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Negros Opinion

What Risk Reduction?

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Should I applaud now that Typhoon Glenda killed only 94? I think not. I think we owe these souls an apology for not preventing their deaths. True, most of them were killed by flying debris, but only because they were running to evacuation centers, fearing death by flooding. Which begs the question: What is the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) doing about risk reduction? It seems all focus is on management, but we couldn't even manage

Waah! Where’s My LolliDAP?

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The official statement and decision of the Supreme Court, voting 13-0, has evoked many questions emanating from President Benigno Aquino!

That the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP has been declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL has apparently gotten the "goat" of President Aquino which has resulted in raving and ranting to the point of even questioning the integrity of the Supreme Court.

A New York Lawyer’s Comments on Government Under PNoy

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My Fil-Am lawyer friend practicing in New York makes his comments through my column his observation of what is happening on our present government.

Rely Caparas is one among the regular readers of my column abroad and he is also a regular commentator of my column.

Here are Rely Caparas comments:


Latest Anti-Graft Complaint Against Leonardia Will Test Visayas Ombudsman Objectivity

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AND IMPARTIALITY, EH! The latest anti-graft complaint filed by mediamen Franklin Villanueva will, indeed, test the mettle of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas primarily, because it has nothing to show in terms of accomplishments, nay, achievement and if only to cite one case and is the close to 100 complaints filed against the then Leonardia administration.

BACIWA Management Forcing Board to Sign MOA to be Signed by Directors

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MURCIA WATER DISTRICT CANNOT SUPPLY AMPLE WATER FOR BACOLOD. In a recent meeting, the opportunist members of the board of directors of the Bacolod City Water District (BACIWA), and the executive management headed by General Manager lawyer, Juliana Carbon, have pressed the fiscalizing BACIWA directors to sign the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Murcia Water District (MWD) to provide bulk water for BACIWA through and the town’s own water sources.

Waah! Where’s My Lollipop?

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The terms of President Benigno Aquino’s cries for having been deprived of his Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) may be likened to that of a spoiled child deprived of his lollipop!

His veiled threats against the members of the Supreme Court has finally revealed his real character – that he is not, after all, a leader of our nation who deserves our utmost trust and respect!

A Valuable Lesson for Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano

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LESSONS ARE VALUABLE IF WE HEED THEM. We are in agreement and we praise Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano because he deemed it wise to make amends with the religious sector in his town and which involves the Roman Catholic Church and those in the various protestant groups.

Marcos Human Rights Victims: Declared Heroes by Government, While Church Looked Askance

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TREATED AS ARMED REBELS. The passage of the RA 10368 or the Marcos victims’ compensation law has produced a peculiar situation in the Negros mainstream Catholic church and its having looked askance at the Basic Christian Communities (BCCs), considered as opposition then by the Marcos martial law authoritarian government and oftentimes looked upon as armed rebels or supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA), then.

Feedbacks: On PNoy’s Call for Support on DAP Church says ‘That’s Divisive’

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Reacting to the call of Pres. Noynoy Aquino to those who support him regarding the Dibursement Acceleration Program (DAP) to wear yellow ribbon, Msgr. Felix Pasquin of San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City said, "it is divisive". During the radio interview yesterday, Msgr. Pasquin said, "the President should be the model and modest to our law. All of us must follow our constitution. The President must defend and protect our Constitution. The Supreme Court decision declaring DAP as unconstitutional was based on the

Feedbacks E-Mail From Abroad

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I received feedbacks of e-mails from abroad concerning my columns. One of them is from my son-in-law from New York. Gary Young is a regular visitor in Bacolod and has many friends over here. He is a regular at L’Fisher and L’Fisher’s employee Bing Vargas has fond memory of him. He has many friends around who used to visit him and his wife once they are in New York.

I Hate Plastic Bags

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My Instagram profile describes me as a Plastic Hater. It's time you be one, too, and not because you and I are self-righteous. I have tolerated the suggestion that we "regulate" the use of plastic bags, as opposed to banning it completely. But at our July Solid Waste Management Board meeting, I realized my lenience has been abused. Plastic bags have become "residual waste". The contention is logical, mind you. Residual waste is the only kind of waste allowed by Republic Act 9003 to reach our sanitary landfill. Technically, it is waste that is left un-recycled. Since no recycler is buying our used plastic bags for now, these become residual. Logical. But, hardly correct. The Filipino's unabated disposal of plastic bags causes sanitary landfills to be filled up quickly, requiring local government units to borrow more money to buy more land and construct more landfills. In the case of Bacolod, a one-hectare landfill costing some P30 Million interest-bearing borrowed money to construct (land cost not included), will be filled up in three years if we do not segregate garbage at home. That's over P10 Million a year just because we choose to use plastic bags and throw these away uncaringly. It galls me that the plastic bag industry holds us hostage. Now, the recycling industry holds us hostage, too. And if you read further, you will realize that even waste pickers hold us hostage. Is it that they are more intelligent than we are, or that we are indifferent?

Negros Oriental Governor Douses Cold Water on One-Island, One-Region Plan

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THAT IS HOW PINOYS ARE. After hemming and hawing and feigning acquiescence insofar as the One-Island, One-Region plan of the Negros Occidental provincial government was concerned, the other province’s Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo has late come out openly declaring 70 percent of the province’s constituents as against the plan, which says much also about his position, nay, opinion about the one-island, one region plan. Clearly and categorically that

Lunch with the Streegans

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Tuesday last week, we were able to find time to have lunch with businessman and writer Henry Streegan and his wife Elsa.

