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More black marks for P-Noy

SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star) - April 4, 2016 - 10:00am

The killing of three farmer protesters in Kidapawan, North Cotabato, the five-hour blackout of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, and the successive abduction of 10 Indonesians and four Malaysians in Mindanao are additional black marks for the Aquino administration.

The 6,000 farmers were demonstrating for rice allocations and for certified seeds, since they suffered from the El Niño drought. It was absolutely unnecessary to disperse them and to shoot them, resulting in multiple deaths and injuries. The Philippine National Police (PNP) must be penalized for the unnecessary use of force.

North Cotabato Governor Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza must also bear part of the blame, as she encouraged the police to disperse the farmer protesters.

The more than five-hour electricity outage at NAIA-3, resulting in the cancellation of 82 flights and stranding at least 15,000 passengers.

The big question – “Why did the generators of NAIA-3 fail to provide substitute power?”

Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Sec. Joseph Emilio Abaya said there was a drainage in the battery power switch gear – “an unacceptable explanation.” Once again, we see the incompetence of DOTC Sec. Abaya.

Exhausted passengers sprawled on the terminal floor, as check-in counters and luggage carousels shut down. Long queues formed outside the terminal, as entrances were closed until power was restored.

Amid the power failure, there were also several passengers who allegedly lost some belongings, according to the airport police.

Management of the NAIA has launched an investigation on the five-hour failure. NAIA manager Engr. Octavino Lina said they are coordinating with the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to determine why the return of power took five hours; and they are also looking at why their power generator set did not function.

Reps. Sherwin Gatchalian and Roman Romulo said Sec. Abaya and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager should be sacked for “sleeping on the job.”

Rep. Romulo said the incident was a national shame, as he expressed disbelief at what happened. “I am appalled by the fact that NAIA-3 had no contingency or back up plan for such an event,” Romulo added.

Meanwhile, two successive abduction incidents happened in Mindanao, with 10 Indonesians and four Malaysians kidnapped.

Again, it shows that the Abu Sayyaf rebels are very much in control of the sea lanes in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. It appears that government forces are helpless in preventing the abductions.

Erap gets youth and senior votes

Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) reelectionist Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has gotten the support of youth voters and senior citizens.

More than 500,000 “Millennials” or the “Internet Generation” have thrown their support behind the reelection bid of Mayor Estrada.

In a show of solidarity for Erap, Jason Vinta of the Manila Youth Development and Welfare Bureau (MYDWB) said that thousands staged a grand Paradang Kabataan yesterday, when they marched from Liwasang Bonifacio to the Freedom Triangle at the Manila City Hall.

On the other end, thousands of senior citizens declared their support for Erap, who adopted the Makati Yellow Card System where senior citizens get P500 – P1,000 birthday gifts, free movies and birthday cakes.

Erap also approved an ordinance providing a cash of P100,000, for seniors who reach the age of 100.

There is an estimated senior vote of 6,690,000.

Mayor Erap announced his list of 12 senatorial candidates whom he will be supporting for the May 2016 elections:

1. Isko Moreno, Partido Galing at Puso (PGP)

2. Reelectionist Sergio Osmeña

3. Sherwin Gatchalian, PGP

4. Francis Tolentino, Independent

5. Joel Villanueva, Liberal Party (LP)

6. Neri Colmenares, PGP

7. Martin Romualdez, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)

8. Getulio Napeñas, UNA

9. Manny Pacquiao, UNA

10. Miguel Zubiri, guest candidate of both UNA and PGP

11. Richard Gordon, guest candidate of both UNA and PGP

12. Panfilo Lacson, Independent; a guest candidate of LP

Senate sets 4th hearing

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will hold its fourth hearing on the $81-million money laundering scam, involving RCBC Jupiter branch manager Maia Deguito today.

Senator Sergio Osmeña said that the two Chinese high rollers, Gao Shuhua and Ding Zhize, have returned to China.

Osmeña, however, doubted if China will cooperate. “This may become a problem. We don’t have nice relations with China at this time,” Osmeña said.

Osmeña said that, at today’s hearing, Senators would seek an explanation from Philrem owners Salud and Michael Bautista on Kim Wong’s testimony that the Bautistas had not remitted $17 million of the stolen money to the two Chinese high rollers.

He also said that whatever findings the Committee would produce, it would submit these for investigation to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Tidbits

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has secured the support of the Garcias of Cebu and Governor Joe Zubiri of Bukidnon.

Actor Robin Padilla distributed rice to the farmers of Kidapawan.

The California and New York State Legislatures have approved a $15 per hour minimum wage.

University of the Philippines (UP) Prof. Benjamin Diokno said that smuggling is the worst under the Aquino administration, averaging $19.6 billion annually.

Motorcycles topped the list of vehicles involved in accidents, with the highest number of deaths and injuries, according to the records of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). Motorcycles accounted for 262 deaths and 17,103 injuries. The majority of Metro road accidents occurred on Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City and Edsa.

 

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