The debate ends, but not the controversy!

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - November 13, 2014 - 12:00am

The proposed debate between Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV come Nov. 27th was suddenly cancelled because as VP Binay said, "Ayaw ko na!" Since this debate challenge came from VP Binay, we can now officially say that the Vice President chickened out! But Sen. Trillanes pushed the Vice President further with a new revelation… that then Mayor Binay supported then the Trillanes Mutiny at the Peninsula Hotel, allowing the rebels to keep their firearms inside the Makati City Hall.

Of course, this is the only word of Sen. Trillanes vs the word of the Vice President, which at this point, we can only wait for someone to validate what Sen. Trillanes told the media. But if what Trillanes is telling us is true, then we can conclude that then Mayor Binay was a co-conspirator in that 2007 mutiny and should stand trial to prove his innocence! Now we can very well conclude why Sen. Trillanes pursued VP Binay's corruption issues like a bloodhound because their animosity dated as far back as 2007!

This revelation also shows that way back in the year 2007 Mayor Binay himself already had a messianic complex, hoping to cash in on the mutiny, with low ranked soldiers like Trillanes who could put him in the seat of power. In a sort of sordid way, VP Binay and Sen. Trillanes are very much alike! Again all this should be investigated so we can get into the bottom of this case whether Sen. Trillanes was telling the truth or not.

Frankly speaking, I wasn't really looking forward to that debate, as it won't profit the Filipino people. It would only become a media circus that it already is and would shift the focus of the nation from many other pressing matters. So I'm really glad that this issue is finally behind us with VP Binay chickening out of this debate. So now let's move forward and file this case in the Office of the Ombudsman and let justice be done.

* * *

It seems that almost every project that the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority does, the name of Mr. Crisologo Saavedra appears to try and block these projects that are worthwhile for Cebu. Apparently the latest caper of Mr. Saavedra was headlined in this newspaper last Tuesday… where he is supposedly representing certain "bidders" for the P800 million-reduplication project of the Philippine Air Force.

I'm sorry Mr. Saavedra, but I don't see the conflict of interest stated in your letter to the Office of the Ombudsman in your supposed "mission" to protect the government and the public interest and the qualified bidders whom you refuse to name? What I see in this complaint to the Ombudsman is your "pecuniary" mission. What I also see here further is an act of economic sabotage on the part of Mr. Saavedra who has filed cases after cases before the Ombudsman for many other projects that he got himself involved.

Mr. Saavedra talks about the public interest. Well, he should know that many of us in the media also represent that public when we write our articles… and I dare say that the public interest here is for the speedy construction of the new Mactan Airport under the leasehold agreement that the Department of Transportation & Communications  approved for the GMR/Megawide project. Finally, allow me to expand further the curious in me that if you hear the name of Mr. Saavedra, I would like to know if whether or not former Mayor Tomas Osmeña is behind him on this?

I have already warned both Mr. Louie Ferrer and Mr. Andrew Harrison that while they won the bidding for the leasehold of the Mactan Cebu International Airport, only then does the fun begin because people like Mr. Saavedra stands to profit from throwing monkey wrenches along the way. I hope that the Office of the Ombudsman looks into the spotty record of Mr. Saavedra so they'll know that all this is a big joke on Cebuanos!

* * *

Last week, Pres. Benigno Aquino III signed into law a Senate bill granting automatic PhilHealth coverage to senior citizens all over the country. That supposedly covers the over six million senior citizens, which includes me. Under this law, dubbed Republic Act (RA) 10645 otherwise known as "An Act Providing for the Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage for All Senior Citizens, Amending for the Purpose RA 7431, as Amended by RA 9994, Otherwise Known as the "Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010", all that a senior citizen needs to do to avail of PhilHealth benefits in a hospital is to present a valid ID proving his/her age.

Sen. Ralph Rector sponsored this law. In his speech Recto said, "Health insurance can never be called universal if it does not cover all seniors. Enrolling them must be automatic, not optional. The ideal is that the minute they blow out the candles on their 60th birthday cake to the moment they breathe their last, they should be PhilHealth members." So how much will PhilHealth pay for Seniors citizens when we are hospitalized? I don't know.


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