Below the belt

By Leonardo Micua


WITHOUT batting an eyelash, Senator Manny Pacquiao named the Department of Health as one corrupt agency and Secretary Francisco Duque III as a corrupt official when dared by President Duterte in a national TV to name the ‘bad seeds’ ruining his administration or else he will call him a liar.

Well, that’s foul and unfair to both DOH and Duque being crucified while doing their best to contain the pandemic and saving lives that are at risk. In the boxing parlance, that’s a punch below the belt coming from a man who distinguished himself in the whole world as a boxing champ.

Unless Pacquiao has reservoir of evidence up his sleeves, I doubt very much if his accusation will hold water or stand a chance in the court of law. Done in the midst of an outburst and certainly not a product of much deep thinking, his accusation could be dismissed as just another lie.

Methinks it’s easy to call the kettle black and the cat black. But proving it (the accusation) will certainly be a daunting task especially because he lets us in a state of animation, guessing on what kind of evidence he can lay on the table.

Though he was only responding to the challenge of President Duterte, for him to name the agencies and officials in his administration that to him are corrupt, it would be insane if he just ticks off names just by impulse and without any in-depth study.

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We all know that Duterte and Pacquiao—after enjoying at each other’s company for years—are now strange bedfellows. Although they are party-mates in the ruling PDP Laban (Duterte is the chairman and Pacquiao is the acting president), they now appear to be after each other’s throat.

We can recall that in early halcyon days of Duterte, Pacquiao was among those singing paeans for the President. Now they have crossed swords and their frequent exchange of barbs has turned dirty at times.

We surmise it is because Pacquiao, who became a multi-billionaire by his own sweat, tears and blood as a prized world boxing champion, has a moist eye for the presidency of the republic while Duterte is likely grooming his daughter Sara as his successor when he leaves his post less than one year from now.

At this stage, Duterte and Pacquiao are already irreconcilable. And the Pacman believes his from rugs to riches life is an open book and has nothing to hide and be ashamed of. That’s why he has the gall to wage war with the most powerful man of the republic.

Both Manny and Sara are qualified to gun for the presidency next year and the two are not about ready to give way to each other.

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I sense that someone at Dagupan City hall is now making a damage control in the social media about the cause of flooding in some streets of  the city and even at the city hall compound rain or no rain.

No amount of damage control can ease the suffering of the people affected by the daily rise of tide because even when it is not raining and more so when it is raining, the level of water in adjacent river is higher than the level of the streets and in settlement sites.

I’ve written this before that since water in our drainage canals empty into our nearest rivers, water is back flowing into the plains of Dagupan through the same drainage canals that disgorge water to the river.

While Congressman Toff de Venecia did his part in initiating the construction of protective dikes along the Pantal River, the Dagupan Flood Mitigation Commission created by Mr. Brian Lim simply did not do its assigned task to ease the suffering of the people from the almost daily flood from the time it was created two years ago.

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