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“Gunfire in Zamboanga City only from military”


LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Jesus said, `If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’…” (John 8:31-32, the Holy Bible).

“BASIC CITIZENS’ CONCERNS UNATTTENDED”: From broadcaster Melo Acuna: “Come to think of it: The government has not been successful in its campaigns against illegal gambling and drugs. Jueteng and drugs are never their priorities. How can it lick graft and corruption when these basic concerns have been left unattended? How much more of insurgency and smuggling?”

“IS ZAMBOANGA CITY REALLY UNDER SIEGE”? A live report by ABS CBN reporter Jorge Carino on the Zamboanga City siege last week gives rise to a vital query: is there really a siege of the city by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)? This question is also giving rise to a second important question: are there really MNLF rebels in the area?

In his report, Jorge Carino showed his interview of a retired lady professor, Dr. Marietta Banzon Galvez, who drove a car out of the corner of Evangelista Street and Lustre Street in Sta. Catalina, Zamboanga City, right after the place was heavily bombarded with gunfire and tank artillery by the military.

“GUNFIRE COMING ONLY FROM MILITARY”: Dr. Galvez, who was with another woman and a child according to Carino’s report, disclosed that not only were they running out of food supplies as a result of the supposed fighting in their area. She also clarified, quite clearly, that there were no MNLF men in their place, and that there was no one from the place where she resides that was firing any gun.

In Filipino, Dr. Galvez also said something that would belie claims that, at least in Sta. Catalina, there is a fighting going on between MNLF rebels and the soldiers who have been there for more than a week now. She said the gunfire were apparently coming only from the military. I hope this is satisfactorily clarified by the government.

POLITICAL POWER THROUGH THE INTERNET: If one is to analyze the current political situation in the country right now, it cannot be denied that more and more Filipinos are starting to realize that the Internet and the social networking sites like Facebook can give them great political power, in the sense that complaints and disclosures of wrongdoings in government can now be instantly publicized without any limitations, and many can now be readily mobilized at the least expense.

Maybe, those who crafted the Cybercrime Law, or Republic Act 10175 (An Act Defining Cybercrime, Providing for the Prevention, Investigation, Suppression and the Imposition of Penalties Therefor And for Other Purposes), had this in mind when they passed this law. With the Internet and Facebook, no secret can be safely hidden or kept anymore, and anybody who has done something grave can expect their evil or corrupts acts swiftly disclosed.

INTERNET COMPELS TRANSPARENCY IN GOV’T: This is to me greatly beneficial to the people in general, because it would keep them informed of what their duly-elected or duly-appointed officials are doing, for or against the country. Transparency would become the name of the game in public governance, as officials are now really being pushed to carry out their duties and responsibilities according to the rules, lest their acts are immediately exposed for all to see.

The possibility of abuse is there, alright, but in a country which has been run by government officials who have come to treat the bureaucracy as their family servants and the machinery of government as their private businesses and source of profitable income, it is time that this right to expose anomalies is abused, until fear is installed in the hearts of grafters to freeze them in their thieving binges.

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By Atty. Batas Mauricio

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