Random Thoughts

Issues for SITG Maganes

By Leonardo Micua


WE join our media colleagues and media organizations in Manila and hereabouts in condemning the brutal slaying of our brother in the profession and townmate Virgilio “Vir” Maganes in the early morning on November 10 in Barangay San Blas, Villasis.

At the same time, we mourn his passing and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family in their darkest hour.

We hope the Special Investigation Task Group Maganes formed by Brig. General Rodolfo Azurin Jr., police regional director, will leave no stone unturned in unlocking the mystery behind this bloody incident and soon arrest the perpetrators as well as the mastermind.

Maganes’ death, coming four years after he was wounded in an obvious attempt on his life, could easily be seen as the handiwork of paid assassins. This is for the SITG Maganes to determine.

Recall that in his first brush with death, Maganes played dead after he was gunned down in almost the same spot four years ago. He survived only because the perpetrators thought he was already dead and refused to waste any more bullets to deliver the coup d’grace.

Whether the first incident was related to the second incident is for the SITG, along with the Villasis Police, to find out. And if indeed it was, we presume that Vir must have long been somewhat a walking dead man as the paid assassins would not stop until he’s finished.

Did Vir relax his guard, became complacent after his first brush with death? We remember vividly that on many editions of KBP Forum, Vir always had a bodyguard, who looked like from the military, in tow.

Was he convinced that after four years, the threat on his life was already gone?

Maganes’ slaying somewhat gave mediamen in Pangasinan the shudder as it could happen to any crusading newsman hereabouts anytime.

Death, anyway, is like a thief in the night that strikes one when it is less expected.

But we are not cowed because we know that we are fighting a good cause. Neither are we arming ourselves as a defense against would-be attackers as we know this will only complicate matters in our society.

Anyway, we believe that only the onion-skinned cowards may want to see us and other newsmen dead.

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Apropos to his war against graft and corruption, President Duterte set up a reward money, from P50,000 to P100,000, to be given to tipsters of ghost projects or illegal transactions that defrauded government.

According to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevara, the task force versus graft and corruption he formed at the instance of the President, already received many tips from the public of perceived graft and corruption. But per the instruction of Mr. Duterte, all tips have to be verified thoroughly to ensure that these are not being used for political purposes or to advance any one’s agenda.

It is good that the person giving tips on possible malfeasance by any government personnel do not have to be identified.

Now, government officials will think twice before committing any graft, knowing that there will be eyes spying on them and tip off the DOJ.

But for the reward system to work out for long, a law must be enacted by Congress so that this act can be institutionalized and internalized by all concerned.

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The report on TV that farmers in Pangasinan are bemoaning the low buying price of palay from P5 to P7 per kilogram is not true. This was confirmed by OIC Provincial Agriculturist Dalisay Moya during the Question Hour of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on November 9.

Ms. Moya told the board members that the price of palay in the province varies per district based on latest consolidated report from her office. This ranges from P12 to 15 for wet palay/sack and from P15 to P18 for dried palay.

Despite the rains, it is currently palay harvesting season in Pangasinan and for lack of drying facilities, farmers are drying their newly harvested crops along the highways.

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