EIGHT buses of Jam Transit were allegedly burned by suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) inside its garage in Batangas City over the weekend.
Reports from police investigators say that failure by the company to pay the “revolutionary tax” to the rebel group was the reason for the burning of its buses, estimated to be worth around P8 million.
An employee of the said company, who refused to be identified, told this columnist that as early as last month several written notes have been received by the bus management supposedly coming from the NPA command demanding for money as part of the so called “revolutionary tax.”
Jam Transit management, however, ignored the said letters and immediately informed the local authorities about the rebels’ threat to burn its buses should it fail to meet their demand.
Time and time again we hear officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP), particularly the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reminding businesses to disregard such “letters of demand” or threats from the NPA hierarchy.
But the question is, how will each business protect itself from this kind of threat from an armed group when the presence of authorities in their area of operation can rarely be seen?
Frankly speaking, businesses or companies operating in the provinces or remote areas admit they feel the presence of the rebels more than the law enforcers who show up once in a blue moon.
Going back to the incident over the weekend in Batangas where were the police and the soldiers to maintain peace and order, or protect the said company from getting extorted by the armed group?
The Aquino administration definitely is just “full of talk.”
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Nia head may soon be booted out
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala may soon have to find a replacement for National Irrigation Administration (NIA) chief Claro Maranan after Malacanang announced its displeasure over the poor performance of the said agency during the last quarter of 2013.
Malacanang’s pronouncement came after several farmer groups and various irrigators association raised the issue of snail-pace constructions of more irrigation systems and dams in the countryside.
It will be recalled that Maranan’s predecessor, former NIA Administrator Tony Nangel, was fired by PNoy himself last year because of the same issue.
NIA insiders doubted Maranan could deliver when he was appointed as its administrator citing lack of experience in the agriculture sector, unlike his boss Alcala who had vast experience in farming in Quezon province.
Maranan held a top ranking position at the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) before he was appointed to head the said irrigation agency last year replacing Nangel.
The President made the wrong choice appointing this inutile Maranan to the said position.
And If I were Maranan, I would quit the job to give Alcala a free hand to choose a better person for the job and save the entire agency from the brunt of the President.