The we, consists of my wife Norma, my brother Jesus and our grandson Jherson Colonia who is the Vice Governor (or is it Governor? I have no time to find out about social activities of my grandchildren who happened to be numbering 10) at the student government of University of St. La Salle Bacolod.

The Marcos Victims Claims Board Must Rectify Errors in Processing (Part III)

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ELIGIBILITY GOES FOR ALL. Those eligible to file claims with the retired general, Lina Sarmiento claims board, are generally victims of the Marcos martial law regime. This is specified in the approved RA 10368. Anybody who believes and has that thinking that he was an oppositor of the Marcos regime then, are entitled to the compensation from Switzerland needs to understand that this is not so.

The Marcos Victims’ Claims Board Must Rectify Errors in Processing (Part II)

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INEXPERIENCE AND LACK OF COMPASSION. Thus, those appointed by the Human Rights victims claims board chosen by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, are people who unfortunately lack experience, therefore, inexperience and though we would not be judgmental, also lack compassion.

It’s a Good Show

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In the implementation of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which the Philippine Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional, former Senator Joker Arroyo called President Aquino as "evil genius" in using a 1987 Administrative Order signed by then President Corazon Aquino (mother of President Pnoy). During that time then Senator Joker Arroyo was Cory Executive Secretary. In other words, it was Senator Joker that framed the said

Franklin Villanueva Filed Complaint Against Leonardia Et Al in 2009

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Broadcaster Franklin Villanueva filed his affidavit-complaint against Leonardia et al as far back as October 22, 2009 concerning the alleged anomalies committed in 2007 and 2008.

However, the COA and Ombudsman only acted upon the said complaint in 2014!

Is this the standard practice of the Ombudsman and COA? Are they that obtuse that it took them over FIVE YEARS to act on the complaint of Villanueva?

Marcos Victims’ Claims Board Must Rectify Errors in Processing (Part I)

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AS SEEN THROUGH VICTIMS’ EYES. There were hitches and lapses insofar as the processing of human rights victims claims on the issue of compensation and its processing of the late dictator’s and his family’s and estate is concerned, and which we stress is being seen from the eyes and points of view of the victims themselves.

Human Rights Victims Application Enmeshed in Controversies (Part II)

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Indeed, Thursday and Friday last week July 3 and 4, the processing of the Marcos’ compensation claims were undertaken by the claims board staffers. The venue was the MassKara Hall Extension in the separate ground portion of the city hall or the People’s Hall as now dubbed by city officials.

Ombudsman Files Criminal Cases Against Leonardia Et Al

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The Office of the Ombudsman, Visayas Regional Office No. VI, through the behest of Whistleblower Franklin Villanueva, a media practitioner, and based on the findings of the Commission On Audit, filed two criminal cases, docketed as OMB -V-C-l4-O115 and OMB-V-C-14-O111 against former BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia et al on alleged graft and corruption cases dating back to the years 2OO7 and 2OO8 concerning purchases of equipment , materials , office supplies

What’s your excuse?

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My four-month retreat from this column over, I am dumbfounded to awake in the same spot where I doze off: no garbage segregation, clogged waterways, and floods. Last June 26th I found myself listening to traffic and flooding advice on television and passing these on by social media to friends in Manila who were either stuck in their offices or in standstill traffic. On that day, at the height of the flood, there was no typhoon in Metro Manila and we were at low

The Tale of Two Provinces

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During the last decade of the 19th Century, one of the important events that occurred in Negros was the separation of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, after they were earlier placed under the jurisdiction of the governor of Oton in Panay Island. At that time 1734, the Island of Negros became a military district with the town of Ilog in the Occidental side as its first capital. The seat of the government was later transferred to Himamaylan and thereafter Bacolod became

Human Rights Victims Applications Enmeshed in Controversies (Part I)

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Victims of the martial law declaration of the then Filipino dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, which include this writer arrived in droves in the People’s Hall or city hall where processing for their application for compensation under RA 10368 which is now a law.

‘Noynoy Forever’

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It was only few weeks ago that I mentioned in my column what some coffee jitterbugs are fearing that PNoy might declare martial law before the end of his term.

The Demand for Wage Increase

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The clamor for another round of wage increase immediately after the hike in fuel, fare and power rates, basic goods and services, exemplifies the difficulty of protecting workers purchasing power from the vagaries of external economic force.

Methods of Anomalies in Government and DPWH Projects Bared (Part 2)

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COMPLAINTS INDICATE ANOMALIES IN INFRA PROJECTS RIFE. There have been uncountable times or through decades when ordinary people, Filipinos continually complain about the state, status and workmanship of infrastructure projects belonging to the government and how it is poorly done, decrepit, done in a substandard manner and in Ilonggo merely nothing but "pakulahaw" in workmanships.

Purely Sour Grapes

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After the delivery of the ULAT of Bacolod City Mayor Monico O. Puentevella last week, one of his foremost and bitter political enemies, former Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia commented that the report was all TALK with nothing tangible to show the gains made in just a year in public office.

Judging the criticisms aired by Leonardia, one can easily surmise that the comments came from a very fickle individual who was SOUR GRAPINGl.

