Sex, a one-man cemetery and Lipa gossip

CTALK - Cito Beltran - The Philippine Star

Sometime today, the Philippine National Police Headquarters will play host to the Philippine Commission on Women, the DILG, the Soroptimists and Barangay officials for a “Dialogue Towards Responsive Governance.” The event is intended to teach participants about gender equality and that Barangay officials need to separate couples where there is physical abuse or attack instead of reconciling them, which often leads to further abuse or murder.

The organizers have invited PNP O.I.C General Leo Espina to give the keynote remarks concerning gender equality and responsive governance but I don’t know if the people involved actually realized that they should have invited all the senior officials of the PNP, particularly those who’ve graduated from the PMA as well as those from the DPRM or Human Resource management of the PNP, all of whom need in-depth training and workshop time on gender equality. One senior officer of DPRM was quoted as saying “Women are the weaker sex.

The PNP hierarchy should take the event as a challenge to review their current state of mind and status concerning both gender and career equality. Out of 149,333 police officers in the service there are only 21,175 females or 14%.  At the moment there are reportedly only 13 female officers among the Chief Superintendents and Senior Superintendents, or 1.7%. The higher the rank ,the closer to impossible it becomes to get a promotion because of the gender issue as well as the practice of PMAers to prioritize their Mistahs for promotion.

There have been so many instances where a qualified female candidate loses out because the rank or promotion is a vital stepping-stone for a PMAer to becoming a general. I remember one class where the batch members were doing everything so their Mistah would finally be promoted to one star general because it was affecting the pride and bragging rights of the batch. Frankly, I suspect that the entry of female cadets into the PMA was more of a compromise to social pressure than an honest appreciation of what women can contribute as military and police officers.

So if General Leo Espina does address today’s affair, I hope he’s had enough time to read this column and comment or suggest what can actually be done to transform the prevailing mindset in the PNP. What can be done to make sure that information and recommendation on deserving candidates both male and female are actually read, reviewed, assessed based on merits and that documents don’t accidentally fall out like clothes in the laundry line. Yes Mr. General such ungentlemanly acts occur in your backyard and are done by PMAers.

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The SAF-44 have all been buried or cremated but time and again a number of people have asked: “Shouldn’t they be buried at the “Libingan ng Mga Bayani?” As it turns out there is a separate cemetery for fallen heroes of the PNP called “Libingan ng mga Bayaning Pulis” somewhere in the town of Baras, Rizal province. If I remember correctly it’s about 1 to 1.5 hectares if not more but after the first internment several years ago, it has remained a “One-Man Cemetery” no longer cared for by a police affiliated association or NGO.  Maybe we should exhume the hero-cops remains, bury him at the real Libingan ng mga Bayani and develop the One-Man cemetery in Baras to a housing project for police officers.

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With the campaign period closing in, the gossip season has begun in Lipa City, Batangas.

Frustrated residents of Lipa who are fed up with the poor traffic management by officials of Malvar town in Batangas, are now pushing buttons in politics and media in order to get the Balete Exit of the Star Toll opened. However there is gossip going around that the reason for the delay is because Mayor Sabili of Lipa City wants Star Toll to charge the same rate for the Balete exit as they charge for the Lipa exit so that the city can increase their revenues.

A quick check with my contacts in city hall shot down the gossip. Logically, people who don’t want to use the new Balete exit or pay more can continue to use the Malvar exit and crawl through the Lima industrial park. Maybe it’s time Mayor Sabili sat down with STAR Toll executives because some people are now using him as the excuse for the delay.

Meantime, I picked up info that the City of Lipa has an ordinance stating that all “Farms” should relocate outside of city limits by 2017. I was told, “the ordinance was promulgated during the time of Mayor Vilma Santos because she had a pro-tourism platform.” I found this unbelievable so I checked in with Vi’s public information officer Senator Ralph Recto and he said that it was inaccurate and that the ordinance may have been passed during the first term of Mayor Sabili if indeed the ordinance exists.

So once again we find the Mayor of Lipa City as the recipient of blame on matters that are close and crucial to the lives of the people of Lipa. If an ordinance requiring the relocation of farms in Lipa City has been passed, then the Department of Agriculture, the DILG and the Governor of Batangas should investigate and study the matter because Lipa City is more an agricultural center than a city. Seventy percent of the land area is still agricultural and many poultry, piggery, cattle and dairy farms as well as fighting cock and horse farms are located in Lipa just outside the city. The notion of turning Lipa into an urban center is purely about generating local government revenues and increasing land value for taxation purposes and profitable projects. But telling the farms to get out is like telling the public: Be ready to pay 500 pesos per kilo of chicken and pork because that is what it will cost when farms near Metro Manila close down!

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