LINGAYEN AT WAR? The red flag is up in the capital town of Lingayen. (No, it’s not the woman’s cycle some men talk about).
It’s literally “red flag is up.” The Philippine flag was raised on the flagpole inverted – red on top, blue below.
That faux pas was perfectly captured by DWCM broadcaster Ahikam Pasion, in three different shots at different angles, and posted them on his Facebook page around 7: 07 a.m. on Nov. 16.
Section 10 of the Philippines’ Republic Act 8491 states: “The flag, if flown from a flagpole, shall have its blue field on top in time of peace and the red field on top in time of war; if in a hanging position, the blue field shall be to the right (left of the observer) in time of peace, and the red field to the right (left of the observer) in time of war.’
“Lingayen LGU, pakiayos po ang flag sa Plaza niyo. Baliktad po. Paging Mayora Iday Castañeda,” Ahikam wrote in his post.
Inverting the display of the Philippine flag signifies that the nation is in a state of war.
Lest the employees and officials of Lingayen local government have forgotten, may I please refresh their minds that the country is not at war with any country.
Of course, Mayor Iday perhaps did not know about the mistake until it was posted on Facebook. But she should call the attention of the one who hoisted the Philippine flag wrongly.
To her consolation perhaps, Lingayen’s case was not the first.
In fact, even the United States of America committed such blunder when leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations met President Barack Obama in New York in Sept. 2010. Then President Benigno Aquino III was present in that meeting and the inverted Philippine flag was positioned behind him while he was seated on a table with Obama.
The US government apologized for that blooper, saying it was “an honest mistake”.
The law on the national flag also provides penalties such as a fine and imprisonment of up to one year for people found disrespecting the flag.
Dapat may masampolan kasi maraming LGUs ang kulang sa respeto sa ating bandila. Gutay-gutay, kupas-kupas na ang kulay pero hinahayaan pa ring iwagayway.
I commend Ahikam Pasion for taking pictures of that Lingayen scene and posted them in Facebook.
Siguro we need more of Ahikam’s tribe para matauhan ang mga local leaders natin.— Eva Visperas
SAVING FOR THE NEW CITY HALL – The use of the proceeds from the sale of MC Adore in the amount of P119 million five years after the controversial sale of that former hotel in 2012 only showed that all is well between the administration of Mayor Belen Fernandez and the AMLC Holdings Company, Inc.
Recall that the former 5-star hotel was sold by then former Mayor Benjamin Lim in 2012 for only P119 million, then considered grossly disadvantageous to the city since the value of Lim’s own property near the site was sold way, way much higher per square meter.
When Mayor Belen defeated Lim and began her term in 2013, she did not tap the proceeds of the sale of MC Adore and instead put it in a trust account even knowing she inherited a city government that is negative P37 million in its finances.
The mayor adduced that the former Lim administration hastily sold MC Adore because the city was in the red and not only had arrears in electric bills for many months but already reneged in payments to its creditors.
Perhaps he had wanted to plug the negative finances with part of the proceeds of the sale of MC Adore in order to look good to his constituents since he was facing an election in 2013.
But as fate would have it, Lim failed to use the amount in his reelection bid and could not serve his full term after he was rushed to the hospital in coma.
Through the years, we were informed Mayor Belen refused to touch the proceeds of MC Adore sale and instead put this in a trust fund because she had intended to buy back MC Adore with it and transfer the city to that building.
Making MC Adore as the new site for the city hall was after all the very reason why Lim said he had the property bought. But when Belen realized that MC Adore was already beyond recovery, she decided on a new location for the city hall, away from the already congested central business district of Dagupan.
Thanks to the generosity of her younger brother Kerwin who donated a 1.2-hectare land in Barangay Pantal.
Now that the city council finally gave the nod for the transfer of the city hall, Mayor Belen decided it was time to use the P119-M as seed money for the construction of the new government center in Barangay Lucao.
So if you see the land development proceeding on the site soon, that’s because the city government saved for it.
In the meantime, AMLC seemed to have moved on by building the MC Adore Market within its own premises, a project encouraged by the Fernandez administration to bring in more traders and buyers in Dagupan. – Leonardo Micua
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