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It’s 2:32 pm, and SS starts grinding only now. Had to help assist in the first of two days satellite voters registration of COMELEC in Baliwasan, then skip out a while to pay last respects to a deceased cousin from Talon Talon, Danny at the Tetuan Cathedral. My deepest condolences to the surviving family members of the Candidos.

From here, time next to cleanse up and then hie off to the office e of 1st Lt. Francis G. Salcedo, Commanding Officer, Charlie Company, 11 IB, 3ID, PA, at Xanadu Ville, Baliwasan for some coordinative moves in the barangay. From there it’s off to the hangout of the Monggueh Cabinet.

For our piece to reach editorial desk of Zambtotoday on time, writing may definitely be brief today.

X x x x X

The Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) shows seriousness in putting an end to Abu Sayyaf atrocities. Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, Wesmincom information officer on Tuesday, said that military operations against the terror group in Sulu will continue during the observance of the Holy Week. Petinglay disclosed Pres. Duterte has given the command a deadline within which to neutralize the ASG, and that it is to lapse on 30 June, this year.

The focused military operations is aimed at rescuing the remaining hostages in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf bandits.

X x x x X

Initially intended for a public cemetery, the city-purchased property in Talisayan has been offered instead to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) for the site of its the new jail facility.

Actually, a study conducted on the property shows that the project has not complied with four of six items in a criteria set by the Department of Health (DOH.)

The depth of the water table is reportedly 2.3 meters during rainy season, a figure less than the 4.5 meters required to comply with health standards.

Due to its elevation, the site is also prone to flooding and is in the direction or course of run-off due to its elevation.

Meanwhile, Mayor Climaco cautioned City Jail Warden, Chief Insp. Ervin Diaz against resorting to media outbursts of his reactions relative to the congested situation at the City Jail. She specifically asked Diaz to put in writing whatever comments he has and communicate with her officially.

But SS could not blame the good warden for turning to media, when it has been ages since he first offiially complained about the precarious conditions obtaining in the city jail, with his prompt request for a city counterpart share in the erection of a new jail facility - a piece of property, that consistently falling on deaf ears.

And clearly, our officialdom only moved in haste when he staged a media blitzkrieg, threatening to refuse acceptance of new inmates owing to the jail over-congestion.

His rejection, though of the Talisayan site, claiming it to be far, SS guesses must be reconsidered.

Beggars, my dear Sir, cannot make demands.

Take it. That would be better than losing P194 million to other takers for the construction of a modern city jail.

X x x x X

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) made a positive call in relation to the ongoing peace talks. On Tuesday it called on its political wing, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and the government to speed up negotiations to end nearly 50 years of rebellion. It was, however laced with a terse threat that “peace-spoilers” and preconditions set by President Duterte could derail it.

In The Netherlands, where the fourth round of formal talks opened on Monday, CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, chief political consultant of the NDFP in the talks, said the rebels would reject preconditions that could undermine their position.

The President on Sunday set four preconditions for the fourth round of talks, including the forging of bilateral truce and the release of soldiers and policemen held by the New People’s Army. He also demanded an end to the rebels’ revolutionary tax collection and territorial claims.

In a separate statement on Tuesday, the CPP congratulated the NDFP and the government negotiating panels for pushing through with the fourth round of talks “despite the peace-spoiling by stooges of US imperialism in the military establishment,” referring to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año.

Lorenzana tagged the rebels as “terrorists” and he and senior officers of the AFP also insisted on a bilateral Sison said both parties “should (move) ahead of the issue of ceasefire, the social, economic, political and constitutional reforms demanded by the people and needed to address the roots of the civil war.”

X x x x X

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will investigate the alleged misuse of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) during the previous administration.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the probe would also look into possible liabilities of former and current officials who supposedly benefited from schemes under the economic stimulus program that was partially declared illegal by the Supreme Court.

“We will look into that (anomaly in the DAP),” Aguirre told newsmen. He said there are plans to create a team to conduct the fact-finding probe.

Earlier on SS suspected, the main targets are former president Benigno Aquino III and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, particularly how they supposedly benefited from the scheme. And true to form, Aguirre later admitted it.

Earlier, too, Pres. Duterte vowed to expose how P72 billion in funds under the DAP were misused.

“The President is in possession of documents showing how officials in the previous administration benefited from it,” Aguirre said.

The DOJ has concurrent jurisdiction with the Office of the Ombudsman in investigating corruption charges against government officials even if the anti-graft office has the exclusive power to prosecute the cases under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.

Last month, the Office of the Ombudsman indicted Abad before the Sandiganbayan for violation of Article 239, or usurpation of legislative powers over the controversial DAP but spared Aquino.

But revelation of revelations, the charge was simply as petty as an administrative complaint - Only usurpation of legislative functions as he belonged to the legislative branch of government.

X x x x X

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will make his first visit to the United Nations later this month to chair a UN Security Council meeting on North Korea.

The April 28 meeting on non-proliferation and North Korea will be “timely” following a US-China summit this week, US Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters on Monday (Tuesday in Manila). The United States holds the presidency of the Security Council in April, giving President Donald Trump’s administration an opportunity to showcase its foreign policy priorities. Trump will hold his first summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida this week, with North Korea shaping up as a key priority for the US administration. Washington has complained loudly that China is not taking action to rein in North Korea, which last year carried out two nuclear tests and more than 20 ballistic missile tests. (By Jimmy Cabato)




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