Punchline

Unheralded police chiefs

EFG

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

LET me share an email I received in connection with our editorial last November 15 issue titled: “The complacent 44 police chiefs”

A “Joey Mejia” wrote me: “My question is: if 4 newspapers are awarded as being top ‘newspapers’ …does that mean that Sunday Punch is n ‘doing anything’….  This is in your reference that the other 44 chiefs of police (COPs) haven’t done anything in regards to “one time big time’ ops… Have you actually done research…meaning that the rest of the COPs really haven’t done anything? just curious.  1 more thing: is your paper based on ‘news’…or you and your associates write based on personal and biased opinions.? Happy Thanksgiving!”

To which I replied: The context of the award is compliance with the order of the Chief PNP in the war vs. illegal drugs -“One Time, Big Time.” Only 4 were acknowledged, it means others did not, or have not done what was expected of them. In the same vein, if as you say The Punch is not one of the “four awarded newspapers,” then yes, we have to accept that we have not done enough to deserve an award. No buts to it. Biased? That’s for our readers, like you, to say.  

Frankly, I don’t know where Mr. Mejia got the impression that we even remotely suggested that the 44 police chiefs did not do anything at all, because we didn’t. All that we pointed out was that the awards given by the PNP regional office cited those who were successful in their “One Time, Big Time” Campaign as defined by their big Chief PNP, no less. Simply put, if one is not chosen to be awarded, it means the one did not meet the criteria set forth. Surely, the 44 did something but not at the level specified. If the 44 chiefs succeeded in accomplishing the Chief PNP’s mission order like what the four did, surely they would not be thought of as complacent (not incompetent).

In our book, like the police chiefs’ bosses, only the best should be recognized or the awards program will be cheapened if even the complacent are cited.

In the war vs. illegal drugs, the Chief PNP drew the line: It’s “One Time, Big Time,” nothing less! We couldn’t agree more and we fully support efforts to honor all achievers when acknowledged by the regional bosses at any time. We’ll be happy to have our front page emblazoned with their names as well.  

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SITIO SHABU. Here’s a sidebar to our story “4 more drug pushers nabbed”

I received a text message from an anonymous sender complaining about the unabated daily shabu trading in Barangay Pantal in Dagupan City.  The sender was obviously familiar with the on-goings in the area because the activities of the suspected sister-team pushers were named, and were confirmed by Dagupan police chief Christopher Abrahano. He said: They are on our sights!” And true enough, it didn’t take long before the suspects, particularly the Abella sisters were collared!  

That news spread so fast that our anonymous tipster sent this text: Congratulations! Mabuhay kayo Dagupan Police Force! Sa wakas nahuli nyo rin ang mga salot sa tabacalera pantal wag nyo tantanan may mga kasamahan pa cila dto, anyway thank you very much and a sincere congratulation po sa inyo lahat especialy chief Abrahano keep up d gud work!

There it is. You can trust this police chief, Mr. Abrahano!

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CLUP AS HOSTAGE. Something about the attempt of some members of the city council to block the passage of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of Dagupan City just doesn’t add up. And I think, it is literally the math being subscribed to by some councilors that is working behind the snagged process.

Clearly the CLUP is being held hostage for a hefty ransom by some unscrupulous councilors! How so?

The bid of Councilor Red Erfe-Mejia to again postpone approval of the draft by holding another public hearing is suspect. Why? He has not identified the issues that he believes were not fully ventilated or clarified or objected to in all the public hearings except for one issue that is not even discussed in the proposal.

He persistently talks about his perceived denial of entry of SM Mall in Dagupan City.

He asks – why hasn’t SM been given the green light to set up business in Dagupan?

City Administrator Farah Decano replied: The Fernandez administration never received an application from SM.

That was a double-bladed response that was pointed at Mr. Erfe Mejia’s neck.

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SM’s INTERESTS OVER THE CITY.  Judging from the interest demonstrated by the minority leader, he obviously was privy to a deal upon receipt perhaps of an application from SM during the Lim administration for him to do all to hostage the CLUP.

Is Mr. Erfe-Mejia working on delivering to SM what the Lim administration failed to deliver after the Lim administration (and the Judas 9?) shook hands on it? Pray tell, Mr. Erfe-Mejia, how much was the deal worth for you to keep throwing a monkey wrench to the passage of the CLUP? Who were part of the cabal?

Why the persistent interest over the approval of the entry of SM when the latter itself has not presented its case to the city hall under the new management? Or did the SM in fact send its proposal but to the Lim’s administration and Mr. Erfe Mejia is privy to the transaction? Is SM already demanding a refund of something?

If the minority leader cannot bear to explain how the Lim administration negotiated the entry of SM in the past, I’m afraid Mr. Erfe-Mejia has no legitimate claim to even raise the interests of SM. He should instead go back to SM and explain that the city hall is under new management, and that no refund is possible.

Meanwhile, he has no business asking for another public hearing for the CLUP over a non-issue to the Fernandez administration.

Perhaps, there is an unresolved issue that the remnants of the Lim administration will have to account to SM. So pray tell, Mr. Councilor, why are you fighting for the business interests of SM and not of the city?

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WHAT EARTH-BALLING? Lost in the debate over the cutting of trees at the Manila North Road, is one provision in the agreement that DPWH was a party to.  

Read the signage posted along the MNR-   

“SO THE PUBLIC MAY KNOW:  Please be informed that along this stretch/roadline which is within the 20m right-of-way for national road, with a total number of 589 trees, will be cut and 107 trees will be earth-balled to give way to the widening of Urdaneta -Binalonan -Pozorrubio -Sison Road K0176+700 – K0211+660, subject to the terms and conditions of the tree cutting and earth-balling permit No. 2015-49 dated August 20, 2015 and other environmental laws. The tree cutting and earth-balling will commence on November 21 onwards.” (Underscoring is mine for emphasis). A picture of the signage was submitted to The PUNCH.

Great sign. So who is doing the earth-balling? How many of the 107 trees have been earth-balled so far? Or were the 107 trees cut as well in violation of the terms and conditions defined in permit No. 2015-49 dated August 20, 2015?

Looks like some people will have to explain to the Ombudsman why the DENR, DPWH and its contractor conspired to deceive and lie to the provincial government and the Pangasinenses.  The fact is, not a single tree has been earth-balled as admitted by the DPWH because it does not have the capability to earth-ball a tree. Touché

But through it all the DPWH has the temerity to post that officious looking notice along the MNR.  And since the notice has the local government’s insignia (logo), is it possible that the mayors were part of the conspiracy, too, to deceive and lie? Tsk-tsk.

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

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