The real mastermind?

SENTINEL - Ramon T. Tulfo - The Philippine Star

Suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag is the alleged mastermind in the murders of radioman Percival Mabasa, a.k.a Percy Lapid, and alleged middleman Jun Villamor.

Murder cases have been filed against Bantag and other individuals who allegedly conspired with him.

“Bantag had a clear motive to effect the murders. For Percy Lapid, it was the continued exposé by the latter of the issues against the former on his show, ‘Lapid Fire’,” an NBI investigator said.

Methinks Bantag would not have contrived a web of conspiracy and come up with a substantial amount to kill a famous radio commentator without orders from above.

The real mastermind could be one of those who placed him in his exalted position.

Bantag may be a psycho, but he’s not stupid enough to think of murdering a famous personality, which would certainly raise a ruckus.

Investigators should keep on going, because Bantag didn’t act on his own.

*      *      *

Former Philippine National Police chief Camilo Cascolan has been rammed down the throat, so to speak, of the Department of Health despite strong protests from some members of the medical sector.

No less than President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. defended Cascolan’s appointment to the DOH.

Since he has no medical background, a group of health care workers questioned Cascolan’s appointment.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, who swore the retired cop into office, said he would be assigned to where he is fit and able to help the DOH.

Do take note: “where he is fit and able to help the DOH.”

By her statement, even Vergeire didn’t know what to make of Cascolan’s appointment but could not question an order from upstairs.

As PNP chief, Cascolan gained notoriety when he reportedly used his position to obtain a franchise for e-sabong, or online cockfighting.

Then president Rodrigo Duterte scrapped the e-sabong franchise after the citizenry raised a howl over how many people were becoming addicted to online gambling.

*      *      *

The government plans to sell the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) to the private sector.

It says it can no longer afford to spend P9 billion yearly for the maintenance of the railway.

Why is the citizenry not surprised?

Our government is a lousy entrepreneur. Look at the Philippine National Bank (PNB), the Manila Hotel and Philippine Airlines (PAL), among others. These business entities were sold to the private sector because they were run by officials who made those companies milking cows.

The PNB and PAL are earning under billionaire Lucio Tan, while the Manila Hotel became viable after Emilio Yap and his heirs took over.

Speaking of the Manila Hotel, our government became a laughingstock around the world for rescinding a contract to sell the hotel to the winning bidder.

The winner of the public bid to sell the Manila Hotel was a Malaysian company.

The losing bidder, Emilio Yap, owner of the Manila Bulletin, questioned the contract and went to court.

The legal battle between the Malaysian firm and Yap went all the way to the Supreme Court.

In the end, the high court ruled the iconic hotel should be sold to Yap instead of to a Malaysian firm.

And what was the high tribunal’s reason? Apparently, the Manila Hotel is a part of the national heritage, and that there is a Filipino First policy in such a case.

*      *      *

Since January this year, 3,729 persons have been afflicted with cholera. Worse, 33 of them died, with most of the casualties being children 5 to 9 years of age.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada calls for a Senate probe into the outbreak, which was reported by the Department of Health.

Cholera is caused by very poor sanitation. This means that those who contracted the disease lived in utterly unhygienic environments, such as places where there are no toilets.

In this day and age, cholera is unheard of in developed countries. It’s like getting malaria, which has been eliminated in many countries, but is still prevalent in some parts of the Philippines, like Palawan.

There are many places in the Philippines where people drink water from polluted sources or defecate in their backyards.

Cholera is caused by ingesting food or water contaminated with a certain type of bacteria. Patients suffer from severe watery diarrhea. It’s fatal when left untreated.

The DOH is to blame for not teaching people in the barrios and boondocks proper hygiene and sanitation through its rural health workers.

*      *      *

Dredging operations due to land reclamation projects in Manila Bay are affecting the business operations of a mall area made up of restaurants, whose customers are local and foreign tourists.

The Seascape Village, located within the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex in Pasay City, is beside the Sofitel Hotel.

Dust and sand carried by winds from the dredging area is getting on the food and drinks of customers in the facility located on the Manila Bay waterfront.

David Ong, who has leased the property from the government, complains that thick dust and sand are invading the premises.

Dredging should be taking place far from the facility, Ong says.

*      *      *

Joke! Joke! Joke!

A beautiful, well-endowed woman was sitting on a plane next to a male passenger who kept staring at her.

The buxom woman said to him, “Can you help me remove something from my breast. Please!”

Excited, the man replied: “Wow, it will be my pleasure! What is it?”

“Your eyes, idiot.”


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