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.


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;


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

Comment from NZ

Here’s a comment sent to us through the contact page.

Hi Pete,

I just heard the news about the plan of converting the Artica Dome into a crematorium cum mausoleum? Is this true? This proposal, despite the high propobability that the facility will collapse should an earthquake start to wiggle it?

The notion that “it is OK to be turned into a place for the dead , after all – they are dead – in case it collapses, it’s OK because inside it are dead already” , is DISGUSTING.

A decent and moral society is judged on how it treats those who cannot defend themselves. The ultimate moral decay of society is reached when that society cannot even pay proper respects for the dead.

I hope you will put a sense out of this mess when this issue comes into your turf in the City Council.

If the place if indeed unsafe, there are only two options: structural strengthening/earthquake proofing (which is what builders in Wellington are doing to almost all high-rise building in this city. as you may know, Wellington (and perhapd the whole of NZ, is in a fault line too.), and demolition of the entire facility.


Banjo Roxas
Wellington, New Zealand

I myself was surprised by this suggestion. The donation of the land for the dome stipulated that it be used for a sports facility, so it is not possible to convert it for other purposes. In fact, the family that donated the land had an immediate unfavorable reaction to the proposed crematorium.

If ever the Mayor would change his mind on this facility, the best thing to do it to retrofit it as you have suggested. Mayor Rody Duterte mothballed this project due principally to safety concerns.

Wasted time

The Mindanao Daily Mirror editorial today warned that there is no time to waste in the water wars between the local water utility DCWD and the hydro power firm Hedcor over the use of Tamugan River in the west of the city.

I fully agree.

Unfortunately, DCWD has already wasted over a decade in foot-dragging on this issue.

The water firm was granted a permit for the use of the river as far back as 1997. It has dilly-dallied and has not delivered even a single drop of water from this river to its expanding clientele in the city.

Two major events have thus overtaken its indecision. The first is the expansion of farming in the area during the past ten years that has reportedly contaminated the river; the second is the energy crisis that has demanded for the development of clean energy particularly hydro power.

Had the DCWD acted ten years ago to tap the river, we would not be confronted with this time-wasting debate today.

The board and management of the water firm should be accountable for this clear failure to act accordingly to develop the river as its water source.

They cannot fault others for this wasted time. In fact, its permit should be revoked for this utter inaction.

Nov. 4 City Council Agenda

Calendar of Business of the 40th Regular Session today of the City Council:

Invocation – Councilor Samuel B. Bangoy (2nd District)

National Anthem; City March

Roll Call

Reading & Approval of the Minutes of the Oct. 28 Session

Privilege Hour

First Reading – 18 Items – Nos. 1525 – 1544, e.g. Item No. 1525 – Letter request of Leonora D. Lim for favorable endorsement for their application for reclamation with the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) for their beach resort at Times Beach; Item No. 1528 – Proposed resolution for the inspection, rehabilitation and installation of fire hydrants in strategic areas of the city; Item No. 1535 – Proposed resolution to enact an Ordinance providing guidelines for queuing of passengers of public utility vehicles in specified public places in Davao City;

3rd & Final Reading – Item No. 1018 – Reclassification of 28.6 hectares from agricultural to residential zone at Barangay Catalunan Grande;

Committee of the Whole – Item No. 1025 – PALC of Palm Grove at Barangay Matina Pangi containing an area of 13.6 hectares; Item No. 1207 – PALC of Positano Subdivision at Barangay Matina Pangi containing an area of 19.3 hectares

Unfinished Business – Item No. 875-B – Request for tax exemption by the Samahan ng mga Musikeros sa Davao, Inc.

2nd Reading (Deferred Items) – 9 Items

2nd Reading (New Items) – 5 Items, e.g. Requests for tax exemption for concerts/shows – Item No. 1287 – Ambon, Ulan, Baha featuring actor Tommy Abuel; Item No. 1311 – Laugh out loud featuring Arnel Ignacio and giselle Sanchez; and Item No. 1449 – Jose Mari Chan concert

Radical reform

Five bishops appeared at a forum Tuesday to denounce ills in our society and called for “radical reforms” and “change of government.”

Speaker Boy Nogie described the bishops’ move as “dangerous.”

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said it borders on “sedition.”

On the other hand, Chief Justice Reynaldo Puno threw his support to the bishops.

It’s not really hard where to place our bets on this new game in town.

I wonder, however, what blinded the bishops from seeing the truth during the past seven years when most Filipinos were already denouncing graft and corruption and clamoring for change.

That is the whole trouble with these new “liberators.”

