Ambrosio R. Villorente
SP Approves 12 Municipal Budgets
In its recent sessions, the Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has approved budgets of 12 municipalities of Aklan. These budgets are now operative. These towns with approved 2010 budgets are Altavas, Balete, Buruanga, Kalibo, Madalag, Makato, Tangalan, Malay, Malinao, Batan, Numancia, and Lezo.
The five towns which budgets are still under scrutiny of SP Committee on Finance are Banga, Nabas, Ibajay, Libacao and New Washington.
The election for the barangays and Sangguniang Kabataan will take place on October 25 this year. There is no postponement, no turning back.
President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino, Jr. left the handling of the hostage drama to police amateurs. The mishandling resulted to the national embarrass-ment among Filipinos, negatively affected Philippine diplomacy and destruction of Philippine tourism industry.
Rolando Mendoza, former police officer, at about 9:30 o’clock in the morning at Port Santiago, Manila requested the driver of a tourist bus to give him a lift until the Ocean Park, near the Quirino grandstand. Mendoza was in fatigue uniform armed with M-16 Armalite rifle.
The tourists bus "Hong Thai" was loaded with 25 tourists from Hong Kong. The driver allowed Mendoza to ride the bus with the tourists.
The permission to allow a man to ride in a tourist bus occupied by guests only happens in the Philippines. The bus is not a public utility vehicle, and exclusively being used by guests. Why did the driver allowed Mendoza in fatigue uniform armed with M-16 Armalite rifle? Mendoza’s riding with them must have frightened those Hong Kong Chinese. Hong Kong police does not carry fire arm.
What is the demand? The drama started at about 10:00 o’clock in the morning inside the bus. Mendoza hostaged all the passengers inside the bus. He demanded that his appeal for reconsideration with the Ombudsman be given due course, he be reinstated to his job with the Philippine National Police, and he be allowed to retire from the government service and be paid with all his retirement benefits.
Rolando Mendoza was earlier dismissed from the PNP because of his extortion and illegal drugs cases.
His demands were allowable. Reinstatement and payment of his retirement benefits are within the capacity of the government to grant. These demands were far lighter compared to the damages that the Philippines and her people are now experiencing. Lives could have been saved, but the amateur hostage handlers.
The negotiation took too long.
The PNP was not able to control the crowd, the mass media forgot its duties to society. The live radio and television coverages were monitored by Mendoza. The arrest of his brother, Gregorio has enraged Rolando Mendoza that he started shooting his hostages at about 7:30 in the evening.
Observers said, Mendoza has no plan of killing any person. But he lost his senses after viewing the arrest of his brother Gregorio.
The SWAT team that assaulted the hostage bus appeared like high school boys. One did not even know how to handle an ax. He held it loose, he lost it.
For one thing, why for heaven sake use a fiber rope to open a steel door of the bus? A SWAT team member tied one end of the rope to the door of the bus and the other end to a police car. When the car moved to pull open the bus door, the rope broke. It was cut off.
Filipinos are gentle people. They are hospitable, kind, and smiling people. But the hostage drama on Monday portrayed the Filipinos as violent people. International radios and television stations beamed the hostage drama as it unfolded until its tragic end.
The people directly involved in the rescue of hostages accepted their mistakes. They voluntarily went on leave.
But the damages are done. What are destroyed must be repaired and let us repair it.
Akelco will hold its Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) on Saturday afternoon, August 28 in Lezo, Aklan. I surmise all consumer – members are invited to attend to learn what is going inside Akelco. Upon reading the "Programme" it seems Akelco Management will hold a "monologue", a soliloquy.
The programme has four parts: arrival and registration, opening ceremonies, business meeting and raffle draw. The opening ceremony is of seven numbers. Except for Cong. Miraflores, Gov. Marquez, and Vice Gov. Quimpo, all the speakers are Akelco officials.
In the business meeting, only three are scheduled to report. Engr. Tajanlangit, Mr. Peralta, and Mr. Malilay – all top Akelco officials.
The Akelco member-consumers had a big role in the 27th AGMA: to listen and listen quietly, so they will believe what the speakers will tell them. Akelco manage-ment does not expect to receive, even hear a feedback from the member – consumers. /MP