Seares: Pork barrel scam: ‘I didn’t know’

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 12:44 a.m.

IT HAS become increasingly clear that the swindle on legislators’ pork barrel is not just P10 billion and involves more than 23 House members and five senators.

The amount defrauded will get bigger and the list of legislators will grow longer as the Commission on Audit continues to make more disclosures about fake non-government organizations (NGOs) siphoning money from public treasury into private pockets.

Tell it to Sunstar: Essence of sporting activities

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 12:43 a.m.

WINNING is the heart of every competition. Winning brings happiness and pride not only to the winner but also to school officials, teacher-coaches, families and friends.

However, pride can sometimes be very destructive because it can prod individuals to do undesirable things, especially to their opponents.

Editorial: Crackdown on loose firearms

Sunday, July 28, 2013 - 10:29 p.m.

LAST Friday was fatal for the confluence of money, guns, and motorcycles.

Three separate drive-by shootings took place within less than 10 minutes in Cebu, reported Jill B. Tatoy and USJR Mass Com intern Jessica Villaver in Sun.Star Cebu’s July 27 issue.

Wenceslao: To abolish or not to abolish

Sunday, July 28, 2013 - 10:29 p.m.

AFTER weeks of mulling things over, I think I will have to be pragmatic on the issue of congressional pork, or the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Nalzaro: P-Noy’s “utang na loob”

Sunday, July 28, 2013 - 10:28 p.m.

PERHAPS one of the reasons or considerations President Noynoy Aquino III did not accept Customs Commissioner Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon’s courtesy resignation is because he owes Biazon a debt of gratitude (utang na loob).

This may also be the case with Deputy Commissioners Ret. Brig. Gen. Danny Lim and Juan Lorenzo Tañada, whose courtesy resignations the President also did not act on.

Seares: Men P-Noy shamed: letting them go

Sunday, July 28, 2013 - 10:27 p.m.

“SOMEONE left the cake out in the rain/I don’t think that I can take it/For it took so long to bake it/And I will never have that recipe again...” -- “MacArthur Park” by Jimmy Webb (1969)

THE song and its metaphor are terrible, a critic once said. Odd lines, many fans agreed: How can pastry be exposed deliberately in the rain, its doom sealed by inability to remember ingredients?

Mongaya: State of City’s finances

Sunday, July 28, 2013 - 10:26 p.m.

NEWS that Cebu City Hall has fallen short of its P6.7-billion tax target this year by 66 percent with only five months to go raises several questions into the management of the City’s finances. Why indeed have tax collections only reached P2.3 billion?

This developed after city officials justified last year’s overdraft of nearly P1 billion by saying this would be paid by expected revenues.

Tell it to Sunstar: Disappointing

Sunday, July 28, 2013 - 10:26 p.m.

I WOULD understand if Commissioner Ruffy Biazon hasn’t been able to reform the Bureau of Customs (BOC), although many expected him to succeed as he is a no-nonsense guy like his father, marine general turned politician Rodolfo Biazon.

But the son was never really known for toughness, like being in the field fighting insurgents and protecting the republic.

Sun.star essay: Is it just a spree?

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 11:01 p.m.

LIKE traffic accidents, there are more news nowadays on crimes committed by men while drunk. News on shootings here and there in a year usually carry with them the phrase “during a drinking spree” or refer to a killing as “after having drinks.”

A drinking spree with friends is part of our culture, people always say. The get-together with drinking friends means a break from work and a time for songs, lingaw-lingaw, pasi-aw, katawa. One or two of the drinking gang would spend for the drinks, and a bit of sum-suman, especially during payday. The guys would take turns to foot the bill.

Mercado: ‘Did you sneak in?’

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 11:00 p.m.

WHO?” asked the flustered diplomat accredited to the Holy See. When asked to defer daily newspaper delivery, the Buenos Aires vendor asked the same question. “It’s Jorge,” the caller explained.

