Punchline

Save a kid’s life today

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

BEFORE anything else, help save a child’s life! 

Please help in the campaign to make parents have their kids take the vaccines for measles.  Ask members of your household to check with neighbors and friends about urgency to get their vaccine shots ASAP!

More children are dying elsewhere and it could happen here.

There could be an outbreak here in Pangasinan, in your neighborhood, anytime because the virus is airborne! There is no telling who and where one can get it if the child is susceptible and vulnerable without the vaccine.

This is not the time to be indifferent. Save lives by calling friends and relatives to join you in the nationwide alert campaign!

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NO CARES FOR ENFORCEMENT? Nothing has been heard from the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office since the two-day campaign to enforce the ‘tambay’ (local) ordinances in all towns nationwide last year.

Was that a ningas cogon, pang-epal campaign? This is unfortunate because PRRD’s directive created the momentum in the country and in Pangasinan to finally instill discipline in the citizenry. It’s the weak or non-enforcement of the ordinances that creates the impression that enforcement is about ‘palakasan’ and one’s stature in the community.

The lack or absence of discipline is the knowledge that local governments and police ordinances are never serious about ordinances until a prominent citizen becomes a victim.

It amazes me no end as well that members of legislative bodies don’t give a hoot themselves if the ordinances they proposed and passed are enforced or implemented. One wonders whether the authors of the ordinances themselves were serious about their adopted laws from the beginning. Or were these really for the pang-‘epal’?

It’s a curious thing to know how many of the city’s or municipal’s ordinances are being enforced by the police, or barangays. I even wonder if anyone will order a study or an inventory of the ordinances being enforced or ignored.

The results of that study will provide a good indication why one’s community is progressing or a laggard.

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SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT. In our editorial this issue, we are pointing out that politicians with criminal minds are exploiting the election gun ban to their advantage. It’s the best and easiest time to eliminate their competition because their targets are expectedly law-abiding and, therefore, easy targets for hired guns. 

The criminal politicians are also aware that people in their communities are indifferent to the purpose of the election gun ban as long as they don’t own guns. They are aware that what is lost to the citizenry is the understanding that we cannot have peaceful elections if we do not watch out for criminals who are out to create violence.

Yet, how can we expect citizens to be vigilant about need to enforce laws to help maintain peace when our citizens themselves are getting away with their violations of ordinances? In their minds, the police are selective in their enforcement of ordinances so why bother?

So, how can the police expect to have alert eyes and ears in the communities when residents are of the impression that their police are not serious about enforcement?

Residents don’t see their police intercepting motorcycles without plates unless a checkpoint is set up. The minors are seen freely roaming around during curfew hours. Then there are the tambays in all barangays drinking shirtless and in public areas especially at night. And the sidewalk vendors are virtually untouchable. Pedestrians don’t bother crossing in marked lanes because motorists who ignore safety of pedestrians are never accosted.

And what of the illegal loading -unloading of buses and jeepneys, and parking in no-parking areas? Most everyone believes it’s a source of income for traffic enforcers. And who regulates tricycle drivers who ignore one-way streets or park in anywhere? No one.  Who stops motorcycles with loud mufflers? Who stops cutting of trees? Who arrests the barangay officials in drug trading? No one.

The list can be as long as the number of ordinances and laws being ignored by the police and flouted by our citizenry. Yet, nobody really cares. Not the police. Not the elected officials. Not the barangay kapitans.

So how can our government and police even expect citizenry to report presence of strangers who are likely members of crime syndicates and guns-for hire in their sitios?

I hope our mayors and chiefs of police will soon get down to basics to teach their constituents that ordinances and laws are aimed at setting order in our communities by enforcing them.

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OBIT FOR NARCO-POLITICOS. The recent published notification from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency refuting claims that local officials named by President Duterte in 2016 involved in the illegal drug trade have been cleared is confusing at the very least. 

PDEA headquarters in QC maintains Rep. Jesus Celeste has not been cleared of involvement in drugs but the same time, we have word from the PDEA Region 1 that his name be cleared.

I believe it’s for Mr. Celeste to get official confirmation of proof of his true status in PDEA very soon in the light of the recent deathly warning issued by PDU30.

The president has warned all local officials and police still involved in the drug trade to prepare their obituaries because he will have them killed for destroying the country.

Having said that, this corner fully supports the thrust of the presidential warning. Indeed, anyone who exploits his/her official authority granted by the constitution to destroy families don’t deserve mercy.  

So, here is a contributed proposed template as obit from a reader for the recidivists among the narco-politicos targeted by PDU30:

“Here lies the rotten body of a disgraced (mayor, vice mayor, congressman, councilor, barangay official) /police officer who got what he/she deserved – a bullet in his/her head – because he/she exploited the weakness of families in the barangays and families so he/she can buy all the luxury that his/her heart desired. He/she deserves no pity, no respect. Woe to his/her family that will carry the burden of living with the ignominy attached to the family name.”

It’ll probably sound and look better in Tagalog, Ilocano or Pangasinan.

Of course, I expect the clergy to condemn me for posting this obit for they’d rather save the lives of the drug financiers and pushers, instead of their victims.

(I believe there should be a template obit for police scalawags who plant evidence on unsuspecting and innocent persons as a ploy for blackmail, who raid drug dens and keep most of the seized drug to reselling, who stand in as protectors of drug syndicates, who moonlight as guns-for hire. But let’s wait for PDU30 to expose them). 

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