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SNIPE SWIPES

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SS was back in town last Wednesday, the 2nd but due to hectic to hectic-paced schedules in previous days, had to skip churning both SS here and El Canionaso on RMN-Zamobanga. SS yesterday was in the process on grinding both, but Zamcelco struck and writeup went on a hiatus. When power returned two elective kids called almost simultaneously tasking SS with some written assignments, so SS and Canionaso went pffft…

Finally, we’re back.

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Metered rides for tricycles, anyone? SS is for it. In starting the aborted SS piece yesterday, we chance upon a story about the son of a tricycle driver who is into to electronics, who somehow was able to invent a meter gadget for tricycles.

The City Council and the executive department is best prodded to take a serious look on the find. That would necessarily solve the pestering problem of overcharging and rates haggling by tricy drivers. Say you, folks.

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Alert Philippine Coastguard (PCG) personnel have arrested a Bulgarian allegedly involved in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) scams at a local wharf in Zamboanga City. This was official announced Thursday, 3rd August Lt. Cmndr Alvin Dagalea, Zamboanga Coastguard Station commander.

Dagalea identified the arrested Bulgarian as Konstantine Simeonov Kabrakov, 33, who has no travel documents. Dagalea said Kabrakov was intercepted and arrested around 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 2, aboard a passenger ferry bound for Bongao, Tawi-Tawi. He said they seized from Kabrakov's possession more than 30 swipe cards of a shopping mall chain, expired Philippine driver's license, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) card, laptop and a swipe machine. He said Kavrakov had been living in Eastwood, Libis, Quezon City based on his driver's license. He said they are validating information that Kavrakov is the same person arrested in 2011 for hacking the bank account of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Also, they are validating whether Kavrakov has standing warrants of arrest. He said the arrest of the Bulgarian was a result of the tight security being implemented at the local wharf in line with the declaration of martial law in Mindanao by President Rodrigo Duterte.

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This one appears meritorious a move.  The City Council of Zamboanga city has asked for the transfer of more than 100 inmates who are currently considered as high level security risk to the city.

The 128 high risk inmates are composed of 63 members of the Abu Sayyaf, 57 prisoners from organized crime groups, 6 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a member of the Moro National Liberation Front, and a high profile detainee.

Credit goes to Councilor Miguel Alavar, author of the resolution, who said that several resolutions for the transfer of inmates have been proposed in the past. He did not mention if the resolutions was ever acted upon then.

To our mind, the only resolution to that affect acted upon favorably were the over 100 MNLF raiders captured during the 2013 Zambonga siege. Other than that, not one other was ever heard to have been acted upon favorably.

Alavar cited the numerous jail breaks in the region as basis for his proposed resolution.

He also said that Zamboanga city is vulnerable for possible attacks to rescue the inmates considering its coastal location.

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Rep. Congressman Celso L. Lobregat questions moves by the contractor of the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex (JFE Grandstand) for tax exemption in the importation of materials needed for the said project.

Lobregat had sought clarification as to who will benefit from the tax exemption requested by the contractor.

Lobregat said that the grandstand project, which is being supervised by the DPWH, is long-overdue and the deadlines set had lapsed several times already.

He noted, “Nothing in the project cost estimates says the cost of materials will be tax free. When it was bided out, taxes were  included already. So then if tax exemption is being asked for, there will be a deduction from the project cost. It will be lesser. The question is who will benefit in the tax exemption? Onde guinda el sen? will it go back to DPWH or to somebody else?”, Lobrega tasked.

As the Public Works Chairman in the House of Representatives, Lobregat has cautioned DPWH9 officials to take it slow and ensure that there will be no legal implications in the matter of tax exemption requested by the contractor of the JFE grandstand.

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Amid negative reactions and predictions of opposing lawmakers, Pres. Duterte has signed the bill granting full government subsidy to tuition in state universities and colleges (SUCs).

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra made the announcement on Friday during a press conference in Pasay City.

“Since many people have been waiting for the president’s action for the very important enrolled bill that was passed by congress last May entitled Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education, I am pleased to announce that last night, August 3, 2017, the President signed the enrolled bill,” Guevarra said.

The bill, which was passed by Congress in May, was transmitted to the Office of the President on July 5 for the President’s signature.

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US President Donald Trump claimed relations with Russia had hit an all-time and “very dangerous” low Thursday, putting the blame on Congress after he reluctantly approved sanctions against Moscow.

After Moscow called the sanctions a declaration of “economic war” that had exposed the US president’s weakness, an angry Trump lashed out at his own lawmakers who had overwhelmingly approved the measures.

Why the ruckus late at this period? Trump should have simply vetoed the bill early on as he believes the congressional move is wrong.

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Isnilon Hapilon, the acknowledged leader of the Islamic State (IS) in Mindanao, remained in the main battle area Marawi, contrary to earlier suspicions that he had fled the fighting, a ranking military official said.

Asked during an interview with reporters on Wednesday on the possible whereabouts of Hapilon, Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said the notorious Abu Sayyaf leader with a $5-million bounty from Washington was still fighting alongside members of the Maute group.

The fighting, which, Galvez said, had so far killed 114 soldiers, was expected to be bloodier as the militants moved inside a shrinking territory.

But he said the military was determined to finish the job.

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A witness in the House of Representatives’ inquiry into drug smuggling has admitted giving unnamed Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials up to P17 million in bribes in just three months.

In the course of a 10-hour marathon hearing by the committee on ways and means that started at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday and lasted up to 11:30 p.m., two congressmen also expressed fears that at least 2,000 kilos of shabu “may be potentially missing.”

Broker-importer Mark Taguba made the admission about the bribes upon questioning by deputy speaker and Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo Taguba said his clients pay him P170,000 for every container of goods he handles.

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The defense of Pres. Duterte of the raid operators in the residence of Ozamiz City mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., is turning out well-supported as slain Mayor Parojinog and several bodyguards have tested positive for gunpowder nitrates in the paraffin test conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory. PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos said while the findings are not conclusive, it would help in the investigation.

“It will show us (that) the firearms that were recovered in the premises were used and there was a gun battle… an exchange of gunfire,” Carlos said in a press briefing.

A certain Cesar, who allegedly survived the raid, however said in a television interview a defenseless Parojinog was shot by policemen.

Reynaldo Sr., Susan, Octavio and the witness were rounded up in the mayor’s residence.

The witness claimed a grenade was thrown in their direction, injuring them. While he played dead, Cesar said the mayor was about to be shot but Octavio stepped in. As a result both of them were fatally shot.

Carlos, however, said that Parojinog was not shot at close range as there were no traces of smudging on his body. It was the same feedback he got in the other autopsy results.

“It was delivered at a distance,” Carlos said. (By Jimmy Cabato)




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