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Forced Relocation

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Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, Zamboanga City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (ZCDRRMO) mulls the implementation of forced relocation of residents in calamity prone areas in the city.

For this purpose, Apolinario’s moved to call on the city council for the adoption of an enabling ordinance for authorities to legally implement the plan of clearing areas like riverbanks, shorelines and other areas prone to calamities, to include areas that are densely populated and are fire hazards.

But Apolinario stressed, relocation should come in with appropriate livelihood. Residents should not be displaced without tending to their needs. When they already have the components, that will be the time to move them to relocation sites.

WS glaringly sees this Apolinario idea brilliant.

One would readily note, whenever calamities strike, residents in named areas normally fall victims and turn to government for financial and material assistance. It would be good if only if abodes are destroyed. But in most cases, dear lives are lost. Why then would government have to wait for tragedy to befall on constituents before extending help. The time to move is now.

X x x x X

This is, of course, a random occurrence these days, but is worthy of little prominence due to a pointedly wrong strict law enforcement.

Three unidentified suspects robbed at gunpoint two persons at Sitio Lantawan, Barangay Pasonanca, this city, Monday night.

Normal occurrence, right? But as a result thereof the victims lost their bags containing P10,000, a My Phone cellular with retailer sim card, a Cherry Mobile cellphone, and an NSO birth certificate.

Quite a lot, in fact. The point - Stringent implemention of the useless Helmet Law emboldened the culprits to brazenly perpetrate the crime.

The modus operandum, as how the police described the move after a probe - go by motorcycle without plate numbers, block the target’s path and force them to stop at gunpoint. Simply hide their looks behind full face helmets. Bung! Perfect crime excution.

Down with that helmet law! It serves more harm than good.

Repeat, in the busy streets of our city, one can run only some 15 to 20 to 25 kmph. At that lazy speed, no accident can kill a motorcyclist.

Helmet law, damn!

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This time it’s for real. SSS pensioners, go check your ATMs. Chairman Amado Valdez, so said.

And here’s one more gladdening bit of item. The increase is retroactive, so that the total take is P3,000 this month: P1,000 on March 3 for January, P1,000 on March 7 for February, and another P1,000 on March 10 for March.

But for active SSS members, there’s a little gloomy bit. The state-run SSS is finalizing an increased monthly contribution as part of the measures to finance the pension increase and prolong the system’s actuarial life.

The SSS, however, elaborated the premium increase is within tolerable level – minimal - and will not hurt much their take-home pay.

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The Pres. Duterte thousand times reflection on resuming the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDF), must be over.

He announced, GRP is once again open to the resumption of peace talks.

Duterte said that in pursuit of peace, he is willing to talk once more with the NPAs.

Duterte said his plans for peace negotiations with the NPA would include three requests for the rebel group - the release of hostages, the halt to revolutionary taxes, as well as asking of favors.

Emphasizing on that third request, he simply said, “… they should stop asking for things.”

Recall that cited request is the release of all captured NPA’s, which they claim Duterte promised them. But Duterte’s position is to release only aged and ailing NPA prisoners.

Earlier, they also asked for shared governance, to which Duterte thumbed down outright.

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Meanwhile, Pres. Duterte has expressed dismay over Congress’ removal of plunder and rape from the list of crimes punishable by death.

Duterte said the removal of plunder is inconsistent with his drive against corruption.

And without specifying, the President assured that more presidential appointees will be fired in the coming days due to their alleged involvement in corrupt practices. There are a lot, he added.

Exclusion of rape, to him, is an oddity.

X x x x X

Pres. Duterte, in defending his anti-drug campaign lashed out anew at Catholic priests as “extorting money from the faithful, amid criticisms on the rising death of traffickers.

He claimed priests live extravagant lives but have not helped the government with drug rehabilitation facilities.

“… The priests are rich but I never saw a rehab center built by them. Where did the people’s money go?” he asked.

