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Opinion

Sweet, but short(age)

SENTINEL - Ramon T. Tulfo - The Philippine Star

There really is a sugar shortage.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, concurrent Agriculture Secretary, said as much when he revealed that while the country has enough sugar, the supply might dwindle in October, which is less than two months from now.

Leocadio Sebastian, agriculture undersecretary for operations and the department’s chief of staff, who has since resigned, was right about his assessment of the dire sugar situation.

Sebastian’s faux pas was in arrogating unto himself the power of his Boss to import sugar.

Sebastian is an example of a subordinate who thinks he’s equal to his boss.

For a guy who is a holder of PhD in agriculture and life sciences from Cornell University, Sebastian is gauche when it comes to handling power.

Sebastian is an example of the truism that scientists can’t be leaders – but are good advisers.

*      *      *

The scrapped P12.7-billion deal with Russia to supply the country with helicopters was not thought out well.

The country may never be able to get back the humongous amount that we paid in advance.

Unimpeachable sources said a politician was behind the deal.

That politician never considered that the United States, the country’s No. 1 ally, would protest.

The politician is a well-known simpleton who can’t articulate himself well in either Pilipino or English.

*      *      *

Metro Manila’s elite circle is rife with rumors that a Cabinet official, whose office is very important, has dementia.

An influential person, who has dealings with the government, told this columnist the official would keep on repeating himself in conversations.

When this person asked a mutual friend about the official’s health condition, the friend told him the official was in an early stage of dementia. And the condition was getting worse every day.

If this is so, then the official should be replaced, as his condition might affect President Bongbong’s governance.

*      *      *

The Sy siblings of the SM conglomerate – Teresita Sy-Coson, Henry Jr., Herbert and Harley – are the country’s richest in 2022, if their assets are combined, according to Forbes.

They own the conglomerate SM Group of Companies, the principals of which are the SM malls.

Their father was the late Henry Sy Sr., a businessman who started his empire by selling shoes in Sta. Cruz, Manila. SM stands for Shoemart, a department store.

The Sy siblings continue to keep low profiles, even if they’re the country’s wealthiest.

I remember what construction magnate Joey Antonio told me once, about why the ultra-rich dress simply and are usually humble: “We don’t have to prove anything, Mon.”

*      *      *

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is quiet about a recent hit-and-run accident in Quezon City that killed a tricycle driver.

Their silence is deafening.

Is it because one of their own, Lt. Col. Mark Julio Abong, chief of the Quezon City Police District’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, or his relative could probably be the one who was driving the getaway pickup truck which is registered in his name?

Or is it because they are so embarrassed over the negligence of the occupants of the police patrol car that didn’t give chase to the pickup truck?

The pickup truck overtook the police patrol car and went into a head-on collision with the tricycle, killing its driver, Joel Laroa, and injuring his passenger, Rozelle Morales.

Laroa was writhing in pain after the accident. He could have survived, witnesses said, had he been taken to a hospital immediately. The Quezon City General Hospital is near the scene of the accident.

The police car didn’t stop to look after the accident victim. It continued on its way as if nothing had happened.

Why isn’t the public surprised over the apathy of the policemen in that patrol car?

It is because the citizenry knows that the PNP’s “to serve and protect” motto is just lip service? The motto should not have been cooked up at all.

Most policemen are not serious about their job, which is to serve and protect people in their communities. All they think about is what they can get from the government and the citizenry.

*      *      *

Here’s one for Ripley’s.

Jay Garcia charged his siblings Arnold, an architect; Randy, an engineer; Ronald, a physical therapist; his first cousins Alan Garcia Torres and Jesus Garcia Torres, the latter a dentist; and uncle Ismael Garcia, a martial arts instructor, with kidnapping.

Dr. Jesus Garcia was a councilor of Apalit, Pampanga when the case was filed years ago. He is no longer a councilor.

Jay’s siblings, namely Arnold, Randy and Ronald, and his cousin Alan are in the US, Canada and the Middle East.

Only Dr. and former councilor Jesus and Ismael are in the country.

The case has been pending at the Regional Trial Court in Macabebe, Pampanga for four years now.

The prosecutor who handled the preliminary investigation of the kidnapping case never asked what motivated the complainant to file charges of kidnapping against his siblings, first cousins and uncle. That prosecutor is either dumb or lazy. The prosecutor should have considered the gravity of the charges; kidnapping is a non-bailable offense.

Jay, allegedly a known drug addict in the community, filed the case after his close relatives had him undergo rehab at the Central Luzon Drug Rehabilitation Center in Magalang.

Being sent to rehab was for his own good, Jay’s close relatives said.

As this item was being written (Tuesday, Aug. 16), an affidavit of desistance is set to be filed in court on Wednesday, Aug. 17, by the complainant.

As of this writing, a cousin and Ismael, the uncle, are in jail, awaiting the hearing and hoping that Jay’s affidavit of desistance will be respected by the court.

BONGBONG MARCOS

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