No clarificatory order needed
By Ermin Garcia Jr.
IN case you haven’t noticed, we are finally seeing glowing reports of successful and seemingly determined efforts to finally clean and clear in Dagupan City of shabu trading.
No thanks to Mayor Benjie Lim who tolerated the illegal trading for the longest time to a point where Dagupan City earned notoriety as a major shabu hub not only in Pangasinan but in region 1! Proof of this is that total arrests and seizures made in past years’ “raids” in the known shabu dens only amounted to 10% of the haul and arrests made in the past 2 weeks!
Perhaps thinking that the new batch of police officers in town would not take his “old” order to wage war against shabu dealers/pushers seriously, he did the same song-and-dance and re-issued his order. But this time, new police chief P/Supt Christopher Abrahano, the man from PDEA, didn’t wait for a “clarificatory” order. He just did what the order said. And voila!
Without a doubt, the sudden and unexpected string of successful raids in Bonuan Gueset (and earlier in Bonuan Binloc) exposed not only the ineptness of the Lim administration but its seeming unholy alliance with the barangay leaders to protect the drug trade in the city. What the “see-no evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil” policy of city hall yielded all the past years was nothing but a stack of meaningless “memorandum of agreements” and pictures of “dialogues” done periodically to give the illusion that the city is safe from drug lords and pushers!
Dagupeños should applaud P/Supt Abrahano, the province’s new PNP OIC, P/Supt Marlou Chan, PNP regional director P/Chief Supt. Ricardo Marquez and PDEA’s new topgun Art Cacdac. There is also our own Usec Bebot Villar at the helm of the Dangerous Drugs Board pushing PDEA relentlessly to keep on scoring against the recidivists operating inside the Muslim communities in Bonuan who obviously enjoyed official protection in the city and elsewhere in return for guaranteed command votes and campaign funds every election year!
With the war against the drug lords already brought to the doorsteps of the drug lords in Bonuan districts, families can, indeed, begin to feel safer and protected from the clutches of the drug pushers in campuses and in city streets. At least for now!
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DIFFERENT POLITICS. The round of consultation made by Sen. Alan Cayetano last Friday with bangus growers and transport operators in Dagupan City gave many a chance to see him in a very different light.
They saw that the senator is not the usual dance-and-sing type like many trapos who entertain to delude voters into believing that all’s well, when it’s not. They were pleasantly surprised that a senator would actually spend time with them and engage them in a frank discussion about their livelihood.
They saw a young politician, as I have seen closely, who is not the “promising politico” but is one who eagerly seeks out ordinary folks’ thoughts, frustrations and fears in their daily struggle to survive. Even the senator’s young and very charming wife Lani, the incumbent mayor of Taguig City, who came to support to hubby Alan’s brand of politics, was like a girl scout who did not hesitate to help those in need of immediate medical help during the visit. She said it’s what she is used to in her own city.
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LISTENING TOUR. Many in the local media also wondered why Sen. Cayetano has not been seen on TV joining political rallies. To this he said, he will actively join the rallies soon as his pre-planned “listening tour” is completed. “I have to prepare myself for the grueling work ahead, for my “PiTiK” (presyo, trabaho, kita) program to ensure that an improved economy under the Aquino presidency would be felt widely in the grassroots,” he pointed out to some in the audience.
Over lunch, the senator said his “listening tour” in Dagupan validated many of the notes he took in his earlier consultations in Metro-Manila, Cebu City and in the Bicol region. Aside from job and salary issues, his audience in Dagupan also wondered about subsidies for fertilizers, government efforts to stop smuggling, mitigating effects of high fuel costs, improving education facilities and suspending the K to 12 education policy.
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WINNING THE WAR. Sen. Cayetano felt strongly that in order to slowly win the war vs. poverty, the base of the middle class must be expanded. How? He said the country should offer more better paying jobs and better business opportunities for small enterprises and improve agricultural production. The strategy will translate to more families being transported out of poverty, not from government dole-outs but from doing honest work for people-oriented business enterprises, inspired by a no-nonsense government out with rules and laws that seek to eliminate graft and corruption in the system.
Finally, citing a study that showed the income of the country’s 50 richest businessmen is already the total income of 45 million families, the study aptly illustrated the reported widening gap between the rich and the poor. “That’s why I chose to work on PiTiK!” the senator said before relishing a mouthful of bangus sisig at the popular Matutina’s in Tondaligan with Ope Reyna by his side. (Ope was the campaign manager of Rene Cayetano (Alan’s father) in Pangasinan when he ran for the senate).
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A MASTERSTROKE? I tried to probe several members of the local media on their take of the murder charges filed by the NBI against the Guv Spines and Cong. Jess Celeste.
As speculations after speculations were volunteered, one loudly wondered: “Is it possible that the contradicting positions of father and son, one siding with the agenda of Mayor Nani Braganza and the other with Guv Spines, is actually a play for monetary gains from both opposing parties by whoever is masterminding it?”
Hmmm…now that’s one real wild speculation. But still others believe it may not be too wild if one considers the reports that both parties are unwittingly keen on keeping their respective witnesses “amply protected” until after the elections! What a masterstroke…two birds with one case!
What’s your take of it? He-he.
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QUO VADIS? Speaking of wild speculations and questions.
Not a few have asked: Why is Dagupan Mayor Benjie Lim getting all the legal breaks allowing him to get what he wants, citing the recent rush sale of MC Adore notwithstanding a pending case for preliminary injunction.
More questions: “Why wasn’t Judge Emma Torio seemed keen on taking Mayor Lim to task for acting in contempt of her temporary court (Branch 40)?”
“In an issue where time is of the essence to protect the interests of the city, why wasn’t Judge Torio consistent with her previous injunction order stopping the bidding by deferring her decision on the petition for contempt simply because Mr. Lim’s lawyer objected, when she could have decided easily based on the facts presented by both parties? (Note: Judge Torio insisted on February 8 that Mr. Ryan Ravanzo’s lawyer submit a reply to the objection “within 10 days.” February 18 has passed and many are wondering why the contempt petition remains unresolved. Tsk-tsk).
“Did Judge Torio intend on doing a Pontius Pilate by deferring her decision knowing another judge would take over Branch 40 within 10 days?”
Indeed, in the absence of a court decision on the petition for preliminary injunction with finality or a failure to cite him for contempt, Mr. Lim was able to proceed with the clearing of the MC Adore property of vendors last week for the turnover to the winning bidder.
Dagupeños are beginning to ask. “Quo vadis, Judge Torio?”