Getting ready for election
AS election time approaches, it has been customary that we would be hearing movements around political parties, with new alliances formed, old ones rekindled, or in some cases existing ties strengthened. Pan-sigurado. We would also be seeing a torrent of public infrastructure projects, usually road repairs and construction, and all sorts of projects and events where our politicians would be giving away something to their potential voters. Pan-pogi points. And then there are the “midnight deals” to stock up on funds for the campaign spending. Pan-gastos.
Election time in the Philippines could mean more than a year away from the actual voting day. And so as early as now, with 12 months to go before the May 2013 election, we see the signs.
The case of the rush sale of the MC Adore property in Dagupan is one glaring example of all three – pan-sigurado, pan-gastos, pan-pogi points – at play. It looks like new a political cocktail has been brewed, a campaign fund-raising deal is in the works, and the money from the sale of the property is supposed to go to “priority development programs and projects of the city government”.
Come election day, the power of the vote is ultimately in the public’s hands. In the meantime, the Office of the Ombudsman now has a regional headquarters in Rosales.
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Then and now
IN 1995, the Philippines arrested some 60 Chinese caught fishing off the Zambales waters. Authorities subsequently sent the poachers behind Philippine bars. This came about because then President Fidel V. Ramos stood his ground, citing the country’s sovereign rights on areas where the Chinese were caught fishing. Mr. Ramos would only pardon the fishermen on the appeal of China’s leaders.
Seventeen years later, Chinese fishermen were again caught fishing on our waters at Scarborough Shoal, also off Zambales. But the culprits were not arrested.
“We can’t afford to fight China as it has become too high and mighty,” President Benigno Aquino III said, or words to that effect. Who said we were fighting, or going to fight, China?
Trespassers need to be apprehended and next haled to court, otherwise the rule of law is dead.