Methods of Committing Anomalies in DPWH, Other Government Projects Bared (1st of 2 Parts)

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HAVE BEEN EXISTING FOR YEARS ON END. The national government’s Commission on Audit (COA), after so many, many years has finally bared billions of pesos worth of public works of infrastructure projects and the anomalies or irregularities concretely attended with it.

Assassination of former Town Councilor Deep and Wide

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BUT ONE OF THE ANGLES COULD BE IT. Or is there one? Money borrowed by Edmund Turk Vail and various cases he is enmeshed in?

The police named family feud and land conflict, love and politics as possible angles for his killing. Close family relatives further add another: illegal drugs. Others surmise that it could be due to money borrowed by Vail and which he had continually refused to settle. There is even a report that business transactions could be the cause.

Mayor Monico – A Dedicated People’s Servant

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The Ulat of Bacolod City Mayor Monico O. Puentevella delivered very telling blows against former Mayor Evelio Leonardia about the sad state of affairs of the city when Mayor Monico assumed the office of the City last July 1, 2013.

Escarilla Must Prove He is Not Run-of-the Mill

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NOT "PIPITSUGIN". There was much hullabaloo over the appointment of just-designated Bacolod Police Office (BCPO) Sr. Supt. Chief Pedrito Escarilla.

Kudos to Mayor Monico

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Our hats off to Bacolod City Mayor Monico O. Puentevella for successfully hurdling his first year in office.

Many Bacolodnons thought that his first year in office would be disastrous, considering that the city coffers was practically empty when he assumed office. Some thought that the many problems plaguing the city last July 2013 would just be too much to handle by one man.

Children Acting As Kotong Endangering Themselves

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Last Friday I was at SM Hypermarket in Cadiz accompanying my wife shopping. It was after 4 p.m. and I personally saw children doing the traffic in front of SM. One of them even signals his hand in front of my car while he stepped back for me to park in front of Reyes Barbecue. I put a brake fearing I might swift the child which I estimated to be 7 years old. My wife got down and told the children to stop trafficking or they might be run over. They just went nearby

Revamp in BACIWA Essential, Urgently Necessary

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SEEMINGLY ALL RIGHT, OKAY BUT… We are of the very justified position that a revamp in the Bacolod City Water District (BACIWA) is urgently necessary, because in the not too very distant future, it could implode. And how!

It is our contention that massive corruption has been taking place in the government’s water agency, what with its budget yearly of around P500 M-P600 M, equal to the annual budget of the city government.

Perceptions About the National Gov’t’s Anti-Corruption Political Line, Position

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SOME CREDIT FOR THE ANTI-CORRUPTION MOVEMENT. The movement against primarily graft and corruption in government, and other abuses, if analyzed, is to us, in our perception, sorely lacking in a substantial amount of insincerity and indecisiveness.

The Liberation of the Poor

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(The following poems/articles were taken from my humble work, "A Compendium of Articles on the Workers Struggle")



I. A poem was written, a long time ago
It tells about pain, anguish and sorrow
A dreadful dream, a nightmare of oppression
About human sufferings in utter degradation

The Possible Reason of the Involvement of Legislators in the PDAF or Pork Barrel Janet Lim-Napoles Scam

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THE CONSCIOUS AND UNCONSCIOUS INVOLVEMENT. Lately, many legislators have become involved in the PDAF or pork barrel fund scandal especially of now well-known scammer Janet Lim-Napoles and a few other government funding allocations itself, such as the Malampaya Fund, and as well as other regular budgetary allocations handled by former budget Secretary Rolando Andaya during the period the Secretary was head of the Department of Budget (DBM), and during

Brighter Prospects for Agriculture?

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This was the title of the column of Senator Manny B. Villar (without the question mark) which was published in the Manila Bulletin in June 25, 2014.

His revelations that there are many investors who are upbeat about improving the country’s effectivity and productivity is very inspiring.

Senator Villar stated:

China Restless

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Vietnam is next to the Philippines which is now talkative after China’s vessel collided with theirs near a Chinese oil rig anchored in contested seas. Vietnam claims the Paracel Islands, known as Hoang Sa in Vietnamese, which China seized from then-South Vietnam in 1974 in a period of turmoil shortly before the end of Vietnam war. The Philippines - we had recently protested what China describes as reclamations in the reefs within its exclusive economic zone,

Well-Scripted A La Movie Scenario of Bong Revilla of No Moment

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THE BILLIONS STOLEN WILL NEVER SUFFICE FOR THE SHAME ONE SUFFERS. The well-scripted movie-like planned scenario intended to once again, you guess it, the utterly shameful episode in Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, colorful career, has ended at the well-appointed detention center which "welcomed" him when he "voluntarily" surrendered to police authorities.

 Sale of Imported Goods, a Government-Approved Essential

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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. The seeming grave concern for Bacolod’s consumers of SP member or Councilor Carl Lopez could be interpreted as lack of understanding of policies being itself implemented by the national government.

The entry of foreign basic commodities as meat, poultry or rice and others, is but national government policy, akin to getting a rock only to hit one’s head with it, or "dropping the rock into one’s feet."

Letter to the Editor

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‘Psychic Healing, Surgery in Negros’?

