Champion of his people

THERE’S logic to a proposal tossed by Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza to train and deploy so-called bus marshals that would detect, deter and suppress hostile acts that target public buses, terminals and passengers.

Saying this is just a thing, however, doing it is another matter. Can the national government or the police and military organizations be able to fund expensive trainings for would-be marshals and sustain the same for much longer time?

It would be another frank measure floated by the lady governor who apparently is no stranger to lawmaking as she’s a former three-term member of Congress but methinks the government or specifically the administration of PNoy wouldn’t mind giving extra attention to it as it would definitely treat the proposal a minute thing that neither deserves time nor effort.

But since PNoy himself has ordered the training of a special force that would deal mainly on future incidents like the August 23 botched rescue of Chinese Hong Kong tourists, why can’t the government include training for bus marshals as part of capability-building?

Taliño-Mendoza’s insistence is understandable that’s if to mention the recent brutal bomb attack on a public bus in Matalam, Cotabato in which 10 passengers were killed and wounded 30 others. “People are tired and sick of these attacks on buses that have already cost us so many human lives. These are difficult times that call for highly aggressive countermeasures to guard the riding public,” she says.

In her proposal, marshals should be able to operate individually without any back up, and possess the highest standard for handgun precision and they should integrate with commuters and rely on extraordinary training in criminal behavior recognition, firearms proficiency, close quarters combat techniques, bus specific tactics, and investigative methods.

She adds: “The marshal service is a practical and sensible solution to the growing number of hooligans — terrorists, armed robbers and extortionists — preying on buses not just in Mindanao, but also in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.”

But in this country where crime incidents occur even in front of police precincts or barangay hall or town hall and the latest global embarrassment the Quirino Grandstand hostage-taking fiasco that killed eight HK nationals, I don’t think the national government can be able to set it in motion with earnestness. Dare.


In Navotas City, Mayor John Rey Tiangco forms a special task force to ensure a trouble-free observance of this year’s All Souls/Saints Day dubbed as “Oplan Undas 2010.”

Directing the concerned city officials and their respective departments to closely coordinate with one another, the mayor was particularly concerned about the strict implementation of existing measures like those prohibitions inside and within cemetery premises. These are bringing of liquor and deadly weapons, gambling, entering half-naked, littering, and illegal tapping of electricity.

The city has been boasting of zero-apprehension of violators in the past because residents, according to the mayor, have become accustomed to the strict enforcement of ordinances that they have decided to obey religiously rather than getting caught and penalized by the local government that spares no one may he be police officer, a government employee or even a media man.


Vice President Jojo Binay was all praises for the housing programs initiated by the Valenzuela City government that benefit thousands of informal settlers who were relocated through in-city resettlement projects.

Well, Mayor Win Gatchalian really deserves such recognition from the second highest government official of the land because, if my memory serves right, the former could be among the first to initiate such programs in which affected urban poor families living in dangerous places or public properties designed for redevelopment or infrastructure facilities, among others, are resettled within the city, a stark contrast to other local government units that espouse relocations outside its realm.

Binay and National Housing Authority General Manager Chito Cruz are in unison in singing praises for the Valenzuela chief executive for his “contribution in advocating and promoting efficient delivery of housing strategies, programs and projects.”

The Vice President, also the concurrent chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), further says: “Mayor Gatchalian is truly a champion of his constituents when he fully supports in-city resettlement” of around 2, 400 residents affected by the massive North Rail Project.”

With the help from NHA and other concerned agencies, the city government has managed to put up Northville 1 and 2 relocation sites in Barangay Bignay where affected informal settlers including those whose homes were swept away by last year’s typhoon Ondoy have been relocated in the area with sufficient amenities and easy access to schools and other nearby institutions and establishments. Arlie Calalo


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