Political will vs. endless “grace periods”

AFTER we reported the sudden proliferation of illegal fish pens in Dagupan’s rivers in September 2015, just months after Mayor Belen Fernandez had declared that illegal fish pens had been removed completely, Ms. Fernandez sent the City Agriculture Office (CAO) to investigate the claims of our sources.

City Agriculturist Emma Molina returned with the finding that our report was verified to be true, with a recommendation that again, another “grace period” be granted in consideration of the potential losses to the investors. To our recollection, it was her fourth recommendation for a “grace period” since the Fernandez administration tried to remove all fish pens, which the mayor again approved.

Meanwhile, to give more teeth to the city government’s campaign, the Sanggunian Panlungsod finally passed the ordinance three weeks later banning all illegal fish pens.

As of today, on record is the memorandum issued by the CAO set December 31, 2015 as the FINAL deadline for the fish pen owners to dismantle their illegal structure. The mayor was even quoted as having said: “Huwag nyo akong subukan…”

Now comes Ms. Molina’s declaration: “There will be no dismantling until the IRR is in place.” Adding insult to the Dagupeños intelligence, it is her office that will set the IRR, a draft of which has not been submitted since the ordinance was passed in October 2015.

Clearly, the position of the CAO is to grant another “grace period.” Shouldn’t the mayor now finally demonstrate her political will by telling the CAO: “Huwag mo akong subukan!”?

One can only wonder how much have been pocketed by some city officials through the “grace period” modus.


‘Trapo’ Pacquiao

HAS Manny Pacquiao started to sound like a trapo (traditional politician)?  First, he said he wanted Timothy Bradley to be his last fight before retiring.  Second, he said Floyd Mayweather Jr. would be his retirement fight.  And then third and finally(?), he told AFP (Agence France Presse) that Bradley would be his last foe.  Three times he said “last fight.”  Which is which, the public is confused.

Only trapos act that way.  Atras-abante.  Urong-sulong. Indecisive. And remember, he is gunning for a higher elective post: senator.  Look at his record as congressman of Sarangani: 4 times present in 70 sessions.  How can a lawmaker help his constituents by being absent 66 times out of 70 Congressional hearings from 2013 to 2015?  But, alas, take this: Pacquiao appears in the Magic 12 surveys (No. 8) for senators in the May election.

(For your comments and reactions, please email to: punch.sunday@gmail.com)

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