June 20, 2014


Mr. Arman Toga
Editor, Negros Daily Bulletin

Dear Mr. Toga,

‘Marching for Peace’ in the Countrysides, a Lot of Bull and…

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EXERCISE IN FUTILITY. The so-called "Marching for Peace" just carried out by the military in Moises Padilla or in Central Negros, if we are not to mince concrete words and define reality as it is on the ground level, will not solve the even government-acknowledged problem of the root cause of the social conflict, the institutionalized violence which keeps on ripping Philippine society, apart, with the usual sloganeering of the "wide gap" between the rich

Green Alert’s 25th Anniversary

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Junjun Mojica of Green Alert invited me on June 22 at 5pm. at Balay Bato, Marapara Subd., Bacolod City for the 25th Foundation Anniversary of environmental activism.

I had been to Balay Bato once and it’s a home made of natural stones owned by Mr. and Mrs. Rusty Bañas.

I know Rusty Bañas when he once visited my home together with other members of environmentalists movement and we had hearty exchange of ideas. Balay Bato is the rock of Green Alert organization.

Kotong Critters Giving SM in Cadiz Bad Image

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SM Hypermarket is the only decent mall we have in Cadiz. So instead of bringing our money to Bacolod to shop monthly as we used to before the rise of SM, we became a patronizing customer.

However, like its other customers in the neighboring towns, we are annoyed by tolerated critters who become a mainstay at SM Cadiz unlike with other SM malls I have known. They become kotong critters.

Revilla’s Tacit Declaration to Contest Philippine Presidency in 2016

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INTENDED TO BLUNT WIDESPREAD PEOPLE’S HATRED. Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla’s political advisers are clutching at straws desperately announcing or advising him to contest the country’s presidency in 2016. They have and are patting themselves in the shoulders in what they believe could be a deft and clever maneuver, but in fact a subtle manipulation in a hopeless, desperate move at issue diversification – that he and two others along with Senators Jinggoy

Relatively Bigger Illegal Drugs Confiscation Due to Public Awareness

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AS P7-M SHABU SEIZURE SHOWED. The seizure of P7-M worth of illegal drugs primarily shabu seized in the parking lot of the Gaisano mall in Bacolod and carried by a native of Sta. Cruz Village, Murcia town, could only indicate that the habitual consumption of the illegal drugs, is not one to sneeze at. That is about seven months’ supply of the illegal substance if we were to quote, about-to-retire or now retired BCPO Chief Sr. Supt. Larry Decena.

Workers Economic Forum WEF-STAR in 2015

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The General Alliance of Worker’s Association (GAWA) will hold a Workers Economic Forum on Sugar Tariff Reduction (WEF-STAR 2015) on July 26, 2014 with the theme! "The Economic Implications of STAR 2015 on the stakeholders of the Sugar Industry." Our primary objective is to assess our state of readiness in a tariff-reduction regime on imported sugar in 2015 which shall be implemented in about six (6) months from now due to the inevitable ASEAN Economic Community

El Niño to be Possibly Severe these Months

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PREPERATIONS NEEDED. The El Niño phenomenon, which could fall within this month and which could continue up to next year, 2015, could be especially severe compared to past El Niños.

Affected will, of course, be agriculture, water supply, with even dams supplying water to residents in Metro Manila having dropped below critical levels. These include the Angat, Magat and Pantabangan dams.

Regionalize it

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Yes, we should concur with our Negros officials in creating the provinces of Negros Occidental and Oriental into one region. If that happens "sunshine will really spread" equitably to Negrenses. Much more we can enjoy if Negros Occidental be sliced into three provinces: Negros Del Sur, Negros Del Norte and Central Negros. If that happens, the political and economic "sunshine" will indeed equally be shared by politicians and their constituents. Am not privy

RPA-ABB Former National Commander in a Bind Over Certain Specific Issues

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FIREARMS POSSESSION, CRIMINAL CHARGES. Now that Stephen Paduano or who previously styled himself as RPA-ABB national commander Carapali Luwalhati, has now become a partylist congressman supposedly, he would have to become more transparent as supposed government officials have to be.

Transparent? Which means he should now be more open and to welcome any kind of inquiries and questions as a government official.

Internal Organizational Consolidation More Important than External

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VARIOUS EMPIRES COLLAPSE DUE TO INTERNAL WEAKNESS. We are behooved to comment on the already burgeoning complaints in the People’s House or City Hall or NGC in the wake of internal wranglings, or as we see it weaknesses which needs to be resolved but which nobody appears to be minding.

The Struggle of the Dispossessed

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For more than half a century, the Heirs of Hernaez have been struggling in a long and protracted legal battle to press their claim and take possession of Hacienda Palma, the land they inherited from their forebears.

On August 9, 2005 the Supreme Court GR142913 (final and executory) established the veracity of ownership of the Heirs of Hernaez on Hacienda Palma property with a Certificate of Possession (final) dated April 3, 2006.

Some Notable Insights on 2014 Philippine Independence Day Observance of Filipino Canadian Communities

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Our column today is the third in our mini-series on the cultural and other aspects relevant to the 2014 anniversary observance of Philippine Independence Day by FilCanadian communities. Apart from our sharing on the significance of our June 12 Independence Day, this brief series has been notably coincidental with the current visit of this writer to relatives in Canada which is today becoming the second country, next to the USA, with the most number of Filipino

Wrecking the Road

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If you are travelling from Bacolod to Cadiz you would notice that many parts of the road are wrecked again.

These roads wrecked are still in good condition. In fact per my observation, some of these portions of the road had been newly made up. In other words they are in better and good condition when destroyed. If these roads were privately owned, I am pretty sure the owner would not destroy it perhaps for the next 10 years.

