NPA strikes again

SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda () - March 1, 2012 - 12:00am

Suspected NPA rebels burned 5 heavy equipment of R.D. Policarpio Construction Corp. at their Tiplex jobsite in Tarlac, Tarlac. It is believed they are the same group that burned 16 buses of Victory Liner at their garage in La Paz, Tarlac a few months ago.

The 9 other contractors doing the Tiplex project have received letters from the NPA asking for taxes giving their bank account numbers. It is bewildering that the NPAs can operate freely in the President’s home province considering that there are no mountainous areas in Tarlac.

The uncontrolled NPA demand for “taxes” will set back the administration infrastructure program. Note that the NPA rebels burned 100 pieces of equipment worth P1 billion at the Taganito Nickel Asia mine and two other mines in Surigao del Norte.

The NPAs also kidnapped a Mayor in Surigao del Sur, attacked several banana plantations and other farms in the 3 Davao provinces.

The last 12 months, The NPAs attacked 8 police stations in Agusan del Sur, Northern Samar, Negros and the Bicol provinces. They are freely operating in the Sierra Madre mountains from Quezon to Abra.

They are certainly defeating government forces and can attack in any province at will with the AFP/PNP quite helpless.

This is a big deterrent to foreign investors and tourists.

* * *

IGGY COMES HOME… The body of Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo finally arrived last night on an Emirates flight accompanied by his daughter Dina.    

The wake will start today at the home of Gloria and Mike Arroyo at 14 Badjao St., La Vista, QC. On March 3 and 4, it will be transferred to his own home at 17 Badjao St., to be presided over by legal wife, Aleli Morales Arroyo. On March 4, it will be brought to the House of Representatives for necrological services up to 4 p.m. when it will be flown to Bacolod for 3 days with the wake at his hometown of Kabankalan.

He will be buried at the North Cemetery in Manila on March 9.                  

President Gloria M. Arroyo has been granted a furlough by Judge Mupas to visit Iggy’s wake today at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Why so short? Why not allow her to stay the night as most mourners come to pay their respects at night?

* * *

MORE LECTURES… Day 24 of the impeachment trial saw more lectures given to the prosecutors by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago, Chiz Escudero, Panfilo Lacson and Joker Arroyo.

The Senate decided to reject Sen. Antonio Trillanes’ motion to send written interrogatories suggesting instead that the prosecution issue an invitation to her to come as their witness.

Sen. Miriam D. Santiago lambasted Prosecutor Cong. Neri Colmenares for trying to precipitate a clash between the Senate and the Supreme Court by asking the Senate to issue a subpoena or an invitation for Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to testify.

Day 24, saw witness Dr. Juliet Gopez Cervantes, a doctor of GMA who testified on GMA’s health conditions. Emma Avanador of the office of the Vice President who testified that Chief Justice Corona was a consultant for then VP Arroyo from 1998 to 2001, and ABS-CBN cameraman Edmund Villasana who testified to authenticate a video of Supreme Court spokesperson Midas Marquez. Their testimonies were insignificant.

Day 25, saw the prosecution giving up 5 articles leaving them with only articles 2, 3 and 7, another score for the defense. Defense lead counsel Serafin Cuevas was caught in the INC rally traffic jam and was one hour late.

* * *

INC RALLY… The INC prayer rally at the Luneta last Tuesday was a standing room affair with an estimated 1.5 million people in attendance led by Congressmen, Governors, City Mayors and other leading personalities.

The President was not invited to attend the rally. Vice President Jojo Binay was invited but had to go to Bohol and to Cebu for earlier commitments.

 Among those seen at the prayer rally were Representatives Gina De Venecia, Rachel Arenas, Jesus Joson, Mitos Magsaysay, Emmie Calixto Rubiano, Joe Boy Aquino, Pedro Pancho, Toby Tiangco, Antonio Ferrer, Zenaida Angpin, Rex Gatchalian, Rodolfo Antonino, Mark Villar, Rodente Marcoleta, Rogelio Espina, Oscar Malapitan, Arnel Serofica, Marivic Sy Alvarado and Edwin Olivares.

* * *

GOOD IDEA… DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas has proposed the installation of speed limiters in buses with a 40 kilometer speed limit. This is a good idea that should reduce the incidence of accidents in the highways. Some bus companies, notably Don Mariano Transit have voluntarily installed the speed limiters in their buses.

* * *

MINING EO… The proposed Mining Executive Order being finalized by Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa is worrying big businessmen. The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and the Financial Executives of the Philippines (FINEX) have organized a conference to discuss the matter.

Environmental groups led by Gina Lopez and the Save Palawan Movement, CEAP and Ateneo are pushing for the EO which will declare agricultural lands and eco-tourism zones as closed to mining, prescribe suspension of the approval of pending mining applications, and total economic valuation of all areas.

Big businessmen observed that reviewing all existing mining contracts and agreements will discourage foreign investors from coming in.

The anti mining coalition claims that the mining industry is contributing a mere 0.376% contribution to employment. The business groups say precisely that tens of thousands of jobs could be added by opening up, not by closing more areas.

The anti mining activists also claim that no mining site in the country shows economic development in the lives of the people living around it. How about the Baguio Benguet Area? How about Itogon, Mankayan and Rio Tuba?

It’s an interesting debate. Let’s hope P-Noy will find the right balance between the 2 sides.

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