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Marine academy appointment draws flak

/ 01:18 AM June 23, 2012

The Aquino administration has been advised by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to go easy on former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo  in her  electoral sabotage case.

Transferring Arroyo to a regular jail, where she would be in the company of common criminals, would not be good for the country’s image since she is a former president.

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“No matter how bad they think of  her, she is presumed innocent until she is  convicted,” Enrile said in an interview on  dwIZ radio.

But will Aquino, who is  known to be hardheaded, listen to Enrile’s advice?

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Mr. Aquino is apparently full of hatred for Arroyo that he is doing everything to make her and other people close to her—such as dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona—miserable.

The President’s spiritual advisers obviously have not been successful in instilling in him forgiveness for  his enemies.

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As it is, Arroyo’s life is already miserable: She can’t swallow, she only takes liquid and she’s in  pain because of her cervical spine problem.

Why does Mr. Aquino want to  make her situation more miserable?

Unless he’s a sadist, Mr. Aquino probably doesn’t enjoy making Arroyo’s life miserable.

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Aquino should be reminded that even the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his father’s arch enemy, allowed Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. to go abroad for medical treatment for a  heart condition.

This, despite the fact that the elder Aquino was convicted by a military court, Senate President Enrile noted.

The Aquino administration refuses to let Gloria seek medical treatment abroad.

Aquino should consider the consequences of Gloria dying while in custody: She could become a martyr.

If Mr. Aquino still can’t get the picture, he must  remember that  his father Ninoy’s death brought down Marcos.

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Richard U. Ritual’s appointment as president of the government-run Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) is being questioned by some of the school’s faculty.

Ritual, they say, is not qualified to hold the academy’s highest post since it is reserved only for one who holds the rank of master mariner or chief engineer.

Ritual is only a third mate, the lowest rank in the merchant marine officers’ hierarchy.

He jumped over two ranks— second mate and chief mate— in his appointment to the PMMA’s highest post, according to insiders.

Ritual  is allegedly a cousin of presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

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The PMMA is the merchant marine counterpart of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Because of the school’s  rigorous training, 100 percent of PMMA graduates pass the marine board exams for third mate. If they choose to, they can join the Navy or Coast Guard as ensign (second lieutenant in the Army).

One of the most famous PMMA graduates is retired Admiral Reuben Lista, former commandant of the Coast Guard.

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I minced no words in criticizing Cristino “Bong” Naguiat, chair and chief executive officer of the government-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), in the past.

But lately, I’ve been hearing news that under his stewardship Pagcor has made a record-breaking rise in its gross monthly income of close to P4 billion.

Pagcor is the government’s third highest revenue-generating agency, next to the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, On Target, opinion, Pagcor, Philippine Merchant Marine Academy, Politics, Ramon Tulfo, Richard U. Ritual
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