Mayor Monico, Son’s Control of Finances of City No Big Deal

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AND WHY NOT? The charges by councilor Roberto "Bobby" Rojas about Mayor Monico Puentevella and son, Claudio "Kalaw" Puentevella’s supposed control of the city government’s finances, is no big deal, much ado about nothing.

What Mayor Puentevella is trying to effect, in our analysis is but merely to ensure the city government’s allocated fund composed of taxes and service fees collected, is to ensure these are used properly.

Snatching During BAC Bidding Reflects Infrastructure Problems Bedeviling Government

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THE SUPPOSED SNATCHING - TIP OF FLOATING ICEBERG. Some weeks back it was reported by several newspapers in screaming headlines that snatching of documents concerning those which would be dropped by bidder, mainly contractors for infrastructure projects were snatched, with the intention of course of the snatches targeted bidders would not be allowed to present bids for projects which oftentimes would be bids for multimillion infrastructure projects for

Wages, Salaries of City Hall Employees Delayed

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REASON IS DEEPLY MALICIOUS? The delay in the giving of the wages and salaries of Job Order (JO) casuals especially to city hall employees could be downright considered "criminal" because it has already reached the impossible time delay of four to five months, with an informant, saying 100 percent full of basis, concluding that the reason is malicious. It is intended to favor those who do not report to city hall but get half only a portion say, P3,000 of their wages.

PDEA-Western Visayas’ Paul Ledesma Must Know Better Than Most

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EXPLODING ALL OVER THE ANTI-ILLEGAL DRUGS’ FACE. Now that the issue of the illegal drugs trade, including its illegal trafficking network, the alleged protectors among law enforcement authorities and the habitual users are all over the communities in various provinces in Western Visayas has come out at an opportune time for the agency primarily tasked with stopping various aspects of drug trafficking, to examine itself, and meticulously and on a sustained basis.

Serious Conflicts Poised to Erupt Over Takeover of Farmers’ Landholdings Used for Livelihood (Part II)

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LAND POPULATION FOUL. And so the takeover justification of Mrs. Yanson and her loyal hacks go on with another supposedly convincing line with them saying, since the possible biggest landowner could take over in due time over these properties the start of these plantations of palm oil trees, rubber trees and sugarcane could greatly improve the livelihood of farmers and the indigenous population in these areas and to greatly boost the economy of Hinobaan town,

"Filipino Celebration of June 12 Independence Day 2014"

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In our June 3, 2014 issue, we started to highlight some of the more notable historic challenges which have been affecting contemporary Canadian cultural and socio-economic and related factors. Aside from the cultural and socio-economic, the other factors include the increasingly volatile global issues or problems which have been impacting the lives of many Canadians and other countries in a fast changing world today. Thus, apart from the positive factors affecting

SSS Pension Hike Too Small for Retirees

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What goods can Social Security System (SSS) pensioners buy with P200.00 hike in their regular pensions that they will get from the five percent increase recently announced by SSS Vice President Susie Bugante?

This P 200.00 estimate is good only if a pensioner receives P4,000 monthly pension. What if the pension is below P4,000? With the inflation that we are confronted now, what can that buy?

A Visit on Joeman And Merle Baldonado

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Despite my hectic schedules I found a time to visit my old-time friends Joeman and Merle Baldonado at Doña Juliana Subdivision in Bacolod City. That was last week.

The last time I met Joeman and Merle was in 2003 when I arrived from New York. That’s more than 10 years despite that Cadiz and Bacolod has only a distance of 65 kms.

Serious Conflicts Poised to Erupt Over Landholdings Used for Farmers’ Livelihood (Part One)

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THE CAUSES OF SOCIAL UPHEAVALS. The revolutionary underground, the National Democratic Front – Negros Island, bared in a scathing statement and in an angry, indignant tone what it said in a press statement issued last May 21, this year, were large-scale landgrabbing by several personalities, and several multinational corporations in both Negros Occidental and Oriental, which comprise Negros Island, the statement signed by NDF-Negros spokesperson, Frank Fernandez said.

My ‘Sacristan’ on Sum-ag

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I never thought that my ‘sacristan’ in Sum-ag has a lot of something when our Brgy. Sum-ag is atop of our kafe discussion after Sunday’s worship. It all triggered from the news item that PNP should be visible enough in school premises and nearby areas not only during opening of classes but throughout the school year. PNP should not relegate its responsibility upon the shoulders of barangay tanods or barangay police. It may be misconstrued by the public that in

Kasla’s Fakery – The Great Swindle

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BUDGET IN THE MILLIONS BUT NON-EFFECTUAL. During the period, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was president, the great Kasla hullabaloo was hyped. That the plant or tree which could be found everywhere in the countrysides had a great potential for reducing the cost of fuel for cars because it could be mixed with regular gasoline and lower the cost, and drastically at that for fuel which could power engines.


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It is ironical that the few leading advocates and known crusaders against illegal activities in our community and the country includes not only law enforcers or police operatives but even the so-called whistle blowers, also the religious sectors, have become the ones now being targeted and ostracized for their uncompromising campaign against the evils of illegal drugs, illegal gambling and other forms of criminal tricks perpetrated by unscrupulous elements in our society.

