Obligatory ‘surprise’

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By Nef Luczon

Pencalibur

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


ONE Monday, another expose has shattered the public after a news item released the second wave of pork barrel-related exposes in relation to bogus nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and the large chunk of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), this through a so-called National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor) from 2007–2009.

On the report, at least four Senators and 79 house representatives allegedly channeled a total of P7.9 billion from their pork barrel allocations to Nabcor for a period of three years. Adding to the “usual” suspects, opposition senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla Jr., is Senator Edgardo Angara who allegedly channeled his PDAF to Nabcor with at least P20 million for the NGO named “Kagandahan ng Kapaligiran Foundation.”

Of course, there’s a feeling of home when some of the representatives here in Mindanao, in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental specifically, are not spared by the second wave of pork-related expose.

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These included the late Misamis Oriental first district representative Danilo Lagbas and Cagayan de Oro representative Rolando “Klarex” Uy.

Before Lagbas died in 2008, he allegedly had shared entries worth P21.4 million to three NGOs under Nabcor and P9 million to an NGO which he shared by former House Speaker Prospero Nograles, representative of Davao City’s first district. Meanwhile, Uy had a total P8 million from his PDAF channeled to two NGOs during the said period.

It is not yet clear on how the senators and representatives’ PDAFs landed on these questionable NGOs and it’s still a question whether they were aware of it or not. Sometimes it’s disheartening to learn, in a way, that their names were implicated when we used to admire them as elected officials.

We know there are irregularities in Congress particularly this entire pork barrel chaos but for the sake of being innocent until proven guilty, we will therefore react to this expose as if we are surprised. It’s our duty to be surprised.

***

The moment the Moreno administration began doing its mandate to serve the people, it was also the moment that the weekend “Night Café” will come to an end through a euphemism term called “suspension until further notice.” Seven months later, we see Divisoria with paints on the road and people crossing the streets crossing the pedestrian lanes, and vehicles stopping on either yellow or white boxes.

And where was the relocation of Night Market promise? While Mayor Oscar Moreno’s officials and consultants have yet to finalize its resting place, partygoers and lifestyle fanatics who would like to cheer for a short while have found a new niche in Corrales Street.

Before there was Night Café, the watering holes in Corrales were optional, or rather a second choice destination. But after the Divisoria weekend hotspots were swiped off, there was a significant rise of people going to the stretch of the street, and there were also quite a number of vehicles parked on the sidelines.

And last weekend, when I happened to pass the street, the motorela I’m riding took quite a minute to squeeze through traffic due to the buildup of parked vehicles, moving vehicles, people drinking near the sidewalks and people walking on the side of the streets.

Task Force Hapsay Dalan and Roads and Traffic Administration did a good job in transforming Divisoria a traffic paradise, now they should consider Corrales Street the next target.

[Email: nefluczon@gmail.com | nefoi.blogspot.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 19, 2014.

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