Suspend CCT program

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SINCE it’s Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes, himself, was the one branding the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) as a political program, it is but proper for the poll body to be on tight guard against candidates especially those allied with the Aquino administration who may exploit it to support their bid in next year’s elections.

There are clamors for the suspension of CCT, which the government describes as an anti-poverty program.

However and for sure, its proponents especially the Department of Social Welfare and Development would not buy it.

Besides,  whether or not  they admit it, the cash dole-outs can be used as a tool by politicians from the ruling party to lure votes in the May 2013 midterm polls. What’s very sure is that those allied with the President stand to gain heavily under the highly politicized cash distribution scheme of the national government.

With that, all the Comelec can do now is to issue stern warning against those who try to take advantage of the CCT program and come up with penalty to those who exploit it for their vested interests come 2013 elections.

Knowing the poll chief fully well, he can bravely do it in the interest of fair and orderly elections.

Crackdown on Drug Dens

The joint team of the Navotas City government and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has struck anew, this time raiding at least two suspected drug dens where they caught two men into drugs and seized several drug users’ paraphernalia.

Thanks to Mayor John Rey Tiangco’s TEXT JRT campaign which encourages concerned residents to report to him suspected drug dens as well as drug peddlers and dependents in their communities for immediate actions.

To cite records, the no-nonsense and no let-up anti-illegal drugs drive of the city government has resulted in the arrest of over 100 persons en-gaged in illegal drugs activities since January this year.

Most of them, according to the mayor, had been charged in court.

Vigilance on FOI

With House Bill 43 otherwise known as the “Freedom of Information” hurdling the committee level at last, various stakeholders led by the National Press Club (NPC) should be doubly vigilant as there are attempts to insert as one of its provisions the Right to Reply (RoR).

NPC President Benny Antiporda observes that the call by some quarters for the inclusion of RoR provision in the bill is “not only uncalled for but utterly unnecessary.”

“To include the RoR is to emasculate the FOI’s intention. “It should also be pointed out that in our democratic system it is the duty of the government to be transparent at all times,” he says.

The NPC, of which yours truly is member of its board, is willing to sit down with congressmen and those in the executive branch to address issues pertaining to national security that have been raised during committee debates by some lawmakers.

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