SO IT SEEMS
Very recently a lawmaker commented that the ad-ministration of President Duterte speaks in discordant voices, especially the President himself. In private, Duterte accused Vice President Leni Robredo of being a part of a triumvirate plotting to oust him.
But during the graduation ceremonies of the Philippine National Police Academy Masidlak class last March 24 in Silang, Cavite, the nation’s two highest officials sat beside each other. They didn’t talk of impeachment, kumustahan lang. As we all know, Rep. Gary Alejano of party-list group Magdalo has filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte for graft and corruption and betrayal of public trust among others.
On other hand, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and some administration allies in the bigger chamber of Congress are readying an impeachment charge against Robredo.
In private Duterte invited last weekend Robredo for dinner and her children, according to a reliable source. It is not surprising if Digong had made such an invitation to his successor in the event he is out of Malacanang before the end of his term.
And just a while back Digong reportedly said that if Robredo wants to rule the country with him, they might as well marry each other. As a womanizer, it is not surprising if Digong likes Leni who possesses good looks and body curves. There is no legal impediment if the two live together as husband and wife. Leni is a widow, while Digong is legally separated from his legal wife, Elizabeth Zim-merman, although his present partner is his common-law wife Ho-neylet Avanceña.
On Duterte’s pen-chant for making a turnaround of a previous statement, it is our hope that as a fellow Davaeño by choice, not by birth, he cuts this habit in no time at all. It should be borne in mind that as head of state whatever comes out of his lips related to his office is taken as official statement. Duterte should be reminded that he is no longer mayor of a city but head of a sovereign state.
At this juncture, we are reminded of what his daughter, balik-mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio once said that her father is a lawyer with manners of a street thug.
President Duterte has expressed a desire to appoint barangay officials instead of waiting for their constituents to choose them in the election scheduled this October on the alleged findings of the police that 40 percent of barangay officials are either drug users or drug protectors.
Reacting to the President’s wish, Senate President Koko Pimentel said a law is needed before another postponement of the barangay polls can be made, citing a pertinent provision in the Local Government Code. The election of barangay officials was supposed to be held in October last year, but Congress enacted a law to postpone it for one year.
Like other local government officials, barangay chairs (captains) and barangay councilors (kagawads) are elected for a term of three years. The barangay council, otherwise referred to as grassroots law-making body, is composed of a chair and six kagawads.
Koko’s father, former Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. authored the law creating the Local Government Code. Despite its being the lowest level of local governance, the barangay council has a share of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) from the national government every year.
Also like other LGU officials, barangay council members have no fixed salaries. Their monthly com-pensations depends on the income of the barangay, so the bigger the revenue of the barangay the higher the salaries of barangay officials.
Despite problems hounding the nation, foremost of them the perennial lack of job opportunities and the acute shortage of classrooms and school buildings every opening of a new school-year, the good news is that Duterte vowed to flatten the mountain hideouts of the New People’s Army terrorists before they can claim any part of Philippine territory as theirs.
Duterte voiced out his promise in a speech at the Integrated Bar Asso-ciation of the Philippines convention in Pasay City a few days ago, even as the government is preparing to resume peace talks with communist rebels.
Duterte told the communists straight “We have been at war for 50 years. You want another 50 years? Fine.”
At this writing we received a text that a former colleague of ours—Ely Zamora, head of the business section of the Davao Sentinel, the Catholic newsweekly that blazed the trail of my community newspapering career, died at the ripe age of 99. In this day and age, it is rare to find an individual reaching 90 years and beyond.
In July 2013 when the Davao Sentinel (now known as Davao Catholic Herald) celebrated the 60th anniversary of its birth, Ely went up the stage to receive a plaque of recognition without using a cane, an indication of her having a good health. Having reached the end of her journey in this planet, we wish Ely an eternal repose of her soul.