Issue of October 7, 2018
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Something smells in La Trinidad, Benguet and it isn’t just chicken dung

For many years, those who are in the twilight of their lives (yours included) all wanted to do is to smell the flowers with every passing day, particularly roses in bloom.

But in the Rose Capital of the country, the smell that assails your nostrils is the chicken dung, a profitable business actually.

But the sale, storage, and disposal of chicken dung, even as early as during the term of former mayor Greg Abalos, was prohibited by an administrative order he issued.

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In a written complaint addressed to Punong Barangay Jefrey C. Maslag, signed by over hundred residents of Shilan, La Trinidad, they appealed for the stoppage of the sale of chicken dung on the following grounds:

1. The chicken dung causes foul odor that affects the health, especially the children and elderly;

2. The chicken dung selling is operating without a business permit from the municipality;

3. The selling of chicken dung causes traffic;

4. There was a court decision declaring the selling of chicken dung within La Trinidad as a nuisance;

5. There was an administrative order by Mayor Gregorio T. Abalos, prohibiting the sale, storage, and disposal of dung in the municipality; and

6. Municipal Ordinance 7-2018 governing and regulating the sale, disposal, storage and transportation of chicken dung in the municipality was vetoed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

It appears, however, that in response to the clamor of residents to put a stop to the sale of chicken dung, barangay and municipal authorities are rather selective.

For example, the operation of one Alvin Telsan was stopped but the operation of one Rose Talliones, who has been dropping hints about her alleged connections, was allowed to continue, claiming that she had already talked to the mayor about the matter.

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Well, there will be midterm elections in 2019, and one can’t help but suspect that campaign funds may have something to do with it.

Even during the time of mayor Nestor Fongwan, chicken dung was already a big business and has grown much bigger since then.

But a mayor’s priority, although seeking re-election, is to listen to the voice of his constituents, and quickly address their concerns.

One may be able to assemble a campaign machinery coming from large contributions given by supporters with agendas of their own, but a disgruntled electorate will quickly offset a well-financed campaign.

If the plea of the residents is left unheeded, I would not be surprised if Shilan will have a new barangay captain, and possibly a new mayor in 2019.

All it takes actually to win the votes in Shilan is an administrative order by His Honor, Mayor Romeo Salda.

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Halleluyah (?) Marcos is risen, but sporting a new face, and his Philippine National Police chief is beginning to sound like General Fabian Ver.

The communist bogey was Marcos’s favorite line or play in his time, by way of convincing the people that the country was in jeopardy.

And to sweeten the pot and for good measure, spook the people some more with stories about plots to overthrow the duly constituted government.

Before we go on, allow us to sneak in another seeming similarity.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV likes to picture himself as the new Ninoy Aquino, but he neither has the brains nor the following to back him up. He could well be, however, the Pied Piper who would lead us to drown ourselves in water.

The trouble is that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is making Trillanes look good, so the people are down to choosing from two villains, or better yet, two actors portraying roles that suit their respective agendas.

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On the other hand, the Liberal Party, by making Vice Pres. Leni Robredo its titular head, given the fake notion that Robredo is the next Cory Aquino, has weakened, rather than straightened the party.

The country is still in the dark if indeed she is the duly elected vice president, and to give it a semblance of truth, her Rasputin, lawyer Romulo Makalintal, keeps on saying they will overcome the protest filed by Bongbong Marcos.

But many people keep asking themselves, how can a lead of two million votes be wiped out overnight?

But in politics, half a magic is as good as any. Kung hindi makaya ni Duterte, at least the Marcos advance back to pawn was stopped dead in its tracks.

Why worry about the Marcoses when all those who came after Marcos all thread his footsteps? Except for Cory, all wanted to extend their terms – Fidel Ramos considered re-election and a two-term presidency, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was more successful than Ramos. Erap’s dreams was cut short, and PNoy wanted actually to stay longer via extension through Mar Roxas.

In the case of Duterte, do not read his lips, just watch his body movements.

In the meantime, brace yourselves for another round of martial law. It is not going to be called that, but the next happenings will be the same time.

Former prosecutor Duterte is no fool, like prosecutors are no fools, contrary to the mistaken belief of private practitioners.

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