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In a series of perplexing moves, the City Council just exposed its ambivalence on controversial matters. It first ordered the closure of fast food outlet Jollibee in La Purisima, and soon after withdrew it the following session day, and in a wink of an eye, approved yet another resolution endorsing the same closure order of the City Legal Office to the Mayor.

The body was acting on a previous recommendation of the City Legal Office to effect the closure order of the fast food store, opining it is in violation of a Presidential Proclamation on the use of the Puericulture property.

The majority members of the city awoke to the reality that their first resolution to order the closure of the establishment is beyond their powers.

Late realization is what displayed the majority’s uncertainty in making decisions.

During the city hall’s press briefing last Monday, City Legal Officer Atty. Jesus Carbon said that they are also waiting for Zamboanga Puericulture President Dr Rodel Agbulos to enforce the city government order for Freemont Foods’ Jollibee outlet to vacate the property.

My, such a tall order. What with all expenses poured into the enterprise’s establishment. It is that easy for Agbulos to conform?

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Dist. 1 Cong. Celso Lobregat is in the warpath versus the city executive department, exposing one after the other what portrays the mishandling of the affairs of the city. Starting with its counterpart participation in helping the Zamboanga City Medical Center, its counterpart concern in the reconstruction of the Mayor JFE Memorial Sports Complex, now it is the mismanagement of  the Sta. Cruz Island tourism promotions endeavor. Lobregat rued that Sta. Cruz  may revert back to the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) due to the alleged failure of the city government to abide by certain provisions on the island’s Master Development Plan (MDP)

Lobregat expressed his disgust over the alleged failure of the Zamboanga local government to implement infrastructure projects included in the MDP for Las Islas de Sta Cruz. The MDP was signed on August 11, 2011 during the administration of then Mayor Celso Lobregat.

Lobregat stressed in chabacano, “Return to TIEZA if we don’t implement what we proposed in the MDP. That is my worry because the islands are now abandoned and nothing has happened there for a long time.

The 1st District Solon said that one of the stipulated conditions in the MDP is to provide manpower for the continued operation of the island, the management and maintenance of the island.

The local government also has the responsibility to allocate funds, implement projects, programs and activities to maximize the island’s potential as a viable tourism destination.

Lobregat said that during his administration, he has allocated funds for the construction of low impact infrastructure in line with the designation of the island as a protected area, based on Council Resolution No. 489 dated 9 August 2010, purposely to develop, operate, manage, maintain, protect and preserve Sta. Cruz Island as a protected landscape and seascape.

“My administration asked for it from TIEZA and we did all efforts to take over the island as mandated by the constitution in 1991 with conditions,”  Lobregat emphasized.

The management of the great and small Sta. Cruz island was devolved to the local government on March 19, 2012, pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement  (MOA) dated June 17, 2011 entered into by the DOT, TIEZA, Zamboanga city government, DENR, and PAEMB.

Certain conditions for compliance by the local government were included in the MOA. And such terms were never complied with by the present dispensation.

In mixed chabacano and English, he ribbed, “Now, they boast of the rise in Sta. Cruz visitors, It was not because of what they had implemented. What boosted visitors’ entry is when the National Geographic Channel listed Sta. Cruz as one of the Top 20 beaches in the world, and stressing not because of their efforts.

On the sides, we quip, with the onslaught of these Lobregat tirades, do we see a Lobregat-Climaco entanglement in 2019?

Bears watching.

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Although worried about his safety, businessman Peter Lim said he will never run away from any investigation of his alleged links to illegal drugs.

Lim told reporters who visited his office in Mandaue City Thursday the allegations were “all fabricated and lies.” His meeting with reporters is proof that he is not in hiding, he said.

He said he has not requested for a police escort and doubts if he will be given one.

In a separate statement Lim’s daughter, Caryl, said the family is deeply affected by the reports that unfairly molded the public’s perception that her father is a drug lord.

“We are confident that he will be cleared of these baseless allegations and the country will know the true Peter Co Lim - a loving father, a doting lolo, a caring uncle, a loyal friend and a God-fearing Cebuano,” she said.

Also on Thursday, former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama showed up in the office of the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Division (CIDG) 7 in Camp Sotero Cabahug.

Rama, who is among the personalities publicly named by President Duterte as being involved in the illegal drugs, did not reveal the purpose of his visit.

Meanwhile, state prosecutors charged detained Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez and her brother Reynaldo Parojinog Jr.  before the Ozamiz City regional trial court on Friday for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and possession of dangerous drugs.

Both Parojinog siblings are not eligible for bail, facing drug charges as they are.

Armed with search warrants, the Sunday raid the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) conducted in the Ozamis residence of the Parojinogs resulted in the death of 15 persons including their father, Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., his wife Susan and brother, Misamis Occidental provincial board member Octavio Parojinog.

And Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday has placed in the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) Ozamiz City Councilor Ricardo Parojinog, the brother of Reynaldo Sr.

“Councilor Ricardo Parojinog a.k.a. Arthur Parojinog who is also a subject of the investigation, was not at home when the PNP-CIDG conducted the search in his house where they have found several firearms and ammunitions,” Aguirre’s order to Immigration chief Jaime Morente read.

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The Philippines now ranks eighth among countries most attacked by mobile malware or malicious softwares, Kaspersky Lab revealed at the first-ever Cyber Security Summit in the country held at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig last Thursday.

Vitaly Kamluk, Kaspersky’s security researcher explained that one reason why the country is susceptible to malware attacks is because it has a majority of android users whereas foreign countries prefer the iOS.

The country is no stranger to cyberattacks as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) website was hacked by a group under the name “Anonymous Philippines” more than a month before the national elections last year. It was considered to be one of the biggest private data leaks in the country leaving 55 million registered voters private information at risk.

And talking about the vice presidential elections results, such report stands as monument to its end result that  triggered the over a year old Marcos protest.

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President Duterte on Friday signed a law that imposes stricter penalties for medical facilities which will seek deposits or advance payments from patients before treating them in emergency situations.

The law takes effect 15 days after being published in a publication with general circulation.

By then it will be unlawful for any hospital officers and any medical practitioners to “request, solicit, demand or accept any deposit or any other form of advance payment” as a prerequisite for administering basic emergency care to any patient.

The intent of the law is indeed very meritorious. No questions. Only one thing bothers SS still. Will this policy ensure quality administration of medical attention?

Esta por ver. (That remains to be seen)

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The United States is set to reestablish a more robust partnership with the Philippines that cracked following the criticism by former US President Barack Obama of the Duterte administration’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs.

The United States’ reestablishment of a healthy relationship with the Philippines was discussed during a press briefing at the White House relating to the forthcoming visit of US State Department Secretary Rex Tillerson to Manila.

The US will be discussing with Philippine political and military leaders the ISIS threat to the Asean region, particularly in the Philippines given the messy security situation in Marawi City.

Tillerson is expected to arrive in Manila today to coincide with the opening of the Asean Regional Forum hosted by the Philippines, and where he is scheduled to participate.

Malacañang, however, displayed a certain degree of pessimism about the announced Tillerson side meeting, claiming it has not received word of Tillerson’s plans.

Another hard-to get ploy, huh... Hmmm..  (By Jimmy Cabato)




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