Bad news, good news

"Why can’t our officials think out of the box?"

The Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine brings both good and bad news to many of us.

The good news is that with limited activity allowed, the number of COVID-19 cases will likely go down.

The bad news is people who go to work can no longer avail of public transport, and that jeepney drivers are back into begging along the streets. Many employees now have to walk to their places of work.

This may be only for two weeks until August 18. Still, the aggravation is there. The Department of Labor and Employment estimates that some six million people are affected. Santa Banana, do you know what it means to be out of work or not having food on the table? Many of workers and laborers are just casual, not regular, employees.

What is difficult to understand is why the implementers of the MECQ cannot foresee the implications of that they are doing. They perform their jobs like robots.

Why can’t they think out of the box?

For his part, President Duterte, a lawyer, must also be blamed for not requiring those involved to look at the problem, plus its implications, in its entirety. My gulay, it’s almost always like that. Government people never think out of the box. They just do what they are told.


It should be clear to people by now that the shutdown of the Lopez-owned ABS-CBN radio and television network was due to the denial by the House of Representatives of the renewal of its 25- year franchise. It had nothing to do with press freedom since the grant of a franchise to a public utility is a privilege, not a right, granted by government.

Congress did not suppress nor stop the journalists of ABS-CBN from exercising their press freedom. In fact, the very act of employees and executives of ABS-CBN denouncing the shutdown of the Lopez-owned network shows that they can exercise of press freedom. My gulay, why don’t they look at themselves in the mirror?

What saddens me is the fact that some sectors of media themselves have been denouncