LIKE a thief in the night, the 16th Congress has institutionalized malversation and which will be legalized once President Aquino signs the P2.6 trillion FY 2015 General Appropriations Bill and the P22.5 billion bonus in 2014 Supplemental Budget bill.
Inevitably, the Congress-approved 2015 national budget will violate the Constitution in rewarding the President with more pork barrel funds in “savings” amidst burgeoning national debt.
It is meant to circumvent the Supreme Court ruling declaring Malacañang’s clandestine Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.
It will contradict the laws on anti-graft and corrupt practices and malversation of public funds.
Apparently, this administration which I previously described as a copycat of the Gloria Arroyo administration is actually worse.
The old hands and the young ones all together have made history in duping the people.
O man, are they loaded for 2016 polls!
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Fire bureau caught asleep at panciteria
Over a week till Christmas, some 400 impoverished families or over 2,000 individuals lost their shanty homes along Oroquieta corner Lope de Vega streets, at the back of Manila City Jail and Fabella Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Fire victims have set up tents with some help from Manila Mayor Erap Estrada on Lope de Vega and adjacent streets.
Some couldn’t care less about “informal settlers” losing their “pre-owned homes” in the fire because they’ve been stereotyped as “professional squatters.”
We deplore in strongest terms the ways of the professional squatters who are organized by some syndicates and cuddled by some politicians.
Unfortunately, many residents in squatter areas do not belong to these groups.
While the most hateful characters are found in these urban jungles, many residents came from far-flung rural areas to pursue their dream of better lives, only to end up in Manila’s squalid settlements.
Many have fallen victims to arson incidents that have remained unsolved and left to oblivion.
Following the early Thursday morning fire, reports reaching me raised issues that must be addressed by the authorities, particularly by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), an agency under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The fire scene is just several blocks away from the BFP-Manila station on Rizal Ave. and Quericada St. but it took hours for firemen to respond.
Natutulog sa pansitan, ika nga!
Residents complained the firemen looked hesitant to put out the flames, walking lazily and even laughing.
Informants blamed the fire to a criminal gang involved in theft and robbery incidents, illegal drugs, gunrunning and illegal gambling in the area.
The latest fire incident is reportedly the third attempt to burn down the whole community on orders of an influential politician who owned adjacent properties.
We are calling the attention of the top leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to this, as there were also reports that several Manila Police District (MPD) policemen made weekly collection of tong or protection money from this gang.
Some witnesses also blamed several members of the same gang fixing a massive “jumper” electricity lines from Meralco posts along Oroquieta St. running through the guarded Madrigal compound.
The gang, with the involvement of some barangay officials, actually collected payments for the use of dangerous jumpers.
For countless times, Meralco crews had cut off jumper lines in the area but there were no real support from MPD, the BFP and barangay officials.
Thus we call on the Bureau of Fire Protection to shed light on this case that obviously does not involve property insurance. Enough with the easy conclusion, “faulty electric wiring.”