Who is Loi Madrigal?

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Sunday, June 29, 2014


WHO is Loi Madrigal, the man in charge of security matters at the Capitol? The first time I heard his name was when Medellin Mayor Ricky Ramirez demanded that Gov. Hilario Davide fire him. I don’t know what happened between him and the mayor? Is Madrigal one of Davide’s trusted men since he was given various positions?

If his item is as security officer, why is he into the anti-illegal fishing campaign, arresting fish carriers from Zamboanga City who deliver illegally-sourced marine products? Why he is also into wild life protection, entrapping those who sell endangered birds? And just the other day, I received a letter-complaint from an association of settlers in Barangay Apas, specifically at the back of the GMA 7 broadcast complex, addressed to the governor that accuses Madrigal of harassment.

The complainants, who occupy provincial lots, claimed that Madrigal had ordered the demolition of their houses.

What is Madrigal’s specific function? Nganong magpapulis-pulis man ni siya usahay? If he is the security officer of the governor, how can he protect the life of the governor and Capitol properties if he is into other business? He is not Superman.

Upon inquiry, Capitol spokesperson Ethel Natera informed me through text message that Madrigal is the head of the Civil Security Unit. He is also a member of the task forces on anti-squatting and illegal fishing. He is also the enforcement officer of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources. However, he does not head these task forces but only act as their enforcement officer. Just the same, very powerful positions.

I was also informed that Madrigal had worked in the US for several years. I don’t know why he returned home and joined the governor’s team.

Sources close to the governor said Davide scolded Madrigal in a hotel in the presence of other people because the latter had assigned an advance party to secure the governor who was attending a function there. Davide, reportedly in an angry manner, told Madrigal and his group to leave because the governor wasn’t comfortable with their presence, especially since members of the advance party were carrying firearms.

Madrigal reportedly also carries an unlicensed firearm. He also reportedly backed the Davao Cavaliers Security and Detective Agency, which lost the controversial bidding to provide security at the Capitol. Don’t be surprised if the agency wins the re-bidding. May pagkahambogero sab kuno ni siya.

Several weeks ago, a fish dealer from Zamboanga City called me to complain that their group has been the subject of extortion by the Provincial Anti-illegal Fishing Task Force even if their fish products were not products of illegal fishing. The fish dealer said the task force would hold their products on suspicion that these came from illegal sources but would allegedly demand an amount in exchange for their products’ release.

The fish dealer explained that sometimes they don’t know if their products are illegal because some fishermen in the Zamboanga peninsula would just sell products to them already placed in boxes and they, in turn, immediately ship these to Cebu.

Most marine products we consume here in Cebu come from Zamboanga. Dealers would deliver these by truckloads from Zamboanga City to Dipolog City, then via Santander port in Cebu through Roro vessels. So, bisan legal ang pagkuha sa isda, panguwartahan gihapon aning taga task force.

Mora ni sila og taga Bureau of Customs. Bisan legal ang kargamento, padug-on lang gihapon. I hope Governor Davide will also look into this matter.

But why don’t you clip some of the powers of Madrigal, Governor?

***

My friend, who is a town mayor in Misamis Occidental and who is in the coco lumber business, told me that several operating units assigned at the Port of Cebu are demanding a certain amount from him before allowing his shipment to leave port premises. He claims it’s a double whammy for him because he pays legal fees to the Philippine Coconut Authority to transport his products from Mindanao to Cebu and yet he is still being extorted once his products get here. This is, indeed, “matuwid na daan.”

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 30, 2014.

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