Random Thoughts

The dreaded narco-list

By Leonardo Micua

FROM all indications, it looks like the government is all set to make public the names of narco-politicians in its secret list next week .

This despite calls from several quarters that it should exercise a minimum of restraint and recognize the dictum in law that one is presumed innocent unless proven guilty by the court. So it looks like that at this stage, only a court’s temporary restraining order can stop the DILG from disclosing names of the 82 persons working in government in that list.

If you recall, President Rodrigo Duterte already made the list public twice in the past: the first in Davao City when he was yet barely a month in office and another in a speech before soldiers in his visit to the Army camp in Gamu, Isabela.

So, what else could be new, except the same narco-politicians already bared in the first and second disclosures.

According to reports, of the 82 narco-politicians in that list, 64 are running for reelection and the rest opted not to run anymore. Those in the list, the report said, included governors, vice governors, mayors, vice mayors and congressmen.

Perhaps, we will see if the name of Cong. Jesus Celeste was already excluded as sought earlier in a resolution of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) sent to the National Peace an d Order Council (NPOC), headed by President Duterte.

Note that also recommended to be excluded are of two La Union mayors–Reynaldo Flores of Naguilian and Eulogio Clarence Martin III of Bauang.

Recall that PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino clarified in a radio interview and in a  video clip posted on social media that the only institutions that can recommend to the
President the removal of an individual’s name from the narco list are the PDEA, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army.

But we are still hoping that Congressman Boying’s name will be finally deleted from the list since it does not speak well of the province that we have one narco-politician in our province. Besides, the accusation leveled against him remains to be proven in court.

In this election, Boying opted not to seek reelection but his brothers and other relatives are running for different posts.

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Mayor Belen Fernandez took time out from her busy schedules in Dagupan to be with the Balon Dagupan delegation when the 2019 Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) Meet opened on March 6 in Laoag City.

Her presence there not only gave them inspiration but assured the needed moral and financial support in their first defense of their IRAA meet title which they won last year in Alaminos City.

Yes, finally Dagupan became champion in the 2018 R1AA meet, after successive two first runner-up finishes, all during the term of Mayor Fernandez compared to the “best in uniform” citation won by the city during the last year of the past city administration of then Mayor Benjamin Lim.

Under Mayor Belen, sports was not relegated to the back seat as previous administrations did. She provided more funds for the training and equipment of athletes, hiring of topnotch coaches for different events.

Instead of doing away with the Olympic-size Dagupan City Swimming Pool, which the past city administration neglected and wanted to demolish, she improved it to be the venue of training members of the Balon Dagupan Swimming Team and for other children interested to learn how to swim.

Then, noting that Dagupan had no entry in archery in the past, she ordered the purchase of archery equipment and hired coaches from Manila to teach local archers. After only few months of training at a vacant lot owned by the Fernandez family, Dagupan produced champions in archery in R1AA, in the Batang Pinoy National Finals and in the Southeast Asian Games.

No city mayor achieved what Mayor Fernandez has done for local athletes, enabling them to excel in their own fields and win laurels for their families and the city. That’s a fact!

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