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Elong: I categorically deny

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(BY: REV. BERLIE G. YAP) The Natividad clan is Tetuan is already an institution in Zamboaga City, Zamboangueños trust them because of their untainted record of integrity and service to La Bella. Councilor Elong belongs to this said clan and he as well possesses these same traits. However, when the smuggled rice in the local wharf exploded, just recently, his name cropped-up as one of the politicians implicated as a protector providing the smugglers their necessary immunity.

The legislator irked a foul to such an accusation and emphatically denied it. Giving Elong the benefit of the doubt, smugglers anyways know how to slip from their criminal liabilities by using other people’s names, as has been in the past. The former must stand on his ground to categorically deny the allegations to maintain the true and honest legacy of their family.

There is after all an ongoing in-depth investigation on this massive sugar and rice smuggling passing the Zamboanga City wharf, we as the public should not rely on mere hearsays. We will wait for the official result of the said investigation or if there can be cases to be filed to certain names “in the high places”.

Nonetheless, none can stop ordinary citizens to buy the speculations as the real story. You know how gossip sells better that the truth, to the extent of patronizing it by many, for as they say the former is quite sweeter than the latter. It has been the byword now in the different parts of Zamboanga, not just Elong but a number of other names of politicians, public officials and few media personalities.

Just few days ago, smugglers felt more pressures of apprehension in the City wharf, thus, they transferred their point of transit to their goods. They went to a less secured port, in Tungawan. It was there because at least closer to Zamboanga City and the Sibugay Province—these are the two provinces which rank the most buyers of their smuggled goods.

Many say who won’t be allured not to buy the Malaysian rice? The local Jasmin rice sells P52/kilo while the smuggled only sells P42. If a mother looks for an economizing budget, she would not go to a P10 higher but rather to the P10 cheaper. That is how the smuggled rice becomes on demand at this time. Smugglers find the law of supply and demand to be working for them in this side of the archipelago.

Such by mere conclusion is a real saving to the ordinary Zamboangueño families but the actual losses is to our government, and of course to the corrupt politicians, said Barangay eMedia host Partner Philip Abuy in one of the programs of “Qumbersa! Kosa Ba”. Well, to some degree it made sense. But indeed, it is the State which is really impaired in this illegal industry.

Such losses are supposed to go for the improvements of our impoverished infra assets, the road concreting of the country’s outskirts, more school buildings onto the rural baranggays and etc. Thus, authorities must continue to bust smuggling in Zamboanga for the increase of our nation and the Filipino people. This sounds easy but pretty difficult in the real scenario because money talks.

Councilor Elong was Barangay eMedia’s guest yesterday, January 22, morning’s editorial program “Qumbersa! Kosa Ba”. He was thankful that he was given the opportunity to also speak his side.

The local legislator shared few more personal thoughts in Barangay eMedia, he said he is willing to give-up his chairmanship on the peace and order in the City Council if the humored shuffling may happen, and he welcomes any challenge ahead, for his heart is to solely serve the people with his best. After all, the good councilor has versatility to whatever work that can cross his path. Hence, let’s give this issue to the City Council, and come what may. Elong is not worried, why should we?

Another issue he answered pointblank is the possible Climaco and Lobregat collision to happen on 2016. He said he will side in the camp of Mayor Beng. His reason is because simply he is a party-mate to the Mayor—Liberal Party. Yet his voice in the interview seemed to carry some weight of presumptions against the other party.

Elong expressed his loyalty to Mayor Beng. He compared his disgusting experience to his former political party, which according to him, promised a higher position for the previous race but came the time for the ultimate decision, instead did choose another guy and dropped him. It was a real setback, gave an amount of pain to his family and a loss to his personal career, remarked by Natividad.

However, he believes for a better arena of fairness these coming national and local elections. In actuality, all of them in the City Hall and the City Council are friends to each other. The clash we often hear from the news and reports are only political matters that cannot replace their bonds. In fact, when the series of crises we underwent happened, all of them stood up solidly for the protection of Zamboanga.

“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matt. 18:19-20

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