Punchline

Conspiracy vs. city council

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

 

THE stand-off between the Dagupan Sangguniang Panlungsod and the three bus companies operating their terminals on Perez Boulevard will likely end with the latter having their way, flouting the city’s ordinance for as long as they want, and for as long as the proposed terminal is not completed.

If it appears that Victory Liner and Solid North are in deep odds and cannot come to a settlement as the councilors would want them to do, I see it differently.  What I see actually happening is a conspiracy between the two to push the city government to the wall and decide to tolerate them to continue to operate without compromising anything in a settlement agreement. How? By scheduling another conciliation meeting!

I surmise that the two bus companies believe they have read through the continued postponement of the enforcement of the city ordinance as a sign of weakness of the city council. The continued postponement since last year, conveyed the message that it is not prepared to inconvenience the riding public by closing the two bus terminals (and Five Star, Victory Liner’s sister company) operating within 200 meters of the Perez-Mayombo intersection which is why the city councilors are desperate to have the settlement between Victory Liner and Solid North to save face.

But of course, the bus companies can reach a temporary agreement if they want to. These two multi-million companies who were once partners in business won’t quibble over a little accommodation for each other. They can easily forge a settlement to give the city government the face-saving scenario it wants but they won’t.

So what we are seeing is we have the two bus companies playing hardball to get away with everything leaving the city government high and dry.

So the two bus companies are wont to say: “Nope, you don’t push us, you need us more than we need you.” Read their lips!

Let’s see if the bus companies are right in their reading of the city councilors. The bets are: the enforcement will again be suspended!

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NO-CONTACT TOKHANG. It is, indeed, encouraging to hear the provincial police leadership assure all that it is intent on sustaining the war on drugs with more intensity.

But for PNP provincial director P/Sr. Superintendent Wilson Lopez to achieve his drug-free target for the province, he will have to back it with reports of daily arrests from intensified buy-bust operations.

I agree with his view that drug syndicates will never stop trying to penetrate a barangay, so it follows that for as long as there are no reported arrests in one town, it means the town is not drug-free. The applicable tactic would be: Keep arresting until no one’s there to pick up the trade.

Perhaps, he can consider this suggestion: He should do what PDU30 does effectively – to call out the barangay kapitans he strongly suspects to be protecting drug activities in their areas. That will surely neutralize them.

He can call it “No-contact tokhang”!

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INTENSIFIED DESTABILIZATION OF DU30 GOVERNMENT. I don’t think many Pangasinenses watched the BBC’s “Our World: Philippines: Democracy in Danger” last week but those who did must be wondering if BBC was talking about another country, not the Philippines!

The documentary was everything that the detractors of our government today have been mouthing since 2016. It was like a rerun of same political message that sought to destabilize the Duterte administration from Day 1.

Judging from the slant of the reporter, political enemies of PDU30 must have spent a lot for BBC to turn its back on its traditional, balanced conservative reporting of political events around the world.

In brief, BBC portrayed life in the country as miserable and in constant turmoil, akin to the last months of the Marcos regime. But of course, we were not the intended and target audience but the outside world. The president’s enemies want to justify to the world of its unending efforts to oust PDU30 at all costs, either through a military coup by a bunch of nationalist adventurists or to fund a media campaign for a People Power 3 to force him to step down.

While we out here can choose to ignore what the destabilizers are doing overseas, we must be aware that the visible active destabilizers will likely provide the trigger and the impetus for outside forces to intervene in our country’s affairs.

You will know it’s happening when the political opposition starts an all out media blitz calling for PDU30 to step down.  At which time, we have to ponder consequences if PDU30 is ousted without cause. When that happens, what will you do?

Will you just sit and leave things be? Or pull out your smartphone and join to call to resist the opposition?

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