said he would soon identify the errant local executives after he publicly named five police generals whom he accused of being on the take in illegal drug operations.

* * * *

Sen. Franklin Drilon, one of the stalwarts in the once ruling Liberal Party (LP), wants political turncoatism penalized as part of an overhaul of the party system.

He said this in dismay to the hemorrhaging of LP due to defections to the new majority.

Drilon went on to formally file a bill that, he said, will institutionalize and strengthen political parties as pillars of the country’s democratic system, seeking to strengthen the political system, prevent party switching and level the playing field among parties.

Drilon’s Senate Bill 226 or the proposed Political Party System Act aims to promote party loyalty, discipline and adherence to ideological principles, platforms and programs.

Most political aspirants change political parties for convenience, rather than out of conviction.

The measure seeks to penalize political turncoats by disallowing them to run under any party for any elective position in the next election after changing party affiliation.

* * * *

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is expected to try blocking the acquittal of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) from a plunder charge, in spite of the overwhelming majority that are for acquittal.

And for funny reason. Supreme Court sources told The Manila Times (TMT), Sereno is asserting her move to hold sway as leverage for GMA, a Duterte ally to tell the President not to remove her as Chief Justice.

Duterte has openly admitted that Arroyo is his friend and had in fact offered to pardon the former President. But the latter declined, saying it would be tantamount to admitting guilt.

The source added that by her negative vote for acquittal, she cannot stop the acquittal but as Chief Justice, she can delay the case by asking for several postponements by moving to ‘call again’ the case.