Can’t Ochoa take a hint?By Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Former Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras is now secretary to the Cabinet (with a Cabinet rank), making him a virtual executive secretary.
So Malacañang now has two executive secretaries or “Little Presidents”: Almendras and Jojo Ochoa.
One of them has to move over to make way for the other.
Can’t Ochoa take a hint?
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I’ve talked to persons who know the President well. They say he’s the type who doesn’t want to hurt the feelings of his friends.
Most of the people he appointed as secretary, undersecretary or bureau director are either his friends, Ateneo schoolmates or shooting buddies.
When these guys make mistakes which are not noticed by the media, they are retained.
One example is Ochoa, who, according to a Malacañang insider, has committed many boo-boos—such as firing an honest and dedicated official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency—but whose major faults were not noticed by the press.
Somehow, the President makes hints to erring subordinates they’re no longer needed by appointing somebody else with parallel functions.
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The appointment of two Cabinet officials having the functions of executive secretary is not surprising.
After all, President Noy has three press secretaries: Ricky Carandang, Sonny Coloma and Edwin Lacierda.
And then there is deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte, who holds the rank of undersecretary.
Sen. Joker Arroyo is right: The Noynoy Aquino government is like a student council.
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Plywood being smuggled in from China is killing the local plywood industry.
A port in Northern Luzon is the unloading point of the smuggled plywood which finds its way into Metro Manila, particularly a warehouse in Valenzuela City.
A source in the local plywood industry says 30 40-footer vans carry the contraband per delivery.
The smuggled cargo breezes through checkpoints along the way because the governors, police provincial directors and mayors have been paid off, according to the source.
A national official is reportedly protecting the plywood smuggler, a Chinese-Filipino.
Officers and members of the Philippine Plywood Association tried to make appointments with President Noy in Malacañang to bring the matter to his attention, but couldn’t get through to the President.
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The derailment of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) train in Sariaya, Quezon, recently was an accident waiting to happen.
According to insiders, the PNR management did not strictly enforce standard operational procedures (SOP).
One such SOP states that when there is a typhoon signal the station masters in the affected areas will not allow any train to run until the district engineers responsible for track maintenance and safety certify the tracks are safe to traverse.
It appears that despite the continuous rains preceding the time of the derailment, no notice was given by top management to the concerned area officials to exercise more caution in train operations.
I was told that had the train not been derailed, many lives would have been lost.
More from this Column:
- It pays to be corrupt
- Chinese trader corners banknotes manufacturer
- An incompetent airport manager
- How easily voters forget
- Dead man biggest winner