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Investigating Enrile

/ 09:47 AM December 10, 2013

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the alleged illegal activities of former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile. The probe is in response to the privilege speech of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago in which she enumerated her colleague’s reported dirty linen.

Her own speech was a response to a privilege speech of Enrile. Their exchange has gotten a bad review from the public and fellow members of the upper chamber. But I think it is better that the government investigates the alleged wrongdoings of Enrile from the time of president Ferdinand Marcos up to that of President Benigno Aquino III.

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The DOJ now has the opportunity to look into the crucial role of Enrile in the declaration of martial law under Marcos. One must remember that Marcos’ strongman rule saw many activists jailed without warrants of arrest. Many people were summarily executed by the military when Enrile was the defense minister.

Enrile has now come full circle. He was pictured as a villain until he led the coup against the Marcos regime then became a villain again during president Corazon Aquino’s term for masterminding coups against her administration.

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Enrile took the political center stage once more during the impeachment of former Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona in which he sat as presiding officer. Enrile sided with his colleagues in handing Corona a guilty verdict. Enrile was cited by the community for his sterling leadership in this trial.

Enrile was involved in many controversial issues like that of smuggling in the Cagayan free port that he allegedly operated. Enrile was also said to be involved in an illicit relationship with his beautiful chief of staff in the Senate. But to be fair to Enrile and to put the issues to rest, it is best that a serious, honest-to-goodness investigation be conducted. I am pretty sure Enrile is prepared to defend himself.

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Should boxing icon Manny Pacquiao be exempt from paying income tax in our country? A member of the House of Representatives is proposing that because Pacquiao has brought us pride and honor, he should be given such an exemption.

I think it would be selfish and unpatriotic for Manny Pacquiao not to pay income taxes. I don’t think he would like this idea. If it gains traction in Congress, what would differentiate him from our teachers, soldiers, policemen and overseas Filipino workers who also sacrifice for our country and definitely brought us honor and pride?

Remember, Manny is earning millions of dollars unlike the aforementioned who are earning a measly income and yet pay taxes to the government as part of their obligation as citizens of this country.

Manny Pacquiao should pay his income tax because after all, he is earning a lot. Let him contribute to the country for him to be an example for people to emulate.

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I would like to salute some professionals who have contributed and are willing to contribute their services for free for love of Cebu city and its people.

A group of doctors and civic organizations have bonded together to form the CARE Cebu City Medical Center and have volunteered to plan and implement the construction of the badly needed city hospital.

Dr. Shawn Espina and Marc Canton lead the group which aims to make a dream come true with the cooperation of the city government through Mayor Michael Rama. So far, the group has presented a design for the medical center with the help of two premier architects – Omar Maxwell and Yumi Espina – and have decided after thorough studies to situate it in a 3.2-hectare at the South Road Properties (SRP).

I told them that the SRP may not be an ideal place because it gets flooded but they countered that they can do something about it . They said SRP is ideal because it has enough space for a 1,000-bed hospital and is accessible to the public especially if additional roads are built.

I submit to the decision of the group, which I think is better since at least the SRP can be put to better use after the people of the city shouldered loan payments to Japan that is equivalent to P6 billion today with inflation.

Critics who object to the relocation of the city hospital in SRP are out of touch with the interests of the people. It has been 18 years since the SRP was finished. According to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), its development is considered limited. A Jica consultant even gave the SRP an unsatisfactory mark.

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TAGS: column, Juan Ponce Enrile, opinion
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