BEFORE proceeding, here’s expressing my sincerest condolence and that of the National Press Club (NPC) on the demise over the weekend of the mother of my own “mommy” at People’s Tonight, my managing editor, Tess Lardizabal.
Condolence po ulit sa iyo at sa buong pamilya, ‘Mommy Tess.’
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‘With a grain of salt,’ so to speak, waterfront stakeholders still welcomed the “suspicion” aired last week by ‘Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta’ (PBA) partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles that smuggling syndicates could have succeeded in “hacking” the computer system of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) that resulted to the “smooth release,’ as it was, of 605 kilos of shabu from China two months ago right under the noses of our customs officials.
“If even half of what the good congressman from Davao has claimed is true, then it should be sufficient basis for Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to remove those he entrusted at the BoC to protect the country from the menace of smuggling that now includes the entry into the country of illegal drugs,” said our usual crowd of veteran sources there.
Their own suspicion of doubt as to the smugglers’ capability to hack the bureau’s computer system is over the fact that as things now stand at the bureau, almost nothing there escape the close scrutiny (and guarding) of the former rebel soldiers from the ‘Grupong Magdalo.’
In particular, the bureau’s own computer system, thru deputy commissioner for management information system technology group (MISTG) Gerardo Gambala, is also under the Magdalo’s effective control and supervision.
DCM Gambala has been at his post for almost one year now together with the group of former soldiers grouped under the Magdalo brought into the agency by Comm. Nick Faeldon.
Thus, for Cong. Nograles to suggest that he has not yet “mastered” his job by now -- to include frustrating smugglers’ effort to hack the bureau’s computer system -- is to discredit DCM Gambala’s own talent and capability or, stated differently, to highlight his total incompentence, err, inability, to do his job properly.
Cong. Nograles’ statement should be placed in the context of the looming congressional investigation being proposed right after PDU30’s SONA (State of the Nation Address) next Monday, July 24, on the truly scandalous arrival of the aforesaid 605 kilos of shabu two months ago.
And “fortunately” for everybody, the close relationship that Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) director and former Phil. Marines spokesman, Neil Estrella, has managed to establish with Chinese customs and intelligence officials, resulted to his being “tipped off” about the shabu’s arrival and which, in turn, resulted to their being confiscated before they could be distributed down to street-level pushers.
The ‘War Against Illegal Drugs’ is the one campaign where the credibility of the entire Duterte administration would rise or fall.
It is thus expected that everyone, our lawmakers included, should express their pro-active concern in solving any “systemic failure” within the executive branch that resulted to illegal drugs remaining as our foremost problem to date.
Here’s hoping that the scheduled hearing would proceed as announced for a lot of people are hedging their “bets” if it would be able to not only unmask the “truth” about the incident but also, where the blame should be correctly placed. Abangan!!!
Tinatawagan natin ang lahat ng mga pangulo ng mga press corps sa buong Metro Manila na “makiisa” sa gagawin nating “pasasalamat” ngayong Miyerkules, Hulyo 19, sa mga opisyales ng Philippine Army at sa mga sundalo mula sa 564th Engineering Construction Battalion, 51st Engineering Brigade, sa kanilang ginawang “pagpipintura” sa buong gusali ng National Press Club.
Opo, mga “kapatid” sa media, “guwapong-guwapo” na po ang ating ‘second home’ at marapat lang na pasalamatan natin ang ating kasundaluhan sa ginawa nilang ‘voluntary service’ sa NPC.
Mayroon tayong simpleng “seremonya” bukas at pagkatapos nito ay magkakaroon tayo ng ‘boodle fight.’ ‘Lunchtime,’ mga kapatid ang ‘call in time,’ hane?
Sa araw naman ng Biyernes, Hulyo 21, tinatawagan ang lahat ng kasapi ng media, partikular na sa buong Metro Manila, na makiisa sa ating gagawing “alay-dugo” (bloodletting campaign) para sa hanay ng ating kasundaluhan at kapulisan na nakikipaglaban sa mga teroristang grupo sa Marawi City.
Gaganapin natin ang proyektong ito sa ‘Sky Dome’ ng SM North EDSA, simula sa ika-8 ng umaga hanggang sa ika-6 nang gabi.
Sa proyektong ito, “kapit-bisig” ang NPC at ang SM Cares/SM Group sa pangunguna ni Ms. Maria Elena Bautista-Horn, SM vice president for corporate affairs.
Kasama rin natin dito siyempare ang Phil. National Red Cross (PNRC), Phil. Army, Phil. National Police at iba pang mga pribadong grupo na naniniwalang “panahon na” upang kahit paano ay maipakita natin sa ating mga sundalo at pulis ang ating “pasasalamat” sa ipinapakita nilang “kabayanihan.”
Ang ating panawagan para sa ‘blood donation’ ay para na rin sa ating mga masugid na mambabasa at sa iba pa nating mga kababayan. ‘Share blood, give life!’