Their credibility seems suspect because they have been a part and parcel of all the mess we are in. Bishops supported the ouster of Erap in the so-called People Power 2 that placed Gloria at Malacanang; they have a massive vote-watch machinery that witnessed massive cheating in the 2004 and 2007 elections and yet did not raise any howl; during the impeachments against Gloria for abuse of power, corruption, etc., they chose the convenient path not to take side and thereby signaled tolerance for the patent abuses of the administration.

Well, now, they are parroting all what most people have been cursing all these years.

I am sorry that I am pessimistic about their crusade. The bishops are not only late. Their indecision in the past has taken its toll on the nation. And I have not heard of any repentance from them. Radical reforms in our society should not be limited to government but must also include the church and other sectors and institutions.

Oct 28 City Council Agenda

Calendar of Business of the City Council Session today:

Invocation – Councilor Conrado C. Baluran (3rd District)

National Anthem; City March

Roll Call

Reading & Approval of the Minutes of the Oct 21 Session

Privilege Hour

First Reading – 24 Items (Item Nos. 1501-1524), e.g. Item No. 1519 – Proposed 2009 Annual Implementing Plan (AIP); Item No. 1520 – Proposed 2009 Annual Budget

3rd & Final Reading – Item No. 1018 – Reclassification of 28.6 hectares from agricultural to residential zone at Barangay Catalunan Grande; Item No. 1455 – Supplemental Budget No. 2 in the amount of P262.3 Million;

Committee as a Whole – Item No. 1025 – PALC for Palm Grove Subdivision at Barangay Matina Pangi with an area fo 13.6 hectares; Item No. 1207 – PALC for Positano Subdivision at Barangay Matina Pangi with an area of 19.2 hectares;

Unfinished Business – Item No. 875-B – Request for tax exemption by the Samahan ng mga Musikeros sa Davao, Inc. (SAMADHI)

2nd Reading (New Committee Reports) – 12 Items, e.g. Item No. 1216 – Establishment of the Organic Center of Davao City as proposed by the Consumer Action for Sustainable & Healthy Lifestyle Network; Item Nos. 1137, 1244, 1245, 1246, Application for Accreditation by the Tagbuan sa Nagkahiusang Katawhan, Inc., Tagakpan Water Service Cooperative, United Peoples Organization of Davao, and Tugbok Small Coconut Farmers Cooperative, respectively;

2nd Mindanao bloggers summit

Best wishes to all Mindanao bloggers who are attending the 2nd summit at General Santos City starting today.

I would not be able to make it to the Tuna Capital of the Philippines to attend the conference. I am confident though of its success following last year’s inaugural summit held here in Davao City.

With the likes of Avel of Bariles Republic at the helm and supported by the The Usual Suspects who were involved the 1st summit, things are indeed looking bright for the relevance of bloggers in this part of the virtual world.

I am truly happy that our ranks are expanding although I feel frustrated that not many public officials answered our own calls for them to use this new tool to promote government-to-citizen and citizen-to-government (G2C-C2G) communication.

Maybe by the 3rd summit more public officials, by the proximity of the 2010 elections, would embrace blogging.


Four way test for Jocjoc

The truth will set him free.

Yup, only by spilling the beans would former agriculture undersecretary Jocjoc Bolante be able to free himself from all the troubles he has created for himself. Tagged as the brains behind the P700 million fertilizer scam, Jocjoc fled to the US in 2006 to escape a Senate inquiry on the misuse and plunder of the public money meant for our farmers but ended up reportedly to fund the election of you-know-who in 2004.

His efforts to seek political asylum in the land of milk and honey failed. He languished instead in immigration cells in the US and would soon be deported back here to face the music.

A top Rotary International official, Jocjoc should tell all about the scam.

The Rotary four way test, which have been translated to 100 languages, might help him recollect how the devious scheme worked.

This is not the official Tagalog version:

Is it the Truth? Totoo bang may scam na naman tayo?

Is it Fair to all concerned? Lahat ba tayo kasali diyan?

Will it build Goodwill and better Friendships? Wala bang masasagasa-an diyan?

Will it be Beneficial to all concerned? Magkano akin diyan?

City Council oks wage hike, cash gifts

Sorry, no net at the house again this morning.

The City Council approved on 2nd Reading the Supplemental Budget No. 2 during our special session this morning. It contained P262 million, the bulk of which went to personnel services to fund the 10 percent salary adjustment for city government employees and additional compensation for job order contractuals.

We also approved cash gifts – P5,000 for Christmas and P2,000 for New Year for plantilla personnel and P2,000 for Christmas and P1,000 for New Year for contractuals.

Related story – Supplemental Budget No. 2

Note: The Davao Trade Expo (DATE 2008) will open tomorrow at the Davao Convention & Trade Center. Close to 200 exhibitors will showcase various products and services. There are also business matching, livelihhood opportunity seminars and jobs fair. The 3-day event is hosted by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry supported by many local and national agencies and corporate sponsors.

2:31 p.m.