By Ermin Garcia Jr.
AS expected, the ballyhooed campaign of the Lim administration contra illegal drugs in Dagupan turned out to be just another monumental epal, BSL-vintage.
Evidently, all the publicity about dialogue with barangay officials and Moro community leaders and the MOA-signing with teachers and NGOs were clearly all epal – to impress an unsuspecting public about an achievement that never was. Judging by the dismal results of the “campaign”, one cannot help but suspect that the publicity stunts were simply aimed at diverting the public’s attention away from corruption scandals that rocked the city hall for weeks.
After some three publicized buy-bust operations, it’s been business as usual in Barangay Bonuan Binloc since. No dwelling, house or shanty of a confirmed drug trafficker has been demolished as threatened by City Mayor Benjie Lim. Drug addicts continue to get their ‘unli’ supply from traffickers in Sitio Silungan in Bonuan Binloc, and without a doubt, this with the full knowledge of the barangay officials. (You wonder what kind of parents are those that serve in the barangay council).
Kapitan Pedro Gonzales has been the city’s longest serving barangay chairman of that blighted community and yet he comports himself like he doesn’t know of a single drug trading in his neighborhood. Then there is SK Federation chair Chester Gonzales, kapitan’s grandson, who attends the city council meetings like he never heard of drug trading involving some of his members. The Judas 9, the new majority in the city council, swagger inside the session hall like the city is not on fire perpetrated daily by drug traffickers. The last time Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez invited the Dagupan police to render a report on the peace and order situation, Onor-onor Brian Lim vainly tried to stop the inquiry! No inquiry has since been held since he and his cohorts had taken over the majority.
How much is the city hall getting from the illegal drug trade? Aren’t the Judas 9 not content with their P1.5M deal?
So to the teachers, parents and businessmen who signed the MOA pledged to cooperate in the campaign against illegal drugs: You are still on your own. Watch your wards and your children because the city government is not willing or simply afraid to cross swords with the drug pushers whose votes our trapo politicos are desperately counting on. Not only is illegal trade much too profitable to lose, every vote counts in 2013 to win by crook…or by crook!
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WANTED: REFORMIST JUDGE. The winds of change and reforms are finally being felt in Dagupan City.
First, just when nobody thought no one would dare file a case against City Mayor Lim, not even Onor-onor Brian Lim who arrogantly dared his fellow councilors to file a case against his father, Leo Angeles came forward with his complaint over the city’s loss of ownership of the 30-hectare lot in San Jacinto. Then armed with more documents, Angeles yet again went to the Ombudsman to sue Mr. Lim for his illegal release and utilization of the city’s calamity fund.
This was quickly followed by a landmark decision of Judge Genoveva Maramba exempting educational institutions from the effects of the tax ordinance passed during the first term of Mr. Lim. It was a case that arose from the verbal assault on the universities virtually labeling the latter as “tax cheats”. The ordinance was passed without observing established legal procedures.
Then Ryan Ravanzo filed a special civil case against the Judas 9 for their individual and collective illegal adoption of the resolution authorizing Mr. Lim to negotiate the sale of the MC Adore and Calasiao housing properties. The case was raffled off to RTC Judge Emma Torio.
The Judas 9 and Mr. Lim, hopefully, will meet their comeuppance, to be told to their faces that their mandate is to protect the interests of the city, not theirs. But will Judge Torio, too, go with the winds of change and set a bold legacy for herself as one who stands for the truth and reforms in governance, one who will readily right the wrong if given the opportunity? Will she issue a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to uphold the DILG opinion and prevent a permanent harm to the city? Will Judge Emma find it in herself to help protect the city’s assets? Will she be a reflection of the new and reformist Chief Justice?
Dagupeños will know soon enough.
(Here’s the latest word on the planned fire sale of MC Adore. Among the signatories, were Chamber of Commerce-Metro Dagupan Chapter led by publisher Lelia Sy, United Architects of the Philippines-Pangasinan Chapter led by Arch. Joel F. Santos, and Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association-Pangasinan Chapter led by Arch. Rolando D. Sabado. I’m sure their members wished they didn’t lend the names of their prestigious organizations to a conspiracy set to rob the city blind. I will not speculate on their personal motivations).
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IGNORANT WOOFIES. The Mad Dog Whisperer’s lapdogs must be a bunch of mindless woofies not to realize they are being taken for a ride by their Whisperer resulting in their exposure to be pathetically ignorant.
Apparently shrill voices continue to clutter local radio programs funded by the Whisperer bashing Mr. Leo Angeles no end. (Some even unwittingly write about their ignorance unabashedly). Gee, one would have thought that those who proclaim themselves as journalists would at least know and understand the legal process involved in determination of cases filed before the Ombudsman. The more they write and talk about Mr. Angeles like he is the most wanted person on earth, the more they expose how their millimeter-sized brain operate.
Firstly, the Ombudsman doesn’t care whether it was an angel or a devil that filed a complaint against a public official. What matters is whether the documents are solidly indisputable to support the charges. Second, the Ombudsman never decides a case based on the popularity or notoriety, poverty or affluence, morality or immorality of the complainant.
So what’s all the Angeles bashing about? Are they stupid or simply hungry for scrap bones that they expect to be thrown their way for being the loyal woofies that they are?
Obviously, the Mad dog Whisperer can do nothing to deflect attention from the charges he cannot rebut so he’s leaving it to the lapdogs to do their worst. But since the lapdogs can’t even cite one reason to belie one document they just have to woof at anything that spells and smells Leo Angeles. Tsk-tsk.
But I sincerely note with sadness that the Weekly Guardian, the paper founded by Mr. Ryan Ravanzo’s father, Regino, has chosen to defend Mr. Lim instead of espousing the worthy cause of Ryan. Fortunately for Dagupeños, Ryan is made of sterner stuff, the kind that shames the corrupt and evil.