Satirically, he said, “Jesus Christ was nailed to a wooden cross… Look at the cross in your necklaces; it’s gold. The chalice is also gold. I suggest they should sell those and buy rice for the poor,” the President said in Visayan.

True to his run-of-the mill comments, said “And stop collecting. If you don’t, I will have you arrested for extortion,” he added.

Replying to criticism of the government’s anti-drugs campaign, the President said, “There’s a whale of a difference between killing an innocent person and killing a criminal. They ought not to be mixed up.”

X  x x x X

Amid questions on whether US involvement in one of Asia’s potential flashpoints will change, Rear Adm. James Kilby yesterday bared, America will continue to patrol the South China Sea to ensure freedom of navigation and over-flight in the disputed region,

Kilby said. “We will continue to demonstrate that international waters are waters where everyone can sail, where everyone can conduct commerce and merchant traffic, and that’s the message we want to leave with people.”

He made the pronouncements with F-18 fighter jets landing, taking off on catapults and zooming over his steered mammoth warship - the Carl Vinson. Kilby’s comments followed reported Chinese moves to install missile defense systems on islands it recently built, and the inauguration of a new US president who has raised questions about America’s role in Asia.

Accompanied by a guided-missile destroyer and aircraft, the Carl Vinson began “routine operations” in the South China Sea on Feb. 18.

Meanwhile, experts on Southeast Asia said on Thursday, Pres. Duterte should assert the country’s rights in the South China Sea as stipulated in the July 2016 decision of the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague,.

“I think if President Duterte is reading the polls, he would think carefully about the July 12 decision.”

Bower was referring to a December 2016 survey of Pulse Asia showing 84 percent of Filipinos agree the Duterte government should uphold the Philippines’ rights in the disputed region.

“He (Duterte) seems to be a very good reader of national opinion and if I were him, I would heed my people on this question,” he said.

X x x x X

Bits and pieces on the Sen. Leila de Lima dilemma.

1. State prosecutors are trying to get only one judge to try all three cases they have brought against Sen. Leila de Lima and they want that judge to be the one who ordered her arrest.

In a formal motion, Judge Juanita Guerrero of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC)  Branch 204 was asked to consolidate the cases handled by Branches 205 and 206, and the case in her court into a single case that she alone would try.

2. Detained Sen. de Lima on Friday warned President Duterte and his “blind followers” would be held accountable for extrajudicial killings, and said they should stop trying to fool the world that their crackdown on illegal drugs was not aboveboard.

In a handwritten statement posted on her official Facebook page, De Lima addressed those who speak for Mr. Duterte and the Philippine National Police, who consistently denied state sponsorship of extrajudicial killings in the President’s war on drugs.

3. Is this fear of de Lima? Read on. The Justice Department has asked the Muntinlupa City regional trial court to issue a gag order to prevent all parties from discussing the cases filed against Senator Leila de Lima in public because doing so would be subjudice.

Under the subjudice rule, a case under judicial consideration may not be discussed in public, particularly in the media.

The headline read, “JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SEEKS GAG ON DE LIMA”.

Take it from there, folks.

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Here an fb auto-repost of an SS article a yea year ago today, which I share with you now. “Last night, the area near the entrance to Airport Rd. was torn into an uproar. All neighboring households awakened, when the Police blocked off both ends of the Airport Rd., from its junction of San Jose Rd. up the portion near GSIS. The Police were awaiting the arrival of their Bomb squad. A well masking-taped box of carton, with matching thin electronic wires, was found abandoned near our very own gate.

The matter was reported to us by a Barangay Intelligence Network member of Baliwasan. And when he rushed outside to check, the Police were already alighting from their hazard-lighted vehicles, and motioned us to hurry back inside.

The rest is history. The box did appear suspicious and with considerable weight. It was more of a decoy, it turned out.

But why the decoyed carton - masking tapes and protruding thin wires - and why of all places,

The Cabato gte?

It’s all a mystery. A puzzler, it is.” (By Jimmy Cabato)




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