About “terrorists” and “prostitutes” in media
By Leonardo Micua
NOW there is war between Dagupan City Hall and the Sangguniang Panlungsod because of the still unfinished 2022 annual city budget
City hall claimed that because of politics, the SP sat on the budget for months and remained unacted up to these days.
The SP through Councilors Michael Fernandez and Jose Netu Tamayo staunchly denied the accusation and blamed the incomplete documents submitted to the SP for the delay in the deliberation of the budget. They were seconded by Councilors Chito Samson, Karlos Reyna as well as Lino Fernandez.
The SP claimed city hall has yet to submit a detailed Indicative Annual Procurement Plan in as mandated by Memorandum Circular 82, as amended by MC 82-A.
This is because the documents submitted earlier were not detailed but in lumpsum form – not broken down into specifics or itemized as required by the MC.
Officials sent by city hall to the SP argued the IAPP is not material to the passage of the budget but were rebuffed by Councilor Fernandez when he asked them to quote provisions of the law that said the detailed IAPP is of no use.
They changed gears after finally admitting that the submission of the detailed IAPP is indeed mandatory. Then they asked the SP to be more lenient in the requirements like in the past when previous annual budgets were quickly approved.
But the members of the majority in the SP pointed out earlier they only agreed to pass the previous budgets because of the assurance of city hall men that the missing documents were “to follow”. The documents never followed up to now, attested Councilor Chito.
Then on radio, Mayor Brian Lim slammed the SP for requiring the documents which the law does not require. He was insinuating that the aldermen fabricated the added requirements as an excuse not to approve the budget.
But, based on the unwitting manifestation of the city accountant, the bids and awards committee is already preparing the required document which the budget officer herself admitted is a tedious process.
As a disinterested observer, I feel that that the impasse on the budget could have been avoided had city hall really done its assignment early on and prepared the right documents after their three submissions were all rejected by the SP.
But while preparations of the correct IAPP are going on, projectiles continue flying, courtesy of the trolls. They are out to unnerve and pressure the councilors to agree to pass the budget sans the requirements. That’s foul!
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I pity our colleagues whom Secretary Raul Lambino branded in his press conference as “terrorists” and also “prostitutes”, when he perhaps meant “media prostitutes”. I hope this is not a generalization coming from the good secretary because there are professional members of the fourth state who are around and are true to their calling as purveyors of truth.
One, whom Sec. Lambino called out, said he does not deserve these insulting remarks especially because it came from a high government official, adding that he can’t be condemned just like that after reading what newspapers had earlier published as many others before him did on many explosive and controversial issues.
He confirms he’s been having sleepless nights and fears for his life as he could be a target after being branded as “terrorist”. On top of that, he said, he has stopped going to Mangaldan!
Another broadcaster confided to me that a very influential person is talking to their big bosses in Manila, persuading them to drop him and a colleague from the roster like a hot potato and the time to go might be soon – all because he fulfilled his promise to his listeners that he would give them an explosive news based on newspaper’s account.
As Secretary Lambino had just declared war practically against all the media establishments by calling their practitioners as “terrorists” and “prostitutes”, he might be in for a tough fight. But let me remind him that the Philippines is not a fascist country where someone can dictate what a broadcaster can say or not or a journalist can write or not.
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