Daily Star LogoOpinions


Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, October 20, 2016
Front Page
Negros Oriental
Star Business
Opinion
Sports
Star Life
People & Events

 

Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

The courtship is on

Ninfa Leonardia I was startled by the headline of a national daily yesterday screaming: “CHINA OFFERS MEGADEALS”. Have we gotten to that point already? Subtitles said it is committing some $300 billion for infrastructure and are entering into a deal to look for oil in the Recto Bank again. I remembered again the old Trojan Horse story where, as my brother, Nene Leonardia, reminded me, it was said: “I fear Greeks, even those bearing gifts”. Other versions are “Beware of the Greeks, even those bearing gifts”.

***

But what is this added report that China may be willing to let our fishermen enter the Panatag Shoal on certain conditions they will, naturally, be the ones to set? I thought it was a funny joke when a cartoonist featured our President asking China to allow us to fish in our own waters. Now it looks as if that situation is already here. Does this mean we share our catch with them, or that our fishermen will have to get permits from them to go there? I hope our President will know better than to agree with that.

***

Meanwhile another problem that will hound our President when he comes home is the crisis in Saudi Arabia where companies and businesses are now folding up and retrenching workers because of the oil slump. Hordes of Pinoys who have been working in Saudi for decades now will be coming home, and just imagine what an overload of jobless people we will have in addition to those already here. Don't tell me we are offering to send them to China instead?

***

Just in the nick of time, President Duterte signed the bill that would postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections already slated for this month. My, one can just imagine the anxiety of the Commission on Election officials who did not know whether they were to hold the elections or not, since no official order on the delay had been released. In this, however, I agree with the president. Since many barangay and SK officials officials have been suspected of involvement in drugs. It is better to clear the ranks first, before choosing the new batch.

***

One of the latest decisions of the Sandiganbayan should give any official or employee of the government involved in any case involving malversation sleepless nights. The governor of Sarangani and his agriculture officer who had been convicted for the crime, sought reconsideration, but the Sandiganbayan affirmed the 18 years of imprisonment meted to them. In the case of Governor Miguel Escobar and Agriculture Officer Romeo Miole, relief goods worth P1.44 million intended for indigenous communities and farmers, were given to municipal and barangay officials instead. Now they will have 18 years to regret what they did.

***

Another case of malversation as well as graft has led to the dismissal of Cotabato Vice Governor Gregorio Ipong and four officials of the Technological Learning and Research Center in connection with the use of his pork barrel funds. All of those involved have been ordered, not only dismissed from office, but also pronounced guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and perpetually disqualified from public office.

***

There are so many cases of malversation being reported that it seems it is one very tempting crime for those who have funds in their control. Despite the fact that the penalties for it are quite severe, many continue to be caught at it. In most of the ones already with the Ombudsman, it is usually the governor, the mayor, or the barangay captain and their treasurers who are the culprits. Let us hope that the present group of officials are warned about this temptation that can have very shameful and terrible repercussions, not only on them, but also on their families.

***

That was a spectacular fireworks show presented by manufacturers from Hinigaran and Bulacan displayed at the Bacolod Government Center last night. A huge crowd had gathered in the area long before 10 p.m. that was the start of the show, but rain poured 20 minutes before. To the credit of the crowd, few left the area, some huddled four to five in an umbrella. But the rain miraculously stopped at 10 a.m., just in time for the grand show. More fireworks events will be shown at the Bacolod plaza tonight, and let's pray, Lawin's rains keep away from our city.*

 

 

back to top


   
  Email: visayandailystar@yahoo.com