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Thursday, 24th July 2014
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DBM: DAP funds subsidized LGUs

By: F. Allan L. Angelo and Louine Hope Conserva

LOCAL government units in Western Visayas received subsidies from the national government via the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM-6).

It is also possible that DAP funds may have been used during the 2013 election season in the form of assistance to indigents, pupils and students.

Citing their own data, DBM-6 Regional Director Alfonso Bedonia said some of the DAP releases were intended as financial subsidies to priority programs and projects of the LGUs.

“Most of the provinces (in Western Visayas) have DAP releases. These are used to augment their existing programs for scholarship, hospitalization of indigent patients and other health services,” Bedonia said.

Bedonia said they cannot yet ascertain the specific nature of the projects in Western Visayas which were funded by DAP. They are also tracing the exact years that the DAP funds were released to the LGUs.

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DPWH to meet contractors on lack of warning devices

By: F. Allan L. Angelo and Wenceslao E. Mateo Jr.

THE Iloilo City District Engineering Office (ICDEO) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will meet contractors of road projects in the city following complaints of construction areas that lack early warning devices (EWDs).

Engr. Rodney Gustilo, ICDEO chief, said he always reminded the contractors to use proper EWDs to avoid accidents involving pedestrians and motorists, especially at night.

Ideal EWDs include blinkers and enclosures that are visible to drivers and pedestrians. The contracts of government infrastructure projects stipulate that funds must be allocated for the installation of warning devices.

But the most common warning implements used by contractors are yellow tapes and bamboo contraptions with a sign.

Gustilo said the usual excuse offered by contractors is that residents steal their EWDs, thus they resort to makeshift warning signs.

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Casino shakedown continues

By: Louine Hope Conserva

MORE questions are being raised against the operation of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s (PAGCOR) casino in Iloilo City despite having secured a temporary business permit.

Iloilo City Councilor Lyndon Acap, committee on games and amusement chairman, said they might issue a Resolution of No Objection (RONO) to the casino operating out of Amigo Terrace Hotel if it complies with all the requirements.

The Iloilo City Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) recently issued a temporary business permit to the PAGCOR casino.

But Councilor Plaridel Nava said the council cannot issue the RONO to PAGCOR for violating the city’s zoning ordinance.

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the avenue

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ordered a thorough investigation on the senseless killing of radioman Niel "Lito" Jimena in E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental last August 22, expect police probers, led by E.B. Magalona police chief, SP04 Leonardo Cobing, to make no stone unturned to solve the grisly crime soon.

 

We expect a breakthrough in the case at least before the year ends when witnesses start to come out in the open and pinpoint the perpetrators and the masterminds after the Iloilo Press Club (IPC) dangled a P500,000 reward for anyone who can provide information for the culprits' immediate arrest.

We still maintain that Jimena's murder could have something do to with his part time job as police Senior Inspector Musa Amiyong's "runner" or "hitman" during the police officer's controversial stint as intelligence chief of the Iloilo City Police Office where they became widely known in the underworld community as "Batman and Robin."

 

CARTOON

"Batman and Robin" were hero cartoon characters and partners in fighting the bad guys in society. They tackled their foes in a hand-to-hand combat side by side. One of them was useless if the other was missing.

The Amiyong-Jimena romance that romped off some five years ago, became the object of gossips and constant discussions among coffeeshop habitués in Iloilo City.

How they became infatuated with each other was something that intrigued some rank-and-file cops and fellow radio reporters. One time in a coffeeshop inside SM city, an enraged Jimena punched fellow mediaman Francis Terania "for spreading a gossip about Jimena and Amiyong." Terania, who did not fight back, denied his friend's allegation but theorized "there was something fishy" when a cop and an off-and-on broadcaster form a team purportedly to run after illegal drugs syndicates.

 

FAR-FETCHED

It was not far-fetched for the Amiyong- Jimena tango to hit off since Amiyong is one of the only few police officers closed to members of media in Iloilo City. In fact, he is a "fast drawer" when it comes to picking up the tab for his media friends' coffee and tea.

As Iloilo's "Batman and Robin," they were dreaded and merciless against the small fries but haven't bagged a single big fish despite their well-oiled operations, something that dismayed Amiyong's superiors and lent credence to suspicions they were doing some "monkey business."

We are not saying that Amiyong and Jimena were bad guys and had circumvented the laws or used their power and influence for their own whims and caprices. But one thing's for sure, they are not immaculate!

 

JUSTICE

If he is hell-bent to give justice to his murdered subaltern, Amiyong should disclose to investigators all their botched and successful operations against suspected traders of illegal drugs in the past.

How many arrests have they made during the period of their notoriety as "Batman and Robin?" Who were the personalities involved and how did Amiyong deal with them even if they were known to be untouchables? What is the status of the cases, if there are any, filed against the suspects?

Furthermore, what qualifications did Jimena possess that prompted Amiyong to recruit him to his team? What was Jimena's real job prescription? What step did Amiyong undertake when Jimena was ambushed and survived in 2009 also in Victorias City? What could be the motive of that slay attempt on Jimena's life?

 

OPEN

We are glad Amiyong has started to open his mouth. He should talk more and help ferret out the truth. Jimena has been eliminated. Amiyong is still standing—and talking!

Meanwhile, we appeal to some eager-beaver amateurs not to muddle the issue by prematurely pointing to an Iloilo City politician as the possible mastermind in the murder.

We believe Jimena was killed not because of his role as "anti-graft crusader" and for lambasting politicians in his blocktime programs.

These issues are peanuts vis-a-vis the major angles being doggedly pursued by cracked probers that somebody could have double-crossed or hoodwinked someone in a very complicated transaction that turned awry.

 

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Reality check 1

July 24, 2014 03:04 AM

By: F. Allan L. Angelo

ON MONDAY, July 28, the country (or whoever is interested) will be glued once again to the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of their number one public servant, President Benigno Aquino III. Read more...

Carabao stories

July 24, 2014 02:50 AM

By: Modesto Sa-onoy

There’s an old popular story of a man who was brought before the judge accused of stealing a carabao. He pleaded innocence explaining that he Read more...

Constitutional Crisis? Did it not start with the SC Ruling?

July 24, 2014 02:47 AM

By: Melinda Quintos De Jesus

CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS would be the outcome, some say, of President Aquino’s decision to file a motion for reconsideration of the High Court’s ruling on DAP. Read more...

Coral reefs: going, going, gone?

July 24, 2014 02:39 AM

By: Henrylito D. Tacio

THE Coral Triangle Initiative, founded in 2009, is composed of six countries, namely: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor Liste.  Covering 5.7 kilometers of oceans and coast, it is considered the Read more...

No politician will declare war vs sidewalk vendors

July 24, 2014 02:30 AM

By: Alex P. Vidal

“Illegality will never solve the problem of political lawlessness.” Emanuel Celler Read more...

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