China: A New Militarist Like Previously Japan in the Offing

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A VORACIOUS GIANT WITH INSATIABLE APPETITE. As if the US historical incursions into the Philippines during its occupation after the Spaniards and soon later, the cruel feet of a martial Japan, and its unimaginable cruelty, ensued, with its armies’ bombing, bayoneting and indiscriminately sounding its "abri-buri" war cry all over the country years ago, here comes the People’s Republic of China rearing its ugly head practically claiming it owns the seas

‘Diving’ – a Rampant Practice Which the DPWH Must End

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BECAUSE THIS WOULD RESULT IN SUBSTANDARD CONSTRUCTION. "Diving" is a much-practiced strategy among contractors and it does not mean, frequently going to diving spots in various parts of the country including Negros Island where there are many such spots even in Negros Oriental.

An Effective Feedback System for Government

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Hopeless And Helpless

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As I take coffee at some coffee shops in Cadiz where black coffee used to cost P8 a cup but lately jumped to P12, I can feel the feeling of disappointment of ordinary people on the government.

In fact I can feel the harshness of times as most coffee shops have only half of their former customers. Even ordinary people have to budget on coffee where prices run high and where water before are given free, now you have to shell out P1 and get your water at a Vendo.


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We are enamored by all sorts of gadgets and technological advancements right within our reach.

The world of the internet contains the most exciting Arena for communications like social networking and establishing links anywhere around the globe in an instant.

But despite such advancements, divisions still run deep. "The world suffers from exclusion, marginalization, and poverty that borders around the combination of economic, political, ideological, and even religious motives." (Pope Francis, 48th World Communications Day Message)

Rev. Felix Pasquin rector of San Sebastian Parish and Director of the Social Communications of the Diocese of Bacolod officiates the Holy Mass in celebration of the 48th World Communications Sunday at the San Sebastian Cathedral with the media.* (Jun de los Reyes/NDB photo)

Decisiveness in Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella

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WHICH MEANS POLITICAL WILL IN SO MANY WORDS. Just before he left for Singapore to attend a world water summit and forum on water, Mayor Monico Puentevella, held a press conference in the People’s House in his office, to answer queries from the local media. These, on various issues facing the city government and various companies and individuals.

Is Globe Involved in a Marketing Scam?

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It is becoming very apparent that GLOBE is not a reputable company as it is tolerating, if not abetting, the pending of text messages through Text No. 29344 which when we download display the message, "MESSAGE CANNOT BE DISPLAYED."

The text message allegedly comes from message centre #639170000133.

We have already complained to their office at Robinsons Mall personally and through a letter addressed to their manager, Ms. Teresa Uy.

World Economic Forum to Squeeze Every Drop of Blood Out of East Asia

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REGIONALISM WILL EFFECT THIS. The World Economic Forum (WEF) so-called, does not intend to bring about economic independence, political and even cultural and social, as well in this part of the world, but has been programmed to scrape every ounce of industrial, commercial and agricultural lifeblood from every country and nation belonging to the East Asia region, to include the Philippines, most especially.

Coffee and Tea at O Hotel

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Last Tuesday I had coffee and tea with Negros Daily Bulletin Editor-in-chief Pert Toga and Columnist Henry Streegan.

I asked Editor Arman Toga, the son of Pert to make an appointment on my behalf for coffee at a place of their choice and Arman answered at O Hotel.

Is SRA Assurance for a Still Supposedly Viable Sugar Industry Credible?

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WITH ASEAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT COMING UP. SRA Administrator Gina Martin recently saying that measures adopted by the mainstream sugar industry, would still remain as it is, with primarily the government doing its level best to cope with the disadvantages presented by free trade, still credible.

Atty. Caparas on ‘73’

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My friend in New York sent a remark on email about my column titled "73".

Last May 6 I had coffee at O Hotel with Editor-in-Chief Pert Toga and columnist Henry Obregon Streegan and Pert commented on feedbacks on my columns and as well the column of Maninoy Henry.

CAPEX for Generators Unjustified, Unreasonable, Anti-People

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BACIWA EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT PLAYING HOODWINK-NI? The report emanating from General Manager Juliana Carbon of Bacolod City Water District (BACIWA) that the board of directors has approved a P21-M budget for the purchase of electric generators to cope with rotational brownouts, is akin to the famous magician "Hoodwink-Ni," putting one over the people. Yes, we knew that Carbon and her cohorts in the board went to Manila to convince Local Water

Feedbacks: Negros Occ. Has 20 New HIV Cases

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By Lorenzo O. Lambatin Jr.

A total of 20 patients in Negros Occidental have been found to be positive of HIV since January to April this year.

HIV-AIDS Core Team (HACT) leader of the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Dr. Enrique Grajales 13 are taking the Anti-retroviral drugs (ARV), five do not require medicine yet, while one patient has been transferred to another hospital.

HIV-AIDS. Dr. Enrique Grajales, right, HIV-AIDS Core Team (HACT) leader of the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Skycable TV says the number of HIV cases in the country is growing in an alarming rate. At left is Lorenzo O. Lambatin Jr. of PIA Negros Occ.* (Lljr-PIA6)

HACT also noted eight HIV-AIDS patients have already died from January to April, 2014.

Christ For All Nations Mission Church

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Rev. Pastor Dr. Eduardo R. Turbanos returned to Bacolod last month to attend the Negros Occ. High School Golden Jubilee. He is a high school alumnus of year ’64.

