The good and bad news for the Aquino gov't
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila () - June 11, 2010 - 12:00am

Now that President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, III and Vice-President-elect Jejomar Binay have been officially proclaimed, the only thing left for them to do to take the reins of power from Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) is when they officially take their respective oaths of office. Only then will the fate of the Filipino people belong to their hands. After they take their oaths of office, we shall afford them media’s traditional 100 days “honeymoon” so they can truly have a good head start to fix whatever is wrong with this country and there’s a ton of problems for them to solve!

Meanwhile, as The Philippine STAR reported in its banner headlines last Wednesday, the President-elect has become annoyed by the mudslinging between Aquino supporters who are jockeying for juicy positions. I don’t blame him! It was the late Pres. John F. Kennedy who once said, “Victory has a thousand fathers, while defeat is a lonely orphan.” This is what Noynoy Aquino is getting with the thousands of fathers who are now claiming to have had a hand in having him elected as President.

Honestly, I don’t cherish giving President-elect Noynoy any advices, but now because he is exasperated, he should exercise his leadership and appoint only those supporters with proven probity and performance. If the President-elect is serious in making our dream come true… that he would eradicate corruption, therefore it starts right now with those whom he shall be appointing into the thousands of vacated offices.

Even better is if the President-elect makes it a minimum requirement for all new appointees to present their current statements of assets and liabilities (SAL) so that we would know their financial status before their appointment and we can check this out later, whether these appointees have enriched themselves in power. If Noynoy Aquino insists on this requirement, he would certainly get the approving nod of a corrupt-weary Filipino nation.

Incidentally, a couple of weeks ago when President-elect Noynoy offered the job of Tourism Secretary to Boy Abunda (he also writes a column in The Star) the text brigades went overdrive… but even before people could respond to those negative texts, Boy Abunda politely declined the Presidential-elect offer. For that alone, I have a new and healthy respect for Boy Abunda for having the guts to refuse a very hefty offer, while thousands are making a beeline to grab whatever positions that are available. I’m sure he would make a good Tourism Secretary if he took the job.

While we are at the dawn of a new Aquino Presidency, we are greeted with both good news and bad news. First the good news! That finally the Australian-based oil exploration firm Nido Petroleum Ltd. confirmed the presence of a sizable amount of oil in its Tindalo-1 oil well in Northwest Palawan which accordingly has a maximum flow rate of 18,689 barrels per day which surpasses the pre-test levels pegged from 7,000 to 15,000 barrels per day. This is the second oil find after the Galoc oil field.

Of course, the bad news is, the Philippines has zero and I mean zero contingency plans if in case something like what happened to BP in the Gulf of Mexico would happen to us… an oil rig fire that would result in an environmental hazard and do terrible damage to Palawan’s tourism sites. Somehow, the Aquino Administration must prioritize this… making sure that Nido Petroleum Ltd has the capability to fix a similar problem at their cost. The United States is a rich nation, yet it seemed helpless with the oil gushing out of the ocean floor in the gulf. Let’s not see a repeat of this in this country.

The other bad news that the new Aquino Administration might have its hands full even before they get their seats warmed in Malacañang is the raising by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to Alert Level 2 of the Taal Volcano. The last time I was in Taal area, I noticed that it has become one of the playgrounds of Manila’s elite, where they have golf courses, log cabins and horses there. If Taal Volcano erupts, we might see a huge natural disaster in our hands. So now it is time for the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) map out their plans. Let’s hope that Taal Volcano would simmer down and give us peace.

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If we have a few priests available in our neighborhood parishes today, it is because many of our priests are in the Vatican today as Pope Benedict XVI as marked June 9-11 as the end of the Year for Priests. All priests are invited to the Vatican by the Congregation for the Clergy with its theme “Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of Priests.” Today is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and it will mark the official end of the Year for Priests with the offering of a Eucharistic concelebration presided by the Pope in St. Peter’s Square and all the priests in attendance will renew their vows.

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