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Illegal logging caused floods

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When Typhoon “Pablo” struck, the illegally cut logs on the mountains of Baganga and Cateel towns in Davao Oriental province crashed into the bald mountain slope, floated on the swollen river, bulldozed houses on the riverbanks and rammed into bridges.

Baganga and Cateel have been isolated from the rest of the country because all the bridges leading to the two towns have been destroyed.

Some people should pay for illegally cutting down the trees in the mountains of Baganga and Cateel.

Most of the masterminds are politicians, a congressman, a governor and a mayor, among them.

Secretary Ramon Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources knows who they are.

If he doesn’t, then he’s tanga.

“Innocent” is the closest meaning in English of the Filipino word, but it doesn’t match the full impact of what it means.

So Mr. Paje, the innocent, please investigate. You must know who the illegal loggers are, Mr. Paje!

*   *   *

Angelito Banayo, the resigned head of the National Food Authority (NFA), is being invited by the Senate to answer charges that he “favored” rice importers over domestic farmers.

Simeon Sioson of 4SM Agri Venture Multi-Purpose Cooperative has accused Banayo of being biased for rice importers when he was NFA administrator.

Sioson made the charges against Banayo in a Senate executive session.

My source in the rice import business confirms Sioson’s accusation of Banayo.

“Kumita ng bilyon si Banayo noong nasa NFA siya (Banayo earned a billion pesos while he was with the NFA),” claimed my source.

Banayo resigned after filing his certificate of candidacy for the House of Representatives.

If it’s true that he earned that much money when he was NFA chief, he’s sure of winning.

Banayo has struck this writer as a clean and honest guy, believing in his self-proclaimed virtue.

With Sioson’s accusation, I’m withholding my initial perception of Banayo’s integrity until he proves his innocence at the Senate investigation.

*   *   *

Candida Espinoza, 77, fell while she was in the bathroom on Dec. 7.

She was in extreme pain two days later and asked to be taken to Las Piñas Doctors Hospital.

Anticipating huge hospital expenses, she signed a withdrawal slip for P500,000 to be taken from her account with Banco de Oro (BDO) Talon branch in Las Piñas.

The BDO cashier didn’t honor the withdrawal slip, saying her signature didn’t match the one in their file.

An argument ensued between the BDO cashier and Espinoza’s daughter, Marilou Biala, on one hand, and her sister, Corazon Espinoza-Artista, on the other.

Artista said that since Espinoza was in pain, the strokes of her signature had changed.

To end the argument, Artista, a former bank manager herself, asked the cashier if she could talk with the manager, Jo Ann Sembrano.

Artista would have suggested to Sembrano to accompany them to the hospital so the bank could confirm with Espinoza herself if she had signed the withdrawal slip.

But Sembrano was in a meeting and could not be disturbed.

Candida Espinoza died at 2:50 a.m. Wednesday due to complications from the fall.

Her relatives don’t know where to get the money to pay for her hospital stay and funeral.


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Tags: Angelito Banayo , Banco de Oro (BDO) , bank , Candida Espinoza , floods , Illegal Logging , Jo Ann Sembrano , National Food Authority , Typhoon Pablo , Weather




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