WHEN you're in the middle of a battle you can't afford to have soldiers who are unwilling to fight. Otherwise what's the point in fighting in the first place?

The same is true when it comes to "newspapering". The battle is the desire to get the latest news to the reading public at the soonest possible time. The soldiers are the editors, the reporters and most especially the sources. If anyone refuses to fight the good fight, then the battle is lost from the very start.

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I write this to express my utter frustration with a group of soldiers in the newspapering chain. The info is there, the protagonists are there, the story is there, still the reading public, who needs to know this little information, will never get to read it. The public will not be able to judge for themselves who is in the wrong and who is in the right.

Frustration stems from a little bit of information handed to me by one of my sources. It concerns the growing disgruntlement of the transport sector against the current leadership of the Department of Transportation and Communication. Specifically the transport group want big boss Federico Mandapat Jr. out--as in out of the picture and even out of the region.

It was the transport sector of Baguio, which supported the climb of Mandapat to the top Department of Telecommunication and Communications (DOTC) post in the Cordillera. The efforts of the members of the transport group, the leaders of the operators and drivers groups in the city and the rest of the Cordillera, helped seat Mandapat.

So why are they suddenly pulling the rug from under the DOTC-CAR boss?

Obviously there was a falling out of grace somewhere along the line. It could have started early last year when Mandapat tried to stop vans for hire from traversing through Kennon Road. Or it could be his strict implementation of the DOTC guidelines or memorandum circulars.

Or it could be as simple as the transport group no longer wants to pay.

Manong Bong Mandapat is also a close news source. Through the years I have known him, he has proven himself a very keen minded individual who will go after his chosen advocacy and baffle you with his knowledge of the law. Yes the man is a lawyer, a darn good one, a lot of people tell me.

So when the members of the transport group made innuendos that Mandapat is making money from all the dealings of drivers and operators with the DOTC-CAR, I had to make sure. Find the smoking gun, so to speak, and you can't go wrong.

But after months of talking and pleading, the transport sector would still not want to go public with their accusations. Even after a letter was already sent to the Office of the President alleging his involvement in shady dealings (of course I can't be 100 percent sure about the contents of the letter since I only get to hear about it now and then), the operators and drivers still would not come out in the open with their allegations.

Just what is the truth about the accusations of the transport groups? If the group continues to remain mum on the matter, no one will ever know, least of all the public.

And in the meantime, the man in the center of the controversy will not be able to answer the accusations since these remain heard only in whispers.