Millions who gathered for the World Youth Day finale in Rio de Janeiro this Sunday heard “Jorge.” He is now known worldwide as Francis.

Tabada: When time is ripe

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 10:59 p.m.

THE boy knew a lot about choosing fruits.

Before leaving Pangasinan, the husband and I stopped by a wet market to find if the fruits were better and cheaper than in Metro Manila.

Malilong: Cagayan de Oro bombing

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 10:31 p.m.

MOST of my friends said that, like me, they read about it first in Sun.Star’s online edition: six people were killed in a bomb explosion in a popular restaurant strip in Cagayan de Oro City about 11 o’clock Friday night. Rappler, one of two other websites I visit every early morning, initially reported only four deaths but adjusted the number in an update some two hours later. The other news carrier failed to break the story.

Lim: Assumptions

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 10:29 p.m.

MY 19-year old niece and I walked into a department store two days ago and asked a salesperson where we could find boxing gloves. Without hesitation, the salesperson replied, “Toy Kingdom.” My niece and I stopped in our tracks. We were a little shocked at his reply. Last time we checked, none of us looked below 12.

Why did this guy assume we wanted toy boxing gloves? I wasn’t even aware such things existed. “We don’t mean toys, we mean REAL boxing gloves,” I told the guy. “Oh,” he said. He then directed us to specialty sports stores outside the department store.

Ledesma: Ruffy’s plight

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 10:28 p.m.

Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Ruffy Biazon should have filed an irrevocable resignation after getting a dose of sputum from President Noynoy Aquino during his recent State of the Nation Address (Sona). That single act of courage would have sent a strong message to the BOC bureaucracy that a thorough clean-up drive will immediately follow.

When Biazon relented after the President rejected his offer to resign, he in effect sent a strong message to the criminal syndicates in the BOC that all is well and the racketeering can go on.

Editorial: Law enforcers as law breakers

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 12:41 a.m.

THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) should not be criticized for going after the killers of robbery gang members Ricky Cadavero and Wilfredo Panogalinga.

Libre: : Becoming a Libre

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 12:40 a.m.

HOW time moves so fast. When I started this column way, way back, my children were still in elementary school. Today, my eldest son Kim is getting married to Krizia Ledesma of Iloilo City.

Kim and Krizia didn’t know each other a year ago. But when they met during a concert in Auckland in November 2012, they knew they were meant for each other. I could remember myself when Kim courted Krizia: weather, distance and time were no deterrent to visiting.

Wenceslao: Breaking stereotypes

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 12:39 a.m.

HE IS PO1 Joselito Sevilla, a member of the Marikina police force. But the circumstance he was pushed into during President Noynoy Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) at the Batasang Pambansa Complex last July 22 made sure he would be known nationally as the “crying cop.”

Sevilla, who has been in the service for 12 years, was deployed to the police’s anti-riot squad for the first time and was immediately thrust into what can be considered a very taxing situation—-being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Nalzaro: A tall order

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 12:38 a.m.

CORRUPTION is part of our culture. It is everywhere, either in government or the private sector, and it varies in degree depending on necessity and on the amount involved. The means of corruption include graft, bribery, embezzlement, SOP, kickbacks, commissions, backdoor deals, nepotism and patronage.

Barrita: Citizen’s Hour

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 12:38 a.m.

CEBU City Vice Mayor Edgar Labella is introducing a “Citizen’s Hour” to the city council, a novel concept which allows ordinary citizens to air their gripes and concerns during sessions.

“We will come up with this kind of business in the agenda because no one has a monopoly of knowledge,” Labella said.

Carvajal: Doing our share

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 12:36 a.m.

BESIDES aching joints I just found a nobler reason to hire a plumber, carpenter and/or gardener to do minor repairs in and around the house and yard, porters to carry my luggage at airports, piers and bus terminals, etc. Healthy joints ago, I used to do many of these chores myself to save on cost even if I could well afford it. Now by jobbing these out I make myself a part-time employer and like to think I help, admittedly in a small way, in providing jobs to people who need one.

