Latest Stories


‘Sin tax’ and the smoking President


In signing Republic Act 10351, commonly known as the “sin tax” law, President Noy said its first year of implementation would “liberate more Filipinos from the vices of smoking and drinking.”

How ironic of the President to say that since he is known to be  a chain smoker with no immediate plans of quitting the habit.

Some of his Cabinet members and close friends, on the other hand, are said to be  heavy drinkers.

* * *

Congress has asked the President to create a presidential task force to coordinate relief and rehabilitation efforts for the victims of Typhoon “Pablo” in the worst-hit provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

Both houses of Congress made the request   to the President.

That’s good and welcome news.

But the news would have been better if the  House of Representatives also announced it would investigate Rep. Nelson Dayanghirang (lst District, Davao Oriental) on allegations in this space that he is involved in illegal logging in his province.

Dayanghirang, Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon and her brother, Cateel Mayor Camilo Nuñez are being accused by many of their constituents  of conducting illegal logging activities in the mountains of Baganga and Cateel.

Baganga and Cateel were the hardest-hit after the typhoon made landfall in the two towns.

Illegally cut logs in the forests of the two towns rolled down the mountain slope, floated on the swollen rivers and bulldozed bridges and houses in the way of rampaging floodwaters.

* * *

I  understand why the House of Representatives does not want to investigate Dayanghirang.

It’s the “old boys and girls club” mentality at work among  many of our legislators.

But why has the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) under Mar Roxas   not ordered an investigation into the allegations in this space about the illegal logging activities of Malanyaon and Nuñez?

If Roxas was quick to investigate allegations that Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino was involved in “jueteng,” why is he footdragging in investigating the accusations of illegal logging against Malanyaon and Nuñez?

It is likely the charges against Espino were politically motivated, but the charges against Malanyaon and Nuñez are not.

Espino’s opponent for the gubernatorial post is a Liberal Party member.

I am the making the charges against Dayanghirang and Malanyaon who happen to be not only my provincemates but my friends as well.

Clearly, I’m neither motivated by politics nor malice in making the accusations.

Dayanghirang and Malanyaon are running unopposed.

* * *

I’m surprised why the President has not asked Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje to explain why illegal logging in Baganga and Cateel went unnoticed.

Paje must have looked the other way while the forests in the two towns were being denuded.

The report by a Palace mole that the President was overheard saying that Paje was corrupt seems to gain credence.

* * *

Sen. Edgardo Angara has withdrawn from the gubernatorial race in Aurora province, but has appointed his younger brother, Mayor Arthur Angara of Baler town, as his substitute.

Apparently, the elder Angara knows he stands to lose because of the much-publicized protest march by Casiguran folk who complained of alleged abuses committed by officials of Aurora Pacific Economic and Freeport Authority (Apeco), Angara’s brainchild.

Apparently, he used his influence over his colleagues in the Senate in passing the law creating Apeco even if it was reportedly not economically feasible.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: cigarettes , Sin tax , Smoking

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  2. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  3. Massive infra spending set
  4. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  7. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  8. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  9. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  10. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured
  • 9 confirmed dead after ferry sinks off South Korean coast
  • Aquino to public: Learn to sacrifice
  • 20 killed as Islamic extremists rampage in Nigeria
  • Drug firm Novartis to help Leyte firefighter
  • Sports

  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Business

  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Marketplace