Congrats and condolence

Our planned farewell luncheon today to honor the Malaysian Consul-General here would not push through.

The senior member of the consular association in southern Mindanao, Japanese Consul-General Hiroshi Mitsuya, had to suddenly fly home to attend the burial of his father who passed away January 10.

Malaysian Consul-General Nik Mustafa Kamal was recently promoted to the rank of Ambassador and would report to his new post in Africa. He was among those seated at the front row yesterday at the lecture of Prof. Jose Ramos-Horta, president of Timor Leste and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1996, at the Ateneo de Davao University.

Consul, errr, Ambassador Nik Mustafa Kamal served here well during his short stint pushing to strengthen the bilateral ties between Malaysia and the Philippines. Among his tough tasks was coordinating the Malaysian contribution to the International Monitoring Team overseeing the Mindanao peace process.

The consular association here also includes the Consul-General of Indonesia and Honorary Consuls of the Czech Republic, Spain, Palau, and Papua New Guinea.

Congratulations and adieu to Ambassador Nik Mustafa Kamal and condolence to Consul-General Mitsuya.

Mock not medal

In spite of her loyalty and congratulatory letter to George Bush, the Malacanang occupant was not among those given medals as “true friends” by the outgoing US president.

She was among the first to enlist in the “coalition of the willing” in Mr. Bush’s war on terror and a staunch lapdog of US foreign policies. Unfortunately, she’s not in the league of the likes of Tony Blair, John Howard and Alvaro Uribe.

Possible explanations – the US sees RP as a colony and not a friend, or, like most Filipinos, the US sees Gloria as a total failure who deserves mock than medal!

Crime

I lost count how many times her administration declared war on drug abuse. Yet, everytime, the drug menace wins the battles.

Now, she has crowned herself as the “new anti-drug czar.” To what? Lead another losing war or take a piece of the action in the multi-billion drug trade, which includes huge pay-offs to authorities?

Expect Gloria’s initiative to go pppffttt!

Here is a news report that crime is gripping Davao City.

It has no source apart from police data and placed the population of the city as “more than half a million.” A clear factual error that escaped the Tribune editors.

This story was clearly manufactured in Manila as a demolition job on Mayor Rody Duterte.

Rebates for bad service

Kudos to Speaker Boy Nogie for proposing measures to protect and compensate consumers from erring public utility providers.

Read his proposal here and here is what they do in Australia.

I hope Nogie is serious on this idea. He has in the past floated many bright ideas but it appears they were only for pogi points.

Sports Council Meeting

The Davao City Sports Council, Inc. will hold its first meeting for the New Year on January 13 at 6 pm at Dencia’s Restaurant.

The Agenda includes:

Highlights of 2008

1st Quarter Activities such as the Araw ng Dabaw Sportsfest; 1st Vic Sai Sports Journalism Awards;and election of the new officers in April;

Other matters are the Arafura Games in Darwin on May 9-17; Repair of the Athletic Field at the Davao City National High School and Funds for sports actvities under the ADF.

Finally, Cebu Pacific cuts surcharges

In town today in Davao are the officers of the National Halal Accreditation Board of the Philippines, Inc. They are holding a team building seminar courtesy of the Department of Trade & Industry at the Waterfront Insular Hotel starting today up to Friday.

Also in town is Consul John Rivas from Northern Territory, Australia. Darwin, capital of NT, is hosting the Arafura Games this coming May 9-17. He is set to meet officials of the Philippine Sports Commission and the city government.

Welcome to all our guests.

Thanks to ICT Davao, Inc. for a post-New Year gig last night at Riverview in Maa.

And finally, Cebu Pacific has heeded our call to remove or reduce its fuel surcharges. We have been calling for this move since oil prices started to plummet a few months back.

1st City Council Session for 2009

Here are the items up for today’s first regular session of the City Council for this year:

Invocation – Councilor Diosdado Angelo A. Mahipus (2nd Distrct);

National Anthem; City March

Roll Call

Reading of the minutes of the December 15 and December 16 sessions;

Privilege Hour

First Reading – 8 items

Third & Final Reading – 2 Items

Second Reading (Deferred Items) – 6 Items, e.g. Item No. 1019 – Proposed take over by the City Government of the Tibungco District Hospital; Item No. 1511 PALC of Alsons for Norfolk Place located at Eden, Toril District containing an area of 9 hectares; Item No. 1596 PALC of Alsons for Northcrest Expansion located at Cabantian, Buhangin District containing an area of 40 hectares;

Second Reading (New Items) – 10 Items, e.g. Item No. 1298 Letter of Mini-Forest Homeowners and Neighborshood Association re award of parcel of land situated at Isla Verde; Item Nos. 1138, 1178, 1201, 1263 applications for accreditation as people’s organizations and cooperatives