Proving me wrong


By Ermin Garcia Jr.


IF noble motives and plans among the councilors don’t miscarry, there finally appears a chance that the impasse on the 2015 annual budget of the Dagupan City will be resolved, soon. Like this week, I am told.

My sources confirmed that the “holdouts” among the councilors behind the delay in the approval of the budget have intimated to some that they never had the intention to block the passage of the budget but that circumstances during the holidays had prevented the council from accomplishing the task. In fact, I am advised the inclusion of the deliberation of the report submitted by Councilor Jigs Seen in the regular agenda in this week’s session to finally start the process is practically certain. Well and good.

If it happens, then I can concede that I have been proven wrong in my assessment of the issue, particularly about the existence of the Judas 6 and Brutus 2, and that they held the budget hostage in the hope of gaining some funds for their respective pork barrel.

If the holdouts wrest the initiative to rush the approval of the budget, then all’s well that ends well for the city. There’s nothing I’d like to see than to be proven wrong because it would mean the city is in safe hands! (I am one who always pray that I be proven wrong in my assessment. In the same vein, until I am proven wrong, I stick to my guns to prove me right).

So, in the meantime, let’s watch our politicos play their cards as true public servants, not as trapos!

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LIQUIDATION PROBLEMS. Here’s something for those who received financial grants from their local governments and have not submitted liquidation reports for the sums they received.

A former top official of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) was indicted by the Ombudsman and could face up to six years in prison for his alleged failure to account for a measly P26,652 in cash advances.

Under the law, public officials may land in jail or pay a fine of up to P6,000 for failure to liquidate cash advances two months after receiving the money.

The MWSS sent a demand letter to its former official in February 2013, asking him to settle his unliquidated cash advances within 15 days. However, Dinopol failed to heed the demand.

Here in Dagupan, I am told the COA auditor will soon complete her report on the cash advances made during the time of Mayor Benjie Lim, and depending on the ability of those on the list to liquidate, we may yet see a long list of persons and organizations that may be indicted by the Ombudsman soon. Tsk-tsk

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TRADITION VS. LAW. It appears the move to either amend the law regulating the manufacture, sale and use of firecrackers or completely ban firecrackers is gaining traction. And with reason.

The track record of some 5 cities in the country that have opted to ban firecrackers are already proving that a ban is the only answer to stop needless injuries, amputations if not deaths of revelers. The present law is not enough to deter manufacturers, vendors and revelers from preventing accidents to happen.

The mindset that tradition cannot be broken has left enforcement much to be desired. Take the case of the high noon blast tradition of Barangay Pogo Chico in Dagupan City. To the credit of the police, they scoured areas where prohibited fireworks were likely to be found and seized them. But they were suddenly nowhere to be found in the barangay where giant editions of prohibited firecrackers were on full display and lit for tradition’s sake.

Is tradition an accepted exemption for anything illegal?

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TRAGEDY STRUCK. Last January 3, 2015, tragedy struck in our good friend Diego Ledda’s home. His 20-year old daughter, Kathlyn Joy, died in a road mishap while riding a motorcycle early morning, with two of her friends as back riders at the most unlikely place – at the De Venecia Extension Road junction (by the Babaliwan) westbound.

Diego is one person who dares not question God’s will but in this traumatic situation he also refused to let the situation pass without learning from it in order that other lives may be spared. He painstakingly tried to reconstruct how the accident could have happened and this was how he saw it.  

  1. He warned riders never to leave home without a helmet. Her body lurched forward on impact soon as the bike hit a low black block barrier, and her unprotected head hit the other barriers. As fate would have it, her fall helped cushion the impact of the fall of her two friends.
  1. Because of low light level, she might have missed the sharp curve before her and completely missed seeing the black block lined up by it. There was no sign in the area to warn motorists that they are approaching a junction marked by sharp curves. If a sign that reads: SLOW DOWN: SHARP CURVE AHEAD had been in place, it could have perhaps saved her life. He was told there had been two other accidents in the same area involving cars. (Paging City Engineering).
  2. It took POSO personnel in the area 30 minutes to arrange for an emergency response team to arrive and rush her to the hospital. Why? (Paging POSO officials).

Nothing can possibly console him, Kathlyn’s mom and siblings more but prayers and a resolve of the city government to act and correct lapses in that accident in order no other child may suffer Kathlyn Joy’s fate.

She will be buried today, June 11.

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