Throwing their weight

POLITICALLY correct idiom would be “throw one’s weight around.” The gangster parlance is “leaning”. Quietly giving the push, it often turns to shove on someone until it hurts, or bleeds so something’s got to give, usually pecuniary or anything coveted by the depraved.

Criminals and politicos— often of the same stripe and belong to the same diatribe—resort to such vileness. They’ll pick on the vulnerable and the weak out of caprice or for the sheer fun and funds from bullying.

Take the case of a real estate project in Quezon City . Hardly had the ground been turned when the Marikina government seems to have taken a keen interest in it. Local executives want to dip their fingers or claws, more likely get their beaks wet picking at the project. Alarums are raised, cackle and heckle plied out on how such an undertaking endangers the city due to supposed dumping on the Marikina River  of soil dug off the project site. Marikina wants the project on dead halt.

Their concern seems sane enough, probably borne of lucid moments. The project lies outside their territory… so they’ll likely dun the developer to produce an Environmental Compliance Certificate to hush real or imagined fears that the development wouldn’t touch off dire impact on the city they seek to protect.

Why, they haven’t dug up relevant historical records showing the consequent flood-line of howlers similar to Ondoy’s— then again, hindsight shows the areas unsuitable for real estate development  that likely sinks in Ondoy-type flooding are in Marikina. Para palang gunggong na kalapit-bahay… sa halip tumutok sa sariling pamamahay at pamumuhay, mambubulahaw sa ginagawa ng kalapit na nakasubsob sa makabuluhang proyekto.

Payo nga sa mga sagabal sa pagsulong: Duc, sequere, aut de via decede – lead, follow, or get out of the way…

A quick check unearths some surprising facts. Was there dumping on the Marikina River ? Uh, the developer was digging soil along the riverbanks. In effect, it was improving the flow of water along Marikina River and boosting measures to prevent floods.

A little research also reveals that the riverbanks being dug– not dumped on– was on land owned by the developer. MMDA ought to send its thanks for the dredging operations on the banks submerged by water over the decades… such operations means those portions of the river can accommodate greater volumes of flooding.

So what gives? Why is the Marikina government so keen on putting pressure on the project, considering that this serves as boon rather than a bane for the city?

The threat of “executive action” looming the project over supposed illegal construction practices boggles the sane mind. Ah, something interesting turns up: one of the contractors involved in the project is a company owned by the family of the city’s extant chieftain.

Could this be the reason why the current leaders of the city are “leaning” on this real estate project, because they are out to embarrass a political rival, especially one who seems gearing up for a comeback in 2013?

We only wish they try throwing their weight in gold, mwa-ha-ha-haw! Dong delos Reyes


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