Random Thoughts

Political persecution

By Leonardo Micua

WE read several posts on the social media that our good friend Finnela Sim is now out as sports commissioner of the city government.

Councilor Joey Tamayo said as much in his own Facebook account: “Mam Finnela Sim. I heard the news that you gave way (sic) your post as SPORTS COMMISSIONER. We thank you for your outstanding service for our kids and (the) city.”

In an obvious reply to Joey, Ms. Sim posted on her Facebook account: “It has been an honor serving Dagupan City as your Vice Chairman of Dagupan City Sports Commission (DCSC). Thank you for your trust all through the years!:  It has been productive and fruitful years for DCSC. I hope that the next commissioner will continue to support and take care of our young athletes#Balon Dagupan”.

Then, Ekim Sim, Finnela’s husband, posted: “Thank you for your service. I’m just here and forever.”

We didn’t know why Finnela tendered her irrevocable resignation till we read the post of blogger Juan Manalo: “I-transfer ba naman sa Market for night duty ang isang magiting na sports Commissioner ng Dagupan na naging isa sa mga agimat ng Back to Back na pagpapanalo ng Dagupan ng overall championship sa IRAA 2017 at 2008, ay sus saludo po kami sa inyo maam.” (Correction for Manalo: Dagupan earned the back-to back IRAA championship in R1AA of 2018 and 2019).

So that’s it!

She resigned after being treated unjustly and unfairly by the administration of Mayor Brian Lim, unseated her as sports commissioner and assigned her as a market collector for the graveyard shift! What an insult to her stature as an outstanding alumna of De La Salle University where she was an athlete and a holder of master’s degree from the University of Luzon. Mayor Brian knew she, a fellow La Sallian, is a woman of substance, but he insulted her just the same.

The offered assignment is for someone who even did not go to college and whose only ticket to that post is a relative who worked to make Mayor Brian win by hook or by crook in the last election. Definitely, not for Finnela.

The move of the Lim administration is considered by her friends in the legal circle as tantamount to a constructive dismissal. So, the city admin might have a case coming before the Civil Service Commission or even before the Ombudsman.

We heard too that hardworking City Engineer Jane Rosario was unseated and assigned as head of a newly formed task force to oversee the city’s drainage. And Human Resources and Development Officer Lana Balolong was reportedly assigned to the Waste Management Division!

Obviously, these notable city officials were politically persecuted for helping Belen achieve an incredible feat during her six-year reign in the city that’s hard to match.   

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Governor Amado “Pogi” Espino III is mulling a plan to put up a scholarship program for nurses in Pangasinan to ensure a steady flow of nurses that will serve the hospitals operated by the provincial government. 

If this is realized, this will surely be another legacy of his administration that already sent thousands of poor but deserving students to college and universities, many of whom already became professionals and distinguished themselves in their fields of endeavors.   

According to PIO chief Butch Velasco, the scholarship will plug the shortage of nurses in provincial and district hospitals because of continuing brain drain in the country.

Hopefully, scholarship program for nurses will have a proviso that the scholar should serve any of the hospitals of the province for a number of years before they can resign to work abroad.

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As we sat by a store, a few meters away from the bank of the Calmay River on a lazy Saturday, my media colleagues, Gerry, Ike and Mortz and I saw rows of illegal structures on the other side of the river, specifically Barangay Calmay. 

These are unmistakably illegal fish pens because these were covered with green nets and definitely bigger in sizes than the fish cages permitted by the past city administration. The brisk sale of bamboo poles in the bamboo market located in Sitio Catacdang, Bonuan Gueset, tells the same story – all for the construction of the illegal fish pens.

So the picture on CIO’S Facebook showing Brian cutting down a rope tied to fish pen nets was just a mere photo op to show his opposition to fish pens when in reality, it is the opposite. The mushrooming of illegal fish pens is very evident.

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