Punchline

Another lip service from Liga ng mga Barangay

 

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

FIRST, an FYI! Here’s a snapshot of crime situation in the country vis-à-vis the war on drugs from PNP validated by PDEA:

Period: July 1, 2016 – August 29, 2017

Anti-Drug Operations Conducted: 70,854

Drug Personalities Who Died in Operations: 3,811

Persons Arrested –

Drug Personalities: 107,156 

Government Employees: 176

Elected Officials: 167

Uniformed Personnel: 33

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Period: July 1, 2016 – July 26, 2017

Facilitated surrenders: 1,308,078

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Period: July 1, 2016 -May 30, 2017

Homicide Cases: 12,426

Drug-related: 2,091

Non-Drug related: 2,447

Cases under Investigation: 7,888 

 

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I-ME-MYSELF SYNDROME. Speaking of self-preservation, leave it to the barangay kapitans to know when to speak out, and when to shut up like nobody’s business.

And who else epitomizes this conduct but the Liga ng mga Barangay of Pangasinan chief Kinky Zaplan herself?

The position forwarded by Ms. Zaplan supporting the expected continued postponement of barangay elections set for October this year is a no-brainer.

Of course, the incumbent kapitans will gladly sing and dance for the postponement! It extends their tenure without need of a mandate from their constituents.

Then the caveat. Ms. Zaplan says, she and the kapitans will prefer elections than being removed only to be replaced by appointees. At first blush, one would get the impression that the kapitans want to uphold the basic democratic principle of elections, but nothing can be further from the truth.

The kapitans would rather fight it out with their newfound wealth in an election to stay in power than to be removed summarily and replaced by their arch political enemies in the barangay. Again, a no-brainer position.

It’s called the “I-Me-Myself” syndrome.

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ANOTHER LIP SERVICE? Well, mercifully, Ms. Zaplan finally decided to speak out for her colleagues’ interests last week after a year of silence on the drug war.

Ms. Zaplan says she and the kapitans will adopt a resolution supporting PDU30’s move to weed out the criminals, the kapitan-protector-drug dealer, among them!  Wow!

They must think PDU30 is a sucker for empty and hollow self-serving pledges of support.

Didn’t Ms. Zaplan, as ex-officio board member representing the kapitans, file a resolution, a month into the declaration of war on drugs, that the Liga fully supports the war, and that the kapitans will voluntarily submit themselves to drug tests?

Well, it’s been a year since she made that impressionable resolution but the Liga still has nothing to show except sheer lip service to the cause.

Taking it from the top. Did she, as Liga president leading by example, submit herself to a drug test? And, has she asked the kapitans of Sta. Barbara town to take the drug tests?

This corner has asked her these questions on several occasions, but we were never favored with a response, not even a teenie-weenie curt reply.  Not even an indication from the provincial board.  Obviously, it was the best time to shut up!

But since she said the Liga is again ready to adopt a resolution of support for the war on drugs, the resolution should contain the names of kapitans that submitted to drug tests, place of tests and the results.  Or the Liga can short circuit the process and identify the kaptitans among them who’ve been protecting the drug syndicates in their turfs. Short of that, Ms. Zaplan and the Liga are still up to their old trick of deception.

Nonetheless, I still hope Ms. Zaplan will (wo)man up to Liga’s pledges of support since PDU30 minced no words when he declared that 40% of barangays in the country are drug-affected because the illegal drugs syndicates were protected by kapitans!

Surely, she must know her members!

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OLD CAO TEMPLATE. Two weeks ago, the Dagupan City Information Office reported the recent accomplishment of the Dagupan City Agriculture Office (CAO).

City Agriculturist Emma Molina reported to Mayor Belen Fernandez that the structures of 114 illegal fish pens and cages were demolished. 

Great… but really, there’s nothing new about it.

The template from the CAO about the off-and-on campaign against illegal fish pens (and now including fish cages) has not changed. It talks about numbers that are neither here nor there because basically the same pen and cage owners are seasonally violating the city ordinance, and are never made to account for their violations.

Again, Ms. Molina was mum about how the campaign proceeded except the claim that the illegal structures were demolished.

Again, no pen or cage owner was penalized, not even by a token P1 fine!

Again, the city spent for the demolition and never passed on the costs to the erring owners, they who had promised to voluntarily demolish the pens, but eventually refused to do so because they knew the city government anyway was willing to do it at no costs to them.  

Again, the erring owners were given endless grace periods in order to allow them to be able to harvest their illegal produce and make their profits at the expense of the city.

So wonder no more why there are always at least a hundred illegal structures to be demolished every 6 months. The CAO is guaranteeing the unscrupulous businessmen harassment-free and profitable venture even after violating the city’s ordinance.

Curiously, City Legal Officer Vicky Cabrera has not been heard to invoke the full and strict enforcement of the city’s fishery ordinance that is being violated with impunity.

And even ‘curiouser’ is, it appears Mayor Fernandez is tolerating the irregularities at the CAO.   

Anyare, Mayor? Anyare Atty. Cabrera? Anyare Councilor Jigs Seen and Joey Tamayo?

Anyare Dagupan?