ON TARGET

Joseph Estrada as Robin Hood

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The Quezon City Hall, particularly its Building Official, continues to play blind to the ugly and dangerous five-story structure on busy Santolan Road.

This column exposed the danger the structure posed to people in the neighborhood and passing motorists almost two months ago.

The structure at 235 Santolan Rd. could topple down during a moderately strong earthquake because it is entirely made of hollow blocks.

The building, which looks like an airport control tower because of its towering height, was meant only for two stories. But the owner added three more floors without the benefit of engineering expertise.

The Building Official chief, Isagani Versoza, has ignored that June 22 item in this space when he should have been bothered because of the possible consequences.

I learned that some employees of the Office of the Building Official visited the structure while it was under construction, but were allegedly paid off to ignore it.

If Versoza doesn’t act, then Mayor Herbert Bautista himself should if he wants to prevent the loss of lives when the structure collapses during a moderately strong earthquake.

I’ve asked a friend, a civil engineer, to look over the structure and he expressed shock why it was allowed to be built at all.

* * *

A businessman complained to Manila Mayor Erap that squatters had set up shacks on the sidewalk fronting his property on V. Mapa St., Sta. Mesa.

Under the law, if City Hall evicted those squatters, the courts would back up the order since sidewalks are solely for pedestrians.

But Erap sided with the squatters, telling my friend he should find a relocation site for the squatters first before they could be evicted.

He should also give them money to tide them over at their new site, the mayor said.

“Even dogs need shelter from the elements, much more human beings,” said the former movie actor who played roles as champion of the oppressed.

According to Erap, to whom much is given, much is expected. “We who are blessed should give to the less fortunate.”

I was present when the deposed president said that to my friend.

You see, I accompanied my friend who asked Erap to remove the squatters on the sidewalk fronting his property which he wanted converted into a business establishment.

We both understood the Manila mayor on his decision.

We know his show of sympathy for the poor is not a put-on.

When he was a boy, his parents always whacked Joseph Ejercito, now more popularly known as Joseph Estrada or Erap, for stealing food from the family table and giving it away to poor kids in their neighborhood.

* * *

There’s no need for Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam, to be investigated by the Senate.

At the Senate, many of the senators will be grandstanding because they know the investigation will be covered live on TV.

If the government investigators want to know everything about Napoles and her shenanigans, all they have to do is read the transcript of the interview with her by INQUIRER editors, columnists and reporters.

The verbatim transcript of the Napoles interview has been made into a series on the front page of this newspaper.

Napoles bared herself to the public through that taped interview.

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