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Sunday, 20 March 2016 15:12

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato


The expose’ of Councilor Percival Ramos, is not a matter to be downplayed as what City Hall is moving to do. It truly is a bombshell. There’s more to it than meets the eye.

So many vital issues as presented by Ramos have to be clarified to the satisfaction of all. The money involved, as well tainted acts of officials pointing to possible grandiose scams and thieveries is no joke.

The issues must be cleansed.

Ramos earlier questioned the City Government for asking the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to construct additional new houses when there were more than 150 houses that were unoccupied and then demolished by the City Government.

Based on the Ramos claims, there appears no accounting of the materials salvaged from the demolished houses. The City Engineer’s Office cannot even satisfy questions as to exactly how many house were torn down and for what reasons.

And whatever happened to the special account opened by the City Government to receive donations from national and local donors to include donations coming from Local Government Units, NGOs, private individuals and others is a concealed concern. It will be recalled, Mayor Beng Climaco in her State of the City Report, last January 15, 2014,  even thanked Councilor Agan for initiating the opening of said account.

This spoke Climaco, “Si Con. Agan ya inicia el abrida  del special account para el maga donacion financial.” (Councilor Agan initiated the opening of a a special for all financial donations.)

How much was deposited to the account and how the money was spent or is left in the bank is a mystery, Ramos bared.

And one vital information relative to donations was revealed by way of a statement made by CSWD Officer Ma. Socorro Rojas.

She said that no less than P500 million was donated by international donors.

For what purpose it was, Ramos regrets, is yet another ambiguity.

Also, doubts surfaced on more misgivings - the concreting of the road-right-of-way leading to Masepla transitory site in the amount of P7.8 million.

Ramos disclosed, the City Government had asked for authority from the City Council to concrete a road, when said road was already under construction and nearing completion.

The matter is indeed dubious.

He also questioned the matter of extending the amendment of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with regards to the time frame. Accordingly, the original MOA approved through Resolution No. 629 of the City Council on May 20, 2014 was for a period of 1 year commencing from May 2014 to May 2015. When the MOA expired there was no request for extension, and it is only now that the City Government is asking the City Council to approve the amended MOA for a period of 1 year commencing Feb. 1, 2016 to March 1, 2017.

And it turned out, too, that the Barangay Chairman and Kagawads of Mampang are against the construction of additional houses in Masepla.

* * * *

Downplaying the Ramos bombshell, through City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, here is the reaction of City Hall to the issue, .

Apolinario explained that the shelters at Masepla-3 transitory site were temporary in nature as the IDPs were to eventually be transferred to their assigned permanent housing units elesewhere, as they have now been.

When the houses were abandoned, they were used by unscrupulous individuals for illegal activities like prostitution and drug, prompting thus the city government to demolish the same, saying the number of units were 160.

Hello… does that explanation satisfy you, folks? To SS, a big “NO” - shallow an alibi.

The Mayor is now asking for Council authority to build new shelters, when the City claims to have already transferred the IDP’s to their assigned permanent housing units.

Who then will occupy those new shelters?

One other angle. For any government-expended property to be demolished, an approved council resolution must first be secured. And in the request for demolition, later status of all salvaged materials has to be declared. That is one requirement that may have escaped the minds of the protagonists.

On the matter of requesting council authority to build news houses, Apolinario countered, the authority being asked from the City Council was for the mayor to sign the contract to extend or renew the use of the lot at Masepla-3 for another one year and not for construction of new shelters.

Now, that is where SS could not venture a snipe not having read the request letter. However, SS finds it hard to believe that Ramos could mistake a bolt from a nut.

So it is with Apolinario, he can neither mistake one from the other, but it could likely be, he just must have twisted the facts, clever an apologist as he is credited to be.

Elmeir, friend and compadre to me, is so astute as he is even prone to offer himself as a chopping board. Na chabacano pa, sapin de impierno. He he he. Pasaplit solamente. Joke, amigo.

Now watch this. The road project and all expenses from the bridging fund of P50-million from the DSWD, Apolinario said, had passed through the procurement process like bidding, and that all allocations thereof are always subject for liquidation, which we are doing now.

Hey hey, amigo. Careful. That just could be a giveaway statement, “subject for liquidation, which we are doing now.”

Get the point , folks? Road was constructed in early 2014, then why this “we are doing now”? And at a time, the project is undergoing scrutiny!

Timing is suspect. Think so, too?

* * * *

While I thank Mayor Beng Climaco for the P1-million stage, I thank former Mayor and now Congressman Celso L. Lobregat 30 times more for the over P30-million worth of projects completed during Mayor Celso’s administration in the ZCHS-Main”.

Thus, satirically spoke comebacking city dad Rudy Lim in reaction to Mayor Beng Climaco’s turnover of a P1-million stage at the Zamboanga City High School Main.

A former Councilor and Chairman of the City Council’s Committee of Education during the Lobregat watch, Lim recalls that a 3-storey 27-classroom building was constructed and completed between 2011 to 2012 worth P22.4-million in said school. Lim further narrated, “The more the (than) P2-million covered-court wherein the new stage was constructed was built also during the Lobregat administration”.

Likewise, under Lobregat, City Government also constructed an additional 15 classrooms in an existing multi-storey building there. In addition, there was also the construction of a multi-million-peso comfort room complex for the ZCHS-Main. Adding all of these 4 projects completed during the Lobregat administration would amount to more than P30 million. He concluded by saying, as former mayor and now congressman, education has always been among Lobregat’s top priority. (DZT-supplied)

* * * *

While it seems, some other nations treat China’s aggression in the Spratlys with kid gloves, conveying notions of fear, Argentina mans up.

It is reported that when a Chinese fishing boat, ignored an Argentine gunboat’s warning signs, followed by warning shots, the latter minced no words in sinking the Chinese vessel.

No later report on the incident had so far been released.