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Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Home Op-Ed Columns Opinion on Page One Luna, NBI and Gamboa make Digong look bad

Luna, NBI and Gamboa make Digong look bad


AS I’ve said in my previous columns, the best and the worst in man come out during critical times.

People show their true colors in a crisis.

They also show their low intelligence quotient, which they are able to hide during normal times.


Look at Commissioner Manuelito Luna of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), a lawyer by profession.

Luna was probably an ambulance-chaser before he was appointed to the PACC. In Filipino, atorni walang kaso (lawyer with no case to handle).

Luna claimed that Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo violated a law against “illegal solicitation” when she asked for donations of food and medical equipment from well-off citizens to be given to the poor.

He said Robredo should leave it to the government agencies — like Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development and Office for Civil Defense — to do the work of handing out food and medical supplies to the needy.

Robredo also offered free shuttle service and dormitories for medical health workers, which, Luna said, also went against the national government’s efforts to provide “relief assistance, disaster mitigation and rehabilitation.”

What’s wrong with trying to help the government in giving relief to the poor?

What law did Robredo violate?

Luna might as well also charge private individuals and entities that give a helping hand to the needy with “illegal solicitation” and “illegal help” if there were such violations.

I challenge Luna to have me arrested for giving away food packs to the poor through my Ramon Tulfo, Good Samaritan, Foundation Inc.

I suggest Luna personally arrest me in my home — through the principle of citizen’s arrest — so I can spit in his face.

* * *

I am also nonplussed at the “invitation” by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to Pasig City Mayor Victor Maria Regis “Vico” Sotto to explain why he should not be charged for violating Republic Act 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”

The Bayanihan Law was signed by President Digong on March 25, 2020.

The NBI says Sotto violated the Bayanihan Law by allowing tricycle drivers to give free rides to local government personnel and health workers during the lockdown.

The mayor gave the order to tricycle drivers on March 17.

On March 18, Sotto allowed buses to ferry health workers, as well as those exempted from the lockdown.

But on March 19, Sotto took back his order after getting a directive from Malacañang to suspend all public transport in his city because of the lockdown.

Now, the NBI wants Sotto to explain why he should not be charged for violating the Bayanihan Law.

But, wait a minute!

How could Vico Sotto have violated a law, which was not yet in effect when he did the Good Samaritan act?

To repeat, the law was signed by the President on March 25, 2020.

Sotto recalled his order on March 19 or six days before the Bayanihan Law was passed.

* * *

Luna’s order to have Robredo arrested and the NBI’s invitation to Sotto for doing Good Samaritan work make President Digong look exceedingly bad in the eyes of the citizenry.

With Luna and the NBI around him, Digong doesn’t need enemies because they are the enemies.

* * *

It seems that the President made a big mistake in appointing Gen. Archie Gamboa as the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Gamboa said he would not order the shooting to death of people who disrupt peace and order in this time of crisis.

His statement is an act of direct insubordination to his commander in chief, President Digong, who has ordered the shooting of people who create trouble, especially during food distribution to the needy.

Digong was referring to the 150 members of the Kadamay, a leftist group which held a rally at EDSA, in violation of the lockdown.

Kadamay has become spoiled after the President allowed its members to take over government-built houses in Bulacan that were meant for policemen and soldiers.

It’s like Digong gave Kadamay his hand, but it now wants to take his whole arm.

In the case of Gamboa, I would not feel comfortable if I were President Digong having the chief PNP disobeying my orders.

Gamboa has grown horns. In Filipino, may sungay na siya.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column was written on Friday, April 3, before PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna was ordered dismissed by the President.


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