The national campaign for senators begins
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - February 13, 2019 - 12:00am

It seems that the Philippine National Police has been given the runaround by the boyfriend of drug overdose victim Ashley Abad, who was invited on several occasions to show up and shed light on the incident, yet he now has remained a no-show especially after the Abad Family went to Malacañang to meet with President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte. Perhaps the boyfriend is now thinking that things are getting serious in this case. Police Regional Office-7 Director Debold Sinas said they will request for PNP Director Oscar Albayalde to issue a subpoena against the boyfriend, Nel Spencer Tiu.

 

Tiu’s lawyer, Orlando Salatandre, said his client may or may not appear before the Cebu City Police Office to shed light on the investigation relative to the death of Abad, based on the ultimatum issued. Police Regional Office-7 Director Debold Sinas said they will request Albayalde to issue a subpoena against Tiu.

If Tiu still refuses to cooperate, Sinas said they will file contempt charges against him. I hope they act on this very soon.

If we are interested in this case, it is only because of the sudden death of Abad that we came into some knowledge that the deadly drug Ecstasy was swirling around in our social circles, thus endangering the lives of many who may have been told that Ecstasy is not a dangerous drug like shabu. I’m sure that the publicity of Ashley’s death has literally warned millennials that this is a drug that can kill. So let’s continue looking for the people who handled this drug because they ended up killing Ashley.

***

Today is the start of the 90-day national kick-off campaign for over 60 senatorial candidates and 154 party-list groups in the May elections. The Commission on Elections again warned them against committing electoral offenses. The Comelec last month released the names of 62 senatorial candidates it has allowed to run as well as 154 accredited party-list groups seeking seats in the House of Representatives.

Just think; over 60 Senatorial candidates where seven are up for reelection, while six want to return to the Senate, including those candidates endorsed by President Duterte even if the latter told his Cabinet men not to campaign for any candidate.

Today, there will be a rare sortie in Tondo, Manila, with senators Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, Joseph Victor Ejercito, and Aquilino Pimentel III, who were also scheduled to attend a campaign kick-off in Pampanga yesterday organized by the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional party headed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Also expected to join the campaign rally are other candidates supported by the HNP, namely former special assistant to the president Christopher “Bong” Go, former Bureau of Corrections chief Ronaldo “Bato” dela Rosa, former political affairs adviser Francis Tolentino, Taguig City-Pateros Representative Pia Cayetano, former senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, Maguindanao Representative Zajid Mangudadatu and former journalist Jiggy Manicad. As the barker would announce: “They’re all inside now…they’re ready to go!” So now who among the 60 candidates should we vote into office? Again, I’d like to remind you that if you vote for a candidate who has a corruption issue or problem he needs to resolve, if he wins you will become a collaborator, not only a voter.

***

The Philippine entertainment industry is mourning the passing of Armida Siguion-Reyna who passed away at 3 p.m. in the ICU of a Makati hospital. She was 88 years old. She was the head of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) during the Estrada administration and a strong defender of the industry that she loved so much. Fondly known as Tita Midz, she left an impressive body of tri-media work – in television, theater, and film. Her well-loved and enduring TV show “Aawitan Kita” is considered a national treasure as Tita Midz also was.

Armida Ponce Enrile Siguion-Reyna was the daughter of Spanish lawyer-politician Alfonso Ponce Enrile, and the sister of artist Irma Potenciano, and half-sister of former senator Juan Ponce Enrile. I met her a long time ago when she came to Cebu to check on one of her films. She would stay close to the ticket booth. We would talk for a long time, but that was years ago.

vsbobita@mozcom.com

ASHLEY ABAD RODRIGO DUTERTE
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