Mar Roxas should be wary of political rivals advice

IF I were former senator Mar Roxas I’ll think twice before I accept the post to be vacated by Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jose de Jesus, who is set to step down on July 1.

As DOTC secretary, Roxas has to make unpopular stand on many thorny issues that might displease millions of Filipinos whose votes he would need in the next presidential polls. The issues include the rising cost of transportation (tricycle, jeepney, taxi, bus and train fares), problems on cell phones with some 70 million users, irregularities on car registrations, and rising incidents of air, sea and land accidents.

Presidentiable Sen. Francis Escudero, who is known to be part of the Samar Group, a rival of the Balay Group led by Roxas during the campaign, suggested that Roxas be made the secretary of DOTC rather than presidential chief of staff allegedly to prevent a power struggle in the palace.

News report has it that the alleged offer without identifying who made the offer came at a time when Roxas had already clarified the parameters of his presidential-chief-of-staff functions. Roxas authority would also include powers as presidential adviser on political affairs, a forte of Roxas for which he is qualified being president of the Liberal Party.

REPORT TO THE PEOPLE is expected to highlight the first anniversary celebration of President Benigno Aquino III as Chief Executive of the Philippine Republic on June 30, 2011 (when he took his oath of office).

Mr. Aquino owed it to the people who gave him an overwhelming mandate of 45 million votes a full accounting of what he achieved vis-à-vis his poll campaign promises.

Does his high trust rating validate his achievements during the first of his six-year term?

In the name of transparency, President Aquino must also make a report on certain shortcomings of his administration, and what he intends to do about the problem, if there is any.

PRESIDENT AQUINO’S PLAN to move the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City to Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Puerto Princesa City should be pursued to the end.

Previous administrations had thought of it as a solution to the problem of overcrowding and gang war at the Bilibid  but because of lack of fund they failed to archive it.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Bilibid has more than 7,000 inmates, double its intended capacity.

Set up by the Americans in 1904, the Iwahig penal complex now occupied by 4,000 inmates is located on a 37-hectare property. It has farms and orchards irrigated by river and cultivated by the prisoners.

With Bilibid gone in Muntinlupa, the use of convicts in the commission of crimes like assassinations, murders and robberies, and living out privileges to rich favored inmates is expected to stop. (Email:


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