‘Away bakla’ and po­lit­i­cal squab­bles

Cebu Daily News - - OPINION - STEPHEN CAPILLAS

Just when one thought that the proDuterte blog­gers led by their queen, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Asst. Sec­re­tary Mocha Uson, have got­ten the bet­ter of their crit­ics in the op­po­si­tion in the re­cent Se­nate pub­lic in­for­ma­tion com­mit­tee hear­ing, lo and be­hold we see cracks de­vel­op­ing in their united front.

The cracks came via lawyer Bruce Rivera who chas­tised fel­low pro-Duterte blog­gers Sass Sa­sot and Think­ing Pi­noy ad­min­is­tra­tor Ra­mon Ni­eto for sup­pos­edly con­spir­ing to spread the fake news that Vice Pres­i­dent Leni Ro­bredo is preg­nant.

Though Rivera later dis­missed and de­scribed his on­line ha­rangue with Ni­eto and oth­ers as “away bakla (gay quar­rel)” and clar­i­fied that pro-Duterte blog­gers “don’t spread fake news,” his dis­clo­sure should alarm the pub­lic — yes, even diehard Duterte fa­nat­ics — on the all-too-real prospect that this ad­min­is­tra­tion is quite adept at spread­ing black pro­pa­ganda against its po­lit­i­cal en­e­mies and are em­ploy­ing tax­pay­ers’ money to fuel their mis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign.

As per lat­est re­port, Ni­eto — who boasted that his con­sul­tancy con­tract isn’t enough to cover his taxi fares — claimed that he will quit and do­nate the amount left over from his con­sul­tancy con­tract with the Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs (DFA) to his fa­vorite char­ity, what­ever it is.

Then again, will the DFA pay him the amount given as to how he be­lit­tled his ties with the agency? Ad­min­is­tra­tion crit­ics can only snort in dis­gust and say good rid­dance at this de­vel­op­ment. The DFA hi­er­ar­chy, the gov­ern­ment and the Filipino peo­ple won’t be help­less with Ni­eto’s exit.

*** What­ever one can say about Pres­i­den­tial Asst. for the Visayas Michael Dino, at least he didn’t over­re­act on the sur­face to news about his al­leged ne­glect of fam­i­lies dis­placed by Su­per Typhoon Yolanda.

Though I did hear from some sources that Dino men­tioned “cer­tain politi­cians” that are ea­ger to see him fail, his of­fice made the pru­dent de­ci­sion to al­low the Na­tional Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (NBI) to in­ves­ti­gate these groups that are sup­pos­edly try­ing to use Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s name to fast-track their trans­ac­tions with gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

Then again, Dino’s pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with Cebu City’s trans­port sit­u­a­tion and his per­sis­tent lob­by­ing against the Bus Rapid Tran­sit (BRT) project may be to blame for what­ever in­ad­e­qua­cies he may have in deal­ing with the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of ar­eas that were dev­as­tated by Su­per Typhoon Yolanda nearly four years ago.

The re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and re­build­ing alone would ne­ces­si­tate full-time at­ten­tion and work, yet Dino still finds time to in­volve him­self in Cebu City’s po­lit­i­cal scene, be­ing over­heard sev­eral times how the city would be dif­fer­ent if some other mayor was in place, in a nod to Vice Mayor Edgardo La­bella.

Since it is still a year and sev­eral months away to the next elec­tion, it’s best for Dino to fo­cus on the tasks man­dated to him by his boss Pres­i­dent Duterte and leave lo­cal con­cerns to lo­cal of­fi­cials.

*** I re­ally don’t care so much about Dino and Cebu City Mayor To­mas Os­meña’s po­lit­i­cal in­tra­mu­rals in­so­much as I am con­cerned about the fate of the BRT which should be al­lowed to work for the city res­i­dents since they de­serve a bet­ter mass trans­port sys­tem now than wait for decades more for another untested one that may prove to be more ex­pen­sive and dam­ag­ing to the land­scape.

Speak­ing of which, there are some de­vel­op­mentsI­sawon­myFace­book­feed­abouta­mono­rail project be­ing de­vel­oped in some met­ro­pol­i­tan ar­eas in the coun­try in­clud­ing Cebu.

I am of the opinion that mono­rails or train sys­tems should be sit­u­ated at the out­skirts rather than in the mid­dle or some ar­eas of a town or city. We don’t need to con­strict ex­ist­ing road space with these el­e­vated rails nor should we have to widen roads to ac­com­mo­date them.

El­e­vated mono­rails shouldn’t be built since, like the sky­walks and fly­overs, they tend to block the sky­line, i.e., the peo­ple’s view of the sky which is one of the very few things that re­minds us of our liv­ing con­nec­tion to na­ture that is now be­ing ob­structed by our as­phalt and con­crete roads and streets as well as our high­rise struc­tures of glass, steel and con­crete.

The Way It Is sb­d­c­starkiller1234@ya­hoo.com

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