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Saturday, February 22, 2020
Home Opinion Op-Ed Columns Forensics and forest fires

Forensics and forest fires



I LIKE this. During an executive session, the senators voted 17-0 to allow the blue ribbon committee chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon to disclose the names of the corrupt cops involved in recycling drugs and extorting money from drug syndicates.

We understand that an executive session was held to protect both former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Ben Magalong and the names of those allegedly involved prior to acquisition of hard evidence but it augurs well for the public’s demand for transparency and accountability.

The feisty Gordon said in an interview with CNN Philippines and he had promised to send to the Office of the President copies of Magalong’s report. The can of worms is now open and more cans are seen to be coming.

I recommend though that the senators wind up their investigation and endorse their findings to the proper agencies or courts. This may not sound good to some but I have observed that a lot of officials have been tied up in this month-long investigation, considering that they also have to attend budget hearings in both houses for the 2020 national budget. Of course the Usecs and Asecs or their deputies can mind the store but heads of agencies should make the final decisions themselves on major matters.

* * *

I am not sure if US Senator Marco Rubio is just trying to draw public attention when he asked that Sen. Leila de Lima be released unconditionally. I wonder how he will respond if one or two of our senators just kick the doors of his office and demand the release of a prisoner in the US. He was acting as if he was the sole judge of a case in foreign soil. This guy is dangerous.

* * *

Cheers to Tom Hanks. I must admit that he is one actor who has honed his acting career through decades and it is just right that he be given a lifetime achievement award by the prestigious Golden Globes. No one can deny his humble beginnings as a boy on “Big.” Equally compelling were his portrayals in “Philadelphia” “Private Ryan”and “Forrest Gump.” Not known to everyone, he is also a part-time producer and director.

* * *

It looks like Speaker Nancy Pelosi is serious about conducting a formal impeachment inquiry against the Donald we call Trump. The past 48 hours, a sizeable number of Democrats were bent on supporting the procedure triggered by Trump’s own admission that he discussed Vice President Joe Biden and his son in a phone conversation with the Ukrainian President. It is becoming like a “hello and goodbye” encounter.

* * *

After so much rain, it is quite funny to note these headlines:
“Manila Water is reported to assure its residents that regular supply is now 100 percent restored.”

On the other hand, Maynilad said “there will be interruptions in five cities due to maintenance and upgrade. And I thought they we all experience the same rainfall everytime.

* * *

Time to select the roses among the thorns. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has clarified that only those who committed heinous crimes were ordered to to be sent back to the penitentiary.

He ordered the release of more than 300 convicts who turned themselves in as they were not included in the manhunt. I am very happy for their families.

Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said he was both shocked and saddened by Sen. Ping Lacson’s claim that each of the 22 House deputy speakers would receive P1.5-billion under the proposed P4.1-trillion budget for 2020. The senator cited information from unidentified lawmakers. They always say that Senator Ping can smell pork hundreds of kilometers away. The Department of Agriculture can tap him to locate the pigs afflicted with the African swine virus.

* * *

I have to agree with Sen. Frank Drilon that the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) duplicates the laboratories of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police. I thought it was funny when he told PAO chief Persida Acosta, “Doctor ka na, pulis ka pa.” Another point that he raised is that duplication could result in conflicting results. Come to think of it, both PAO and NBI are under the Department of Justice. I am not very sure as well if she is also under the Department of Health. Moral lesson I learned: you cannot create an office based on allocation by the budget department.

* * *

Philippine Military Academy hazing has been the subject of a recent controversy that caused the resignation of several top officials in connection with the death of Cdt. Darwing Dormitorio. It was also reported that another cadet was confined after sustaining several bodily injuries. Meantime, Cadets 3rd Class Shalimar Imperial and Felix Lumbag and Cdt. 1st Class Axl Ray Talupao were also dismissed. Such dreams wasted for nothing.

* * *

Toxic Sumatra and Borneo forest fires are now impacting neighboring countries, including the eastern part of the Philippines. This smoky red orange haze can disturb the ecosystems in the areas affected.

I really hope that world leaders would listen to that youthful activist Greta Thunberg when she said the now famous words “how dare you.”

She is right in saying that “world leaders have stolen her dreams and her childhood by just doing nothing and just saying empty words.” Such eloquence.

* * *

Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.

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Today’s Front Page February 22, 2020

Today’s Front Page February 22, 2020