Editorial: Bypassing the city council

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 11:52 p.m.

CEBU City Councilor Margarita Osmena, acting true to form, immediately dampened the enthusiasm of Mayor Michael Rama to finally solve the city's drainage woes in the wake of the flooding that bedeviled several areas the past couple of weeks following surprisingly heavy downpours.

The chairperson of the city council's budget committee and wife of Bando Osmena-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) chief Tomas Osmeña told reporters that while she and the majority BOPK councilors are willing to listen to the mayor's budgetary proposal, the bottom line remains the same: funding.

Roperos: Pork barrel politics

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 11:52 p.m.

WHAT seems to be interesting and worthwhile watching about in the coming months is the unexpected embrace by President Noynoy Aquino of pork barrel politics as model of American democracy. Well, it is said that since the roots of our politics had been American by nature and culture, we should not be surprised if the President now should play his politics under the influence of early American ways.

Wenceslao: The corrupt and the vultures

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 11:51 p.m.

I AM amused by the reaction of some people to the offers of Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, Deputy Customs Commissioner for Intelligence Danilo Lim and Deputy Customs Commissioner for Internal Administration Juan Lorenzo Tañada to resign from their posts after the bureau received a verbal roughhousing by President Noynoy Aquino in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) last Monday.

Seares: Crying cop and shouting Dutchman

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 11:50 p.m.

WHICH image looked worse: a Dutch national shouting at a Filipino policeman or the same cop crying in the foreigner's face during the protest against President Aquino's report last Monday on the nation's state?

It wasn't even hostile gunfire he was facing but the policeman was reduced to tears by the foreigner's heckling.

Tell it to Sun.star: Mali, Lolong

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 11:50 p.m.

Mali, the female Sri-Lankan-born elephant, is causing much fuss at the nation’s capital amidst call from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) and other animal protection organizations from around the globe that she be taken out from Manila’s rundown zoo and transferred to a sanctuary in Thailand.

Peta said that the company of other elephants is extremely important to the well-being of an elephant.

Espinoza: Are DPWH and BIR now ‘tuwid’?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 11:43 p.m.

AT LAST the Cebu City Government backfilled with gravel last Monday and Tuesday Hi-way 77, the flooded street in St. Anthony Village, Talamban. That provided relief to the affected residents who had to wade through rain water to get to the other side of the street.

Editorial: Away from the peripherals

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 11:39 p.m.

SEN. Miriam Defensor-Santiago may not necessarily be a model among legislator in terms of following proper decorum, but many would agree with her post-State of the Nation Address (Sona) statement.

Roperos: Man and trees

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 11:35 p.m.

WHAT came to my mind when I learned that a book on Philippine trees was to be launched yesterday was my first contact with trees during the Second World War.

I was barely in my teens when we had evacuated to Kamanggahan in Barangay Buanoy of our town, Balamban. Then later, we moved to Sitio Guya--a place I am not sure until now which barangay it belongs: Lamesa, Sam-ang, or Cansomoroy?

Wenceslao: Voters’ registration, shrinking rivers

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 11:34 p.m.

I WAS surprised seeing a busier than usual traffic in some roads near the Commission on Elections (Comelec) south district office along Osmeña Blvd. in Cebu City Monday afternoon. It dawned on me later that it was the first day of registration of voters for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections this October.

Seares: Frenzy over royal baby, flap over Sona ‘bling’

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 11:31 p.m.

AMID the deluge of comments in social media on Tuesday's birth of a strapping boy to Duchess Kate and Duke William, mostly excited and gushing, a few said in effect, "Don't f---ing care."

The day after President Aquino's annual report on the state of the nation Monday, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said she'd file a resolution prescribing a uniform for lawmakers when attending a Sona.

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