City gives aid to Luzon flood victims

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte called for a special emergency session of the Davao City Council yesterday afternoon to appropriate funds to help victims of Typhoon Ondoy in Metro Manila and Luzon.

Twenty of 27 members of the City Council showed up in the hastily arranged emergency session and approved P10 million in cash assistance to the Philippine National Red Cross.

The Mayor also donated the equivalent of his one month salary and the councilors present followed his lead. The total amount is more than P10.5 million. He directed the city’s chief of police Chief Supt. Ramon Apolinario to fly the cash this morning so that PNRC can buy food, water and other needs to help the flood victims.

The City Government and Davaoenos also extended help in the past like those struck by calamities in northern Mindanao, Leyte and Samar.

Car plates

No. 17 has just been issued as protocol car plate numbers for metropolitan, municipal and sharia court judges.

I am sure that soon there would be car plate numbers too for governors, mayors, and local legislators, just among other so-called VIPs in RP.

So, who are these kings of the road?

1 – President

2 – Vice President

3 – Senate President

4 – Speaker of the House

5 – Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

6 – Cabinet Secretaries

7 – Senators

8 – Members of Congress

9 – Associate Justices of the Supreme Court

10 – Members of the Court of Appeals

11 – Chairman of the Commission on Elections

12 – Cabinet Undersecretaries

13 – Solicitor General

14 – Chief of the AFP and PNP

15 –

16 – Regional Trial Court Judges

I searched the internet for the No. 15 to no avail. The issuance of these protocol plates started in 1959.

Senator Nene Pimentel filed a bill last year in an attempt to end this practice,  which he termed as “smacks of delusions of grandeur.”

I fully agree with him.

LP riding on moral high

The First Gentleman attacks the Liberal Party in his futile attempt to defend the Ombudsman.

Well, that’s really good for the party. This positions the party on the side of good governance, anti-corruption and for the welfare of the people. That is, in contrast to the Gloria administration that has become the shame of the nation.

This also reinforces the designation by the COMELEC in the 2007 elections that the LP being the dominant opposition party in the country.

In the forthcoming 2010 elections, the LP rides on the moral high ground as the party for good governance and anti-corruption ranged against the administration and other trapos.

Incidentally, I was with Rep Erin Tanada, House LP head, here in Davao last month when he received a call from Manila about plans to file an impeachment case against the Ombudsman. So, it is not correct that this impeachment was filed as a reaction to the Ombudsman case filed last week against former Rep. Neric Acosta of Bukidnon.

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.

Political dynasties

In his column today at the Manila Times, Marlen Ronquillo wrote about political dynasties. He asks “are they good or bad?

He did not really answer his own question. Instead, he cited the proliferation of political clans from his native Pampanga spawning 2nd and 3rd generations of politicians and others spreading to many parts of the country.

Davao is likewise ruled by political clans. In fact, more than 80 percent of incumbent elected officials have relatives who were similarly elected in the past or have been in high positions. Here’s my initial list:

Mayor Rody Duterte/ Vice Mayor Sara Duterte/ Councilor Paolo Duterte – father/grandfather Vicente Duterte was Governor of undivided Davao and Secretary of General Services; brother/ uncle Benjamin Duterte was one-term City Councilor;

Speaker and 1st District Rep Boy Nograles – uncle Antonio Castillo was long-time City Councilor; uncle Pedro Castillo was 1971 Concon Delegate; brother Gerry Nograles served as one-term City Councilor

2nd District Rep Vince Garcia – father Manuel “Nonoy” Garcia was Batasan Pambansa Member and Congressman; grandfather was former Mayor Leon Garcia; a number of cousins are members of the City Council – Garcia-Monteverde-Bangoy-Reta clan

3rd District Rep Sid Ungab – father was Deputy Mayor; related also to Partylist Rep and former City Councilor Luz Calolot Ilagan;

Councilors:

Nilo Abellera – father was former City Councilor; brother was former OIC Vice Mayor;

Mabel Sunga Acosta –

Vic Advincula –

Wilberto Al-ag – brother and wife are Barangay Captains;

Dante Apostol, Sr. – father was appointed City Councilor; brother is Barangay Captain;

Leo Avila III –

Conrado Baluran – son is Barangay Councilor;

Samuel Bangoy – grandfather was former Governor; uncles and brother were members of the City Council; related with Garcia-Monteverde-Bangoy-Reta clan

Karlo Bello – grandfather was former City Mayor and Congressman; father served in many Cabinet posts;

Louie John Bonguyan – father was former City Councilor and Vice Mayor; uncle is Barangay Councilor

Pilar Braga – father was former Governor;

Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling – father is Barangay Captain; uncle former City Councilor;

Danilo Dayanghirang – relatives served in various posts in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley;

Edgar Ibuyan – son is Barangay Captain;

Peter Lavina –

Diosdado Mahipus, Sr. – brother-in-law was City Councilor;

Tess Mata-Maranon – mother was former City Councilor;

Bonifacio Militar – son is a Barangay Councilor;

Tomas Monteverde – father was long-time City Councilor; related with Garcia-Monteverde-Bangoy-Reta clan;

Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz – father and brother were City Councilors;

Susabel Reta – husband was City Councilor; brother-in-law is Barangay Captain; related with Garcia-Monteverde-Bangoy-Reta Clan;

Halila Sudagar –

Angela Librado-Trinidad – father and mother were both City Councilors;

Louie Villafuerte – father was City Councilor;

Rachel Zozobrado – father was City Councilor

The absence of genuine political parties in the country gave rise to these political dynasties. These clans played the crucial role in organizing the citizens, particularly their own relatives, provincemates and friends into potent political machineries. They have also invested resources in maintaining such political organizations in between elections. It is therefore not surprising if the same machineries would carry one of their own in the succeeding political contests.

So, are they good or bad? Your guess is as good as mine.

But judging from the sheer numbers, political dynasties must be acceptable to the electorates.

Nov 11 City Council Agenda

Calendar of Business for today’s City Council Regular Session starting at 9 am:

Invocation – Councilor Karlo S. Bello (3rd District)

National Anthem; City March

Roll Call

Reading & Approval of the Minutes of the Nov 4 Session

Privilege Hour

First Reading – 13 Items (Item Nos. 1545 – 1557) e.g. Item No. 1545 – Application for PALC of Ocean Cove, a low-density subdivision, at Barangay Bago Aplaya containing an area of 18.3 hectares; Item No. 1548 – IRR of the Watershed Code of Davao City; Item No. 1554 – Complaint of Samantha Homes against Foothills Realty Development for the implementation of subdivision plans; Item No. 1556 – Request for tax exemption for the Gary Valenciano concert of NCCC Cares Foundation on December 22, 2008

Third & Final Reading – Item No. 1018 – Ordinance reclassifying 28.6 hectares from agricultural to residential zone at Barangay Catalunan Grande; Item No. 1449 – Tax exemption of Jose Mari Chan Concert on November 29, 2008

Committee of the Whole – Item No. 1025 – PALC of Palm Grove at Barangay Matina Pangi; Item No. 1207 – PALC of Positano Subdivision at Barangay Matina Pangi;

Second Reading (Deferred Items) – 2 Items

Second reading (New Items) – 5 Items, e.g. Naming of Mandug-Callawa Road to “Manuel G. Cabaguio,” in honor of the pioneer settler in the area; Item No. 1070 – Request for service firearms for the security of the City Economic Enterprise Management Office; Item No. 1303 – Request for Legislative Authorization for the installation of fiber optic cables from Barangay Panacan to Barangay Lasang