Rev. Turbanos was a retired Envoy of Salvation Army and at his retirement he was elected Bishop by Christ For All Nations Mission Church headed by Apostle Govind Satya Seelan based in Flushing, New York.

More Notable Glimpses of Canadian Values and Culture

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In our May 20, 2014 issue, this column highlighted various interesting glimpses of the values and culture of Canada. This focus on Canada arises from the major itinerary of this writer who is presently visiting with his wife, their three children, four grandchildren, two in-laws and two nieces who have migrated to Canada, since 1996. While this family situation was not planned until the professional years of our children, my wife and I have never stopped

A Repeat, Sequel of the ‘Avelino Sanchez’ Concocted Documents Similar to Descallar’s Fake Report

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THE LATE POLICE CHIEF WAS ALSO A RABID CAMPAIGNER AGAINST DRUGS. The news report which appeared in a local newspaper about a purported letter sent by one "Maratas" and a mediaman, to PNP Regional Director Chief Supt. Or General Josephus Angan, Western Visayas police chief, if we recall, is similar to an allegedly documented report sent by a man who signed the letter and the accompanying supposedly authentic documents detailing BCPO Chief then Sr. Supt.

Traffic Discipline

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Some of the first few things that visitors and tourists immediately notice and subsequently nurture an impression in their hearts and minds, whether good or bad in the things and situations they observe around them, are the traffic situation, the roads, streets, cleanliness and order in the surroundings of the place they visit for the first time. And first impressions, as the saying goes, really last.

The keen observers will truly remember the things that are easily visible and noticeable, to include the mode of transport and discipline among pedestrians, motorists and the law enforcers who do basic functions to maintain peace and order.

It is no secret anymore that when compared to some of our affluent and more developed neighboring countries, we undoubtedly pale in comparison at this time, especially when it comes to our traffic discipline, law and order in the streets, the highways and other modes of travel, whether on land, sea or air.

Furniture, Fixtures Issue Haunting Former City Administration

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EXTRAVAGANT, SYMBOL OF CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION. The acquisition of furniture and fixtures, no less highly extravagant and a symbol of conspicuous consumption of the previous Leonardia administration has come back to haunt the past administration like a ghost intent on reminding Bacolodnon of the excesses of the past, has reared its head again, with a disallowance issued by the Commission on Audit, Office of the Audit Team leader, Audit Group L-Team of the

Village Leader into Buying Forestal Area?

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BUT EXPLAINS WRONG ADVICE GIVEN. Controversial Culipapa Village Barangay Captain Oscar Daclan has denied being involved in outright landgrabbing activities, saying he was intent on helping poor farmers develop hinterland areas by building connecting roads and planting crops which could increase food production or their regular income.

In an interview Wednesday the other week by cellular phone, Daclan admitted he, indeed went on a land buying binge or acquiring landholdings in the town’s hinterland areas which by estimates total 300 or more hectares.

Justice Must Prevail

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Now that the notorious former barangay captain Noel Ayalin of Brgy. Kapitan Ramon in Silay City has been finallly arrested and now detained as a "high-risk" criminal suspect three years after the killing of four barangay officials including the lady chair of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) in their session hall sometime in 2011, it’s time for the wheels of justice to grind faster than usual.

As reported, the prime suspect had expressed remorse and had the gall to ask understanding or forgiveness for what he did. And yet, the fact remains that he intentionally evaded the law for more than three years, selling buko juice in Iba, Zambales until some concerned citizens and later, the law enforcers caught up with him, with an P800K booty placed on his head.

Ayalin, tagged as the number one most wanted criminal suspect in Western Visayas, has never attempted to surrender nor give any feelers to do so despite the heinous crime he has committed. Now he handas to music, so to speak, and then answer for that bloodbath where he is being charged for shooting to death four village officials for which he now faces direct assault with murder, inflicted gunshot wounds on three others, for which he faces frustrated murder and two more for attempted homicide.

Solution to Poverty in NDF’s Program

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REASONS WHY MASSES ARE RECEPTIVE TO NDF’s SOLUTION. It would very enlightening to understand why it would be very difficult to defeat the revolutionary movement, more so at this stage in time, what with the burgeoning Philippine population and the need to carry out concrete economic and social, even political programs in order to solve this problem in a rational, sane, realistic manner not just by declaring that the rebels are misguided, are intent on putting up or implementing a "communist" or "socialist"-oriented programs and in a shortcut way, saying that the revolutionary movement would plunge this nation into chaos.

There could be nothing farther from the truth and but a distortion of actualities because the National Democratic Front (NDF), has doable socio-economic programs meant to solve and to free our people, aside from improving their lives.

An Even Chance for Negros Congressman Albee Benitez

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HE COULD MAKE IT. The offer from President Benigno Simeon Aquino III for Congressman Albee Benitez, to run for senator is a once in a lifetime offer, a chance to possibly become the country’s youngest member of the Upper Chamber in the year 2016. Some would say: that is, if he makes it as senator.

And offering a realistic, doable analysis, we would also say, why not?

For indeed, the young congressman could make it. Here’s why.

Albee Benitez comes from Negros Occidental and therefore, Negros Island. If one thinks deeply about it, he also has kins in Luzon and has rich, political experiences in public service, for was it not true that an aunt or a grandmother, Helena Benitez, intelligent and influential, is the founder of the Philippine Women’s University (PWU).

Like Ants Scurrying About in a Disturbed Anthill - Legislators Named in the Pork Barrel Scam

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AS IF THEY ARE IN A GLASS MENAGERIE VIEWED BY PEOPLE. The Janet Lim-Napoles caper, the stupendous, Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis, the sheer length of the word in the English language clearly making one incredulous, indeed, describe the legislators’ predicament when Inday Janet released several lists to former Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson and another to DOJ Secretary, the inimitable, our idol, Secretary Leila de Lima.

When the names of those on the list were exposed composed of incumbent and old senators, the glass menagerie showed the senators scurrying about like ants disturbed by a giant on their anthill.

The Police is a Victim of the Clout and Power of the Drug Trade

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DRUG TRAFFICKERS ARE LAUGHING SILLY AT THE PNP. Barely three days after we wrote an opinion piece about principled and highly at that effective police officers to include then, the late BCPO Chief Sr. Superintendent Amado Marquez Jr. Chief Supt. Noel Constantino and now Supt. Jefferson Descallar, the last was relieved from his post presumably because he ignored an anti-drug complaint against a suspect in Cadiz City where he was then police chief.

Prov’l Agriculturist Does the Government Proud

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KNOWLEDGEABLE AND COMPETENT, TOO. Provincial agriculturist and a Phd graduate, too, Igmedio Tabianan did the provincial government proud when he won an international award for agricultural engineering, recently in an awarding ceremony in Samar.

Tabianan won the coveted award for his many achievements and specifically for excellence in agricultural engineering.

Indeed, Tabianan won an award not only for the first time but several awards in various fields of agriculture in the country and province. One may recall that Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. was given an award for organic agriculture in Taipei, Taiwan a few months ago proof that Tabianan’s expertise has been practiced to the full and that the provincial government has made use of is knowledge in various agricultural fields, also reason enough for having been acknowledged by even Bacolod City for his many pioneering work and accomplishments which the City Council expressed in a resolution barely two weeks ago, too.

Needed: Good Men For A New Senate

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With the endless raucus and credibility crises that grip the Senate and the Lower House being government’s leading institutions and on the aftermath of the devastating effects of the pork barrel scandal, the Filipino people should have every reason to rethink their manner of choice when election time comes again in 2016.

With a big majority of lawmakers, notably those in the upper house who appear to be unfortunately embroiled in the biggest scam in years, there is, indeed, an urgent need for our people especially for voters to be cautious and more responsible in the next political exercise. We need good men and women in the legislative branch of government, there is no question about that. So the search and serious consideration of who to elect should start this early. We’ve always taken a "bahala na" attitude when exercising our sovereign right to elect our leaders. Look what is happening now. Let’s do the choosing now, if possible and make the right decision on balloting day. Right?

In Negros Occidental, for instance, considered among the vote-heavy provinces in the country, has not elected even one senator coming from its ranks, despite the many who are more than qualified to sit as senator. Why? Maybe it’s worth pondering.

Unwillingness of Philippine Gov’t to Ink Essential Agreements with Rebels Due to US Control

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EDCA REINFORCES THIS. A topranking and respected leader of the revolutionary mainstream rebel group, the National Democratic Front (NDF), the CPP-NDF’s frontline organization involved in peace negotiations with government, declared recently while communicating in a forum with domestic helpers in Hongkong has indicated and declared that the NDF was willing to meet anytime in furtherance of peace negotiations which has proceeded on an on-and-off basis, with the

Commentary: Traffic – Garbage and Flooding in the City

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Among the things I have observed in Bacolod City recently are the past issues on Traffic Management, Garbage Control, Collection and Flooding in the City. Some quarters have hurled these issues and were hell bent to change these as soon as they win in the elections. Yes, we could not expect results overnight, but after a year, can we really say that things have changed?

THE FLOOD CONTROL TEAM of the City takes off a huge amount of garbage from the sewerage which was not able to solve flooding in the area.* (Owen S. Bayog/NDB photo)

Upright Police Officers

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BUT PASSING THROUGH CRUCIBLE OF FIRES. In our many years of being a journalist, both print and broadcast, we have come across all kinds of people, of personalities and that includes police officers.

Of course, insofar as armymen or militarymen are concerned, nobody beats retired Gen. Raymundo Jarque Jr. becoming more interesting to us because he is an Ilonggo, who comes from the backwaters of Isabela town in Central Negros.

Gen. Jarque stunned the world, his story coming out in worldwide media outlets, whether print and broadcast including TV and in major news outlets and international newspapers. The rest is history.

And this is not to say that there are less interesting personalities in the PNP or police. There are many and these are police officers who are also imbued with principles. We can cite police Brig. Gen. or Chief Supt. Noel Constantino, an Ilonggo as well, former Bacolod Police Chief Amado Marquez Jr. who, unfortunately passed away when he could have become mayor of the Central Negros which belongs to Negros Oriental Canlaon City.

Commentary: Reasons to Complain

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(Just my thoughts)

You pay for what is called unlimited internet and you get slow and capped connection.

Electricity bills gets higher and so does the frequency of power interruption and blackouts.

You pay for potable water, but it’s dangerous to drink from your faucet – worst is… sometimes there is no water coming out!

Pay taxes and have someone steal it…

Owen Segovia Bayog is Negros Daily Bulletin Photojournalist and writer.* Paul Del Castillo CMO/PIO Bacolod photo)


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