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Reject Bucari photographer’s apology

“I want to solidify as an artist and show that as I grow as a person and make mistakes and learn from them, I’m going to grow artistically.”
–Eminem

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Philippine Mayor Rolito Cajilig of Leon, Iloilo and Iloilo second district Rep. Arcadio Gorriceta should reject the “apology” made by Ilonggo photographer Steve Francis Quiatchon.
As an artist, Quiatchon committed no crime. El no cometio ningun crimen.
The controversial photo of a beautiful lady Quitachon took in Bucari, Leon recently was a piece of art, a product of a high-minded craftmanship.
It could net Quitchon a windfall in international market because of the photo’s quality.
He should be congratulated for putting Bucari, known as the “Little Baguio”, on the map in a unique manner.
Because of the controversy generated by the photo, Bucari, Leon is now the talk of the town.
Through the social media, people in the four corners of the globe are starting to be mesmerized by the town’s potentials and richness in ecosystem and tourism.

BODY

Even in antiquity, a woman’s body has been savagely the subject of intense debate and quarrel. King David, the first known Biblical Peeping Tom, watched with lust Bathsheba’s body, thus King Solomon became a product of King David’s adultery.
The New Testament chronicled how Salome made her controversial dance. In the Roman Empire, Caesar had been bewitched after Egyptian servants rolled up the carpet and exposed Cleopatra’s body.
The “scandals” and ‘infamy” of female Pharoahs Hatshepsut (Maatkare), Ahmose-Nefertari, Ashotep, Sobeknefru have been inscribed on ancient tablets and caves before photography was born eons of years later.
A plethora of social and political movements even challenged to the core the Victorian morality that created a paradigm shift in the British Empire’s rigid moral system where nudity was a total hysteria.
The Bucari, Leon photo was a product of the artist’s talent and imaginative skills, an expression of his mind as an emerging synthesis of evolutionary strategist, inventor and mechanic.
It was Albert Einstein who said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Pablo Picasso best described how important is an artist in the Divine Providence’s hierarchy: “God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things.”

-o0o-

ACCORDING to a former coup plotter who now lives in northern Iloilo, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV wouldn’t be so brave and daring in his recent spat with President Rodrigo Duterte if he did not have the support of big political and military personalities in the country.
“Trillanes knows that as a senator, he is only a David fighting a Goliath in Malacanang and yet, he even threatened to jail the president if it will be proven that Mr. Duterte had more than P2 billion in his bank accounts,” the former coup plotter said.
Is former president FVR one of them, Mr. Coup Plotter?

 

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Duterte might clear some but not all Iloilo ‘narco-mayors’

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”
— Plato

By Alex P. Vidal

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NEW YORK CITY –– Some Filipino-Americans here said Pinoy illegal immigrants in the United States should stop worrying “because the Trump administration will never touch them with a ten-foot pole unless they commit a crime and violate federal laws.”
There are so many important things to be prioritized in the White House, according to them.
President Trump’s executive order banning entry of Muslims from seven countries for 90 days was part of his campaign promise that he needed to implement or his supporters would rib him, they added.
The controversial executive order has been temporarily suspended after being torpedoed by a state judge.
“Only those with criminal records will be the first to go,” Merlinda, wife of a federal official, told me in a birthday party in Manhattan recently.
“Filipinos are not criminals. They have contributed a lot in the labor and economy of the United State. They are not targets of the threat of mass deportation.”

-o0o-

Misinformation, not miscommunication, will be the king-sized obstacle of the four Iloilo “narco-mayors” in their quest to clear themselves and convince President Rodrigo Duterte that they’re not the illegal drug trade’s Real McCoys.
Miscommunication can be remedied because of mass media’s active involvement in the issue.
Misinformation will further exacerbate the mayors’ woes because of false hopes and false alarm like the recent report that the mayors’ names have already been removed from the “Dutertelist.”
To “confirm” that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has been tasked to exonerate the mayors is both miscommunication and misinformation.
President Duterte merely asked the DILG to investigate the allegations against the 160 local government executives on the “Dutertelist.”

AUTHORIZE

He never authorized the DILG to decide who should be declared innocent and who should remain in the shame list.
The accusation that the 160 local government executives were involved in illegal drug trade came from the president’s mouth based on tips provided by his intelligence network and field investigators.
The president regularly airs his diatribes against wrongdoers in police and government–including his cussing- through the media.
If President Duterte will decide to clear anyone, he will even apologize if necessary.
The grapevine said the president might remove the names of some but not all.

 
 

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Retired Iloilo top cop caught ‘sleeping on the job’

“Let me be clear about this. I don’t have a drug problem. I have a police problem.”

Keith Richards

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — If ever the four Iloilo “narco-mayors” will be cleared, it should be President Rodrigo Duterte who will announce it because he was the one who made the accusation in August 2016.
People, particularly the Ilonggos, will only believe and listen to what the president will say next.
Not to any of his subalterns. Not to any agency under the Office of the President.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will have no credibility “clearing” the embattled mayors unless explicitly ordered by the president.
The DILG was supposed to protect the four mayors and other local chief executives implicated in illegal drug trade before their names landed on the “Dutertelist” in presumption that they could only be victims of political harassment and vendetta.
The DILG also can’t declare with absolute certainty that the names of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Maasin Mayor Mariano Malones, Calinog Mayor Alex Centena, and Carles Mayor Sigfriedo Betita have been removed from the “Dutertelist” if the president hasn’t made a latest pronouncement regarding the hullabaloo.
Even if the DILG will “clear” the four mayors but President Duterte didn’t confirm it, people will remain suspicious and pessimistic.

-o0o-

THIS retired police superintendent, formerly assigned in the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) or Camp Delgado in Port San Pedro, Iloilo City, is lucky he is no longer in service when President Duterte assumed power.
The retired police official would have joined the more than 200 rogue Metro Manila cops recently insulted and ordered by President Duterte to be assigned in Basilan.
President Duterte would have been embarrassed by the offense made by the now retired police official albeit he can’t dismiss him from police service.
Not all of the 200 rogue cops were implicated in crimes that would warrant their outright dismissal.

CASES

Either they were facing administrative cases for being AWOL (absent without official leave), or were caught moonlighting or doing “extra jobs” not related to their mandate as law enforcers.
This retired police official, who is now a top adviser of a prominent Iloilo City executive, was once spotted in a downtown gay bar when a city hall task force on anti-drugs, pornography and prostitution conducted a surprise raid.
He was not there to moonlight as bouncer. The retired police official, who was then active in police service, was literally snoring near the dance floor when members of the task force barged in.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2017 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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‘Small Time Lottery’

“Forget the lottery. Bet on yourself instead.”
— Brian Koslow

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By Alex P. VIdal

NEW YORK CITY — If security guards will check all the cabs that enter the drive-in motels, pension and lodging houses for possible presence of minors in Iloilo City in the Philippines as mandated by a city ordinance, only few customers will have the guts to enter in these premises especially during the Valentine’s Day.
Most customers checking in via taxis will never compromise their privacy for obvious reasons, thus they will resist any attempt from security guards to check them and their companions at the risk of being denied entry.
Drive-in motels, pension and lodging houses, however, are mandated by the ordinance to reject minors or be penalized.
Good for the campaign of the Iloilo City Task Force on Morals and Values Formation (TFMVF) to protect our minors from sexual predators.
Bad for motel and pension house business.
Let’s hope that this campaign by the TFMVF won’t be another case of ningas cogon.
Task force head George Duron specifically mentioned Valentine’s Day as the specific day they would strictly monitor these establishments.
We hope that before and after the Valentine’s Day, TFMVF will continue to implement the ordinance.
Those who bring minors inside motels and lodging houses are not only sexual predators. Some are “normal” characters who happen to have partners not yet of legal age but are either sexually active or victims of blackmail, exploitation and deception.
TFMVF will fill in the blank left by negligent parents.

-o0o-

Unless the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) increases the share of the local government units and the police under its Implementing Rules and Regulations, the Small Town Lottery (STL) will be dismissed as Small Time Lottery.
Under the new IRR, it was reported that the city or municipal government gets three percent of the revenue; congressional district, 0.25 percent; provincial government, 0.75 percent; and the Philippine National Police (PNP), 2.50 percent.
Because of the “small share”, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has expressed worries that both the police and municipal mayors might not be able exert strong efforts to clamp down on “jueteng” to protect STL’s interest in their areas.
Defensor’s warning has a solid basis. Both STL and “jueteng” had similar mechanics when STL was first launched in 1987 under the Cory Aquino administration.

FRONT

Unknown to authorities, “jueteng” operators used STL as a front.
To add insult, it was found out in a Congressional hearing following the end of STL operations in 1990 that franchises for STL had been awarded to the same people behind “jueteng.”
It may be recalled that it was Defensor’s cousin, the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who exposed in September 2012 that money from “jueteng” amounted to P30 billion annually.
“Jueteng” operated openly in at least six cities in Metro Manila and in nearby provinces.
If STL will continue as “small time lottery”, illegal gambling operators could “buy” the loyalty of corrupt law enforcers and municipal mayors.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2017 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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Let’s not condemn the PNP yet

“I have no hatred for cops. I have hatred for racists and brutal people, but not necessarily the cops. The cops are just doing what they’re told to do.” ICE T

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — We can’t blame the families of victims of police brutality. Their hatred toward our law enforcers is only a microcosm of a sick society’s macrocosm.
Which explains why our national police force is once again on the brink of total destruction.
And our cops have low morale now that calls to abolish the Philippine National Police (PNP) are loudly girdling like Hercules’ wrath.
If we have family members, neighbors or friends who are connected with the PNP, let’s give them moral support.
Let’s not crucify them yet; let’s not treat them like dregs.
The likes of Sta. Isabel and Dumlao, among other principal accused in the slaughter of a Korean trader, are only rats in a house.

NOT ALL

Not all those who live in the house are rats.
Not all members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are hoodlums and scalawags.
When we want to get rid of rats, we either use a mouse trap or Dora rat killer and Racumin. We don’t burn the entire house.
We don’t abolish the PNP only because some cops are dishonest and criminals. All paradise have their own shares of serpents. All forests are infested with snakes.
Even the church is not clean. There are rascal priests and cardinals of ill repute. Some saints in heaven have ugly past.
We still believe that majority of the PNP’s 160,000 personnel are dedicated, sincere, hard-working, and trustworthy.
It’s not fair to flush the entire organization down the toilet only because of a few feces.

GOOD

We know a lot of good, courteous and well-mannered PNP personnel in Western Visayas where we grew up.
Many of these cops –men and women — are content with their salary and regard their uniform with pride and glory. They come from respectable, religious and honorable families.
Everywhere in the Philippines we can still meet cops who are proud to wear their uniform and are not distracted by the negative tag alluded the organization as a result of shenanigans committed by a handful.
Anywhere in the Philippines we can still hear stories of heroism and acts of valor committed by our cops that are not given prominent media attention either because they shun publicity and choose to remain anonymous, or we in the media are only guilty of negligence and indifference for our failure to give importance to these great deeds by our maligned cops.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2017 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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Councilor Gerochi unfazed by criticism on ‘Bato’ resolution

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
— Winston Churchill

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — I dropped a “thank you” note for Iloilo City Councilor R Leone “Boots” N. Gerochi through the Facebook messenger because that’s the only way I could get in touch with him.

I told him I admire him for being such a broad-minded public official.
This was after he “shared” my article on his Facebook wall entitled, “Iloilo dads should get their hands off ‘Bato’ case” on February 2.
In that article, I criticized the Iloilo City Council for its “unanimous” resolution urging embattled Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa “to stay put” (the exact words I used).
The article stated that the resolution, penned by Councilor Joshua Alim, “may be wise and symptomatic but not necessary, to say the least.” (READ: https://alexpvidal.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/iloilo-dads-should-get-their-hands-off-bato-case/)

VOTE

As among those who “voted” for the resolution, Atty. Gerochi would have sneered at the article. The lest he would have done, if he were myopic-minded, was to ignore it. He didn’t.
By being sport and open-minded, he displayed a unique level of wisdom and understanding seldom seen among public officials today who are easily carried away by their emotions in a slightest media criticism.
Atty. Gerochi knew that the article was merely an opinion of a columnist or member of the Fourth Estate; and airing or expressing it in the free market of ideas like radio, TV, newspaper and blog falls within the ambit of freedom of the press and expression.
The city councilor knew that a public official is not supposed to bellyache and rant like a child if his acts are criticized or if the press chides him in relation to his functions and obligations in a public office.
Atty. Gerochi, son of well-respected criminal lawyer Romeo “Roming” Gerochi, our co-host in the original “Kape kag Isyu” cable TV program also aired “live” over RMN dyRI in 1996 together with Peter Jimenea, immediately caught my attention.
Here’s one public servant who understands and respects the job of a journalist; a public official who is perceptive and not onion-skinned; a city official who knows how to handle and value constructive criticism.

BEAT

I started covering the Iloilo City Hall beat in 1989 during the turbulent reign of the late Mayor Rodolfo “Roding” Ganzon until 1999, thus I am not familiar with Atty. Gerochi, who became city councilor in 2010 when I was already in Canada.
In the Philippines in 2014, I recall that the late former Iloilo Press Club president Teddy Sumaray once mentioned to me Atty. Gerochi’s name over a cup of coffee in the bakeshop of Iloilo City’s Atrium Mall.
“Alex, there is one city councilor, a new breed of politician who I really admire,” Mr. Sumaray volunteered. “He is the son of pare Roming and is also a lawyer. When I visited pare Roming in his office recently, this young lawyer was very polite and accommodating. I have not experienced the kind of politeness shown by any son of my friends in a very long time. He is a man to watch. Basi mag meyor ni sa pila ka adlaw (He could be a future mayor).”
We also trust that Atty. Gerochi’s colleagues, especially the senior members of the city council, won’t take the criticism of their job as public servants personally, and won’t consider the press as enemy but partner in nation building.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2017 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, POLITICS

 

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Iloilo dads should get their hands off ‘Bato’ case

“There are three major social issues that this country is struggling with: education, poverty, and drugs. Two of them we talk about, and one of them we don’t.”
— Steven Soderbergh

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — The night before the Iloilo City Council in the Philippines unanimously passed a resolution in its regular session on January 30 “urging” Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to stay put, President Rodrigo Duterte announced in a haste press conference in Manila that he had rejected Dela Rosa’s resignation.
Had Duterte let Bato go and announced it in the press conference on January 29, the Iloilo City councilors would have nothing to “urge” from the top cop in as far as his stint in the PNP was concerned.
Either proponents would revise the resolution from “urging Bato not to resign” or to “urging President Duterte to reinstate Bato.”
Or they would forget about the Bato resolution and remove it from the regular session’s agenda.

NECESSARY

Was the Bato resolution, penned by Councilor Joshua Alim, necessary?
It may be wise and symptomatic but not necessary, to say the least.
As a national figure, Bato has been the subject of intense discussions in the House of Representatives with some solons calling for his resignation in the light of the kidnapping and murder of a Korean businessman perpetrated by policemen inside the Camp Crame.
Newspapers, news websites, TV networks have been tackling issues about Bato. Even during the Miss Universe Pageant, Bato was among the “top grossers” in the news and social media.
Bato’s fate is too broad for a local legislature like the Iloilo City Council.
Too many cooks will spoil the broth.
Instead of joining the fray in complicated national issues, the city council will look good and earn more pogi points if it will instead focus on local issues.

DINAGYANG

Like an “urgent” resolution commending government agencies, city and provincial officials, private individuals, participating schools, sponsors, choreographers, among other unsung heroes responsible for the successful staging of the just-concluded 2017 Dinagyang Festival.
There’s a myriad of socio-economic, health, business, education, political and environmental issues that affect the life of local populace.
More pressing issues like the success or failure of smoking ban on public places, malnutrition and housing programs in villages, the reported increase in number of AIDS, murder, and rape cases.
The Department of Tourism’s (DOT) efforts to push for chartered flights between Taiwan and the Iloilo International Airport in the town of Cabatuan, Paraw Regatta 2017 preparations, Iloilo City’s aim to become “City of Excellence”, real estate boom, investment and business expansion and opportunities, among other local issues.
Meanwhile, if there was one thing significant about the Gen. Bato Dela Rosa resolution, it was the city council’s avowed display of solidarity behind the Duterte administration’s “strong campaign against illegal drugs and criminalities.”

 
 

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