Erap seems vindicatedBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Former actor Joseph “Erap” Estrada was sworn in as mayor of Manila amid pomp and splendor becoming a man of glitz.
Taking over the reins of the country’s capital appears to be a vindication of his claim that he was innocent of plunder for which he was convicted after being ousted from Malacañang.
Erap insists that he never stole from the government coffers and the poor people. The majority of the country’s voters obviously believe him and voted him into office again.
If he makes good as Manila mayor, Erap might take a crack at the presidency again—and win.
Remember, Erap placed second to Noynoy Aquino in the 2010 presidential election. Noynoy won that contest, riding on the popularity of his late mother former President Cory.
* * *
In Palawan, the new governor, billionaire Jose “Pepito” Alvarez, shows that lack of funds is not a problem in undertaking various projects in the province.
Days before he assumed office, Alvarez asked the provincial health officer what was being done to fight dengue, a deadly illness.
He was told that P700,000 was needed immediately for dengue-eradication but that the provincial government was waiting for funds to get the drive going.
Alvarez reached into his pocket, pulled out a checkbook and wrote out the amount for P700,000.
As he was writing out the check, he told the provincial health officer: “Please reimburse me later when we have the funds.”
* * *
Bodies of notorious criminals will litter Davao City again if the underworld characters do not leave the city.
Newly sworn-in Mayor Rody Duterte made known his intention to criminals who will insist on staying in the city: If you can’t or will not stop, you will not survive, you can leave either vertically (meaning, upright—RT) or horizontally (in a coffin—RT).
Of course, human rights advocates are again frothing in the mouth over the controversial mayor’s morbid statement.
They know that a vigilante group, known as the Davao Death Squad (DDS), will be very active again.
But the majority of the city’s residents don’t care if criminals are found dead on the streets—apparent victims of the DDS—as long as they are safe.
Davao City under the Dutertes—daughter Sara D. Carpio was replaced last Sunday by father Rody, who was first elected in 1988—is one of the cities with the lowest crime rates in the country.
* * *
Vice President Jojo Binay swore in his daughter, Nancy, as senator of the Republic a few days before the formal oath-taking of all elective officials Sunday, June 30.
Why did it have to be Vice President Jojo, and not another official, who administered the oath of office to Senator Nancy?
I know that Binay’s stock answer would be, “Because she’s my daughter.”
He could well add, “Because we’re a political dynasty.”
* * *
A customs official has declared a “no-take policy” for all his tong collectors—temporarily.
You see, each customs official operates independently of one another when it comes to collecting bribes from smugglers.
But one of the official’s bribe-takers, known by his pseudonym “Alex Sy,” is not following the order.
According to customs insiders, “Alex” continues to collect P10 million a week from importers/smugglers.
“Alex” is not the only one collecting from importers/smugglers; there are many others collecting for their respective bosses.
No wonder the Bureau of Customs can’t reach its monthly collection target.
More from this Column:
- Why the mayor cried
- Abusive immigration personnel
- Tax exemption for Pacquiao?
- ‘Yolanda’ victims can rely on Lacson
- Ping Lacson’s new job