Friday, February 23, 2018
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ON TARGET

Can of worms opened

/ 06:40 AM February 08, 2018

Tuesday’s column, which was about the libel case filed against world-famous architect Felino “Jun” Palafox by former senator and now Ambassador Edgardo Angara, has opened a can of worms.

Many readers want to expose the rampant corruption at the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (Apeco), but don’t have the balls to come out into the open for fear of incurring a libel case from the powerful politician-turned-envoy.

The law creating Apeco was passed through the cajolery by Angara on fellow senators, some of my senator-friends told me on Tuesday, Feb. 6, when the column came out.

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It’s common knowledge among contractors to shell out 40 percent of the cost of a construction project to some “money bags” at Apeco, according to a reader who wants his identity withheld.

Palafox has a libel case filed by Angara in the Pasay City regional trial court for exposing the alleged corruption at Apeco and landgrabbing by Angara in Aurora province. He complains of being “harassed and persecuted” by our country’s ambassador to the European Union.

The following are text messages I received or forwarded to me by Palafox in reaction to Tuesday’s column:

“Finally someone willing to stand up for Jun. May more come to his aid. God bless. Dennis Nakpil.”

“Thanks be to God. Trust the Lord, Bro Jun. He is with you. Fr. Patrick.”

Is it true that even a “brod” at Sigma Rho fraternity, former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, once complained that his piece of land in Laguna had been grabbed by Angara?

Is it also true other Sigma Rho brods have expressed disapproval of Angara’s alleged landgrabbing activities but were ignored?

If all these allegations against Angara are true, then President Digong should recall his appointment as ambassador to the EU.

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* * *

When a poor patient checks into a public hospital, he or his relatives are required to fill out many forms: Philhealth (if he  is a member), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Department of Health (DOH), etc.

The bureaucratic red tape is taxing on the patient whose attention should be on his fast recovery.

Three agencies — Philhealth, PCSO, DOH — have been invited to set up shop in every government hospital in the Visayas to attend to indigent patients.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has also been invited to provide free medicines to indigent patients.

Mike Dino, presidential assistant for special concerns in the Visayas, wants to do away with the tedious process of a patient filling out admission forms, by having the hospital’s social worker do it for him and make the followups with concerned offices.

This scheme Dino calls “Malasakit (Compassion) Project” and will have the Vicente Sotto Medical Center in Cebu City for its pilot.

The project will be launched on Feb. 15, with President Digong in attendance.

Dino says if the Cebu project is successful, it will be carried out across the Visayas.

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TAGS: Apeco, Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport, Department of Health, DoH, Edgardo Angara, Felino Palafox Jr., Malasakit Project, On Target, PCSO, Philhealth, public hosptials, Ramon Tulfo
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