Happy New Year to all!
SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star) - December 31, 2013 - 12:00am

Finally, we say goodbye to a calamity-filled 2013. Let us hope and pray that God in his mercy will give us a safer, more peaceful and less deadly 2014.

Happy New Year and best wishes to President Noynoy, Ballsy and Eldon, Pinky and Manolo, Viel and Dodo, and Kris, Joshua and Bimby.

Only nine hundred ten more days left of the President’s term. As many have remarked, “two years na lang!”

A break for everybody

It is good that President Aquino took a 3-day break in Baguio. Health Secretary Enrique Ona recommended a one week break. We agree. As executive secretary, we have seen that the presidency is a 24/7 job. Even the job of Cabinet member is a backbreaking job. They should also go on a one-week break.

Based on their appearance on TV, we have seen at least four Cabinet members who are “burned out.” Three and a half years is a long time for a Cabinet member in one job; congressmen, governors, and mayors have only a three-year term.

Police officers are assigned to a post for no more than two years; other local officials are rotated every two or three years as in the case of provincial engineers, school superintendents, and even treasurers.

The public also needs a break from the continuous reports of crime, corruption, poverty, and unemployment.

Let’s hope that at least for the month of January, President Aquino announces good news, especially for the poor. There should be no layoffs, no increases in taxes, and a reduction of prices of basic commodities.

New Year’s resolution

I suggest the following New Year’s resolution to the President:

1. He will go to mass everyday to start his working day;

2. He will stop smoking;

3. He will let go of non-performing Cabinet members;

4. He will fall in love with a mature, working girl who can discuss  issues with him intelligently;

5. He will have a thorough medical check-up;

6. He will call a summit on crime.

Easy targets for 2014

Plan for the following:

1. solve the Mindanao power crisis

2. fuel operation of NAIA 3

3. improvement of NAIA 1

4. achieve rice self-sufficiency

5. file all PDAF cases with the Sandiganbayan

6. reduce the crime rate, especially murders and kidnappings

7. step up anti-drug campaign

8. complete the houses programmed for typhoon “Pablo” and Zamboanga siege victims

9. reduce accidents on NLEx and SLEx

10. abolish the Small Town Lottery (STL) and jueteng payoffs.

Hopefuls

As 2014 comes into view, the talk is of the presidentiables for 2016. The names usually mentioned are Secretary Mar Roxas, LP; Vice President Jojo Binay, UNA; Senator Bongbong Marcos Jr, NP; and Senator Francis Escudero, independent, but may be adopted by the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC). Secretary Ping Lacson is a dark horse for the presidency.

If Senator Francis Escudero decides to run for president, he will try to persuade Senator Grace Poe to be his running mate. Governor Vilma Santos-Recto may be the Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate.

The vice presidential slot with Vice President Jojo Binay is wide open. The dark house vice presidential candidate is Senator Frank Drilon for the LP.

Lakas has only Senator Bong Revilla as a presidentiable, but his involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam has affected his chances.

Mayor Joseph Estrada has ruled out another run for the presidency, and so has NP president, Senator Manny Villar.

Customs misses targets again

Commissioner John Sevilla admitted that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will miss its P340-billion collection target for 2013. He also added that December collections will also miss the target.

The principal reason for missing the target is the continued smuggling of oil, rice, and consumer products. It is estimated that rice smuggling has cost the Bureau a P6-10 billion in foregone duties, while oil smuggling has cost P15-20 billion in lost revenues.

Smuggled cellphones, tablets, iPads and other electronic gadgets are sold openly in Divisoria and Greenhills.

More crimes

As firecracker injuries surpassed last year’s total, reaching 244 Monday, more crimes have occurred during the holiday.

A man ran amok in Antipolo, killing three and wounding six. One dead and two were wounded in a Tondo shooting.

A nine-year-old girl was raped then stabbed to death in Taguig.

One tanod was killed, the barangay chairman and four others were wounded in a shooting incident at a barangay hall in Pasay.

A businessman was shot dead in Tondo, Manila.

A 16-year-old and a 44-year-old loan collector were shot dead, wounded in separate incidents in Caloocan.

Rico Aranillo, a store owner, was shot dead in Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City.

Teresita Gonzales was robbed and killed in her apartment in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

One died in a grenade explosion in Cotabato City.

Luis Gragasin, president of a tricycle association, was shot dead in Valenzuela.

5 Protestant pastors, coming from a relief mission, died in a collision of their van with a Fortune Star bus in Juban, Sorsogon. 

Tidbits: Latest “Yolanda” death toll is at 6,155.

China revokes one-child policy, now allows two.

In India, there’s a high incidence of abortion of female babies. Families prefer boys to girls.

President Aquino cancelled his Rizal Day appearance at Burnham Park, Baguio. Instead, he attended the rites in his hometown Tarlac City. Vice President Binay presided at the Luneta rites.

Prayers are requested for Dr. Ramon Batungbacal, who is confined at the Makati Medical Center Intensive Care Unit (ICU), with “double pneumonia.”

New Year greetings to Joey and Julie Uy, Kim Wong, George Yang, Felix Ang, Robert Coyiuto Jr, Nesty and Ria Calanog, Nene Henson, Congressman Noli and Evelyn Fuentebella, Congressman Wimpy Fuentebella, Margaux Salcedo, Ding Quintos, Dean Amado and Nellie Valdez, and Baby Asistio.

 

BABY ASISTIO BAGONG PAG BALLSY AND ELDON NEW YEAR PRESIDENT PRESIDENT AQUINO VICE PRESIDENT JOJO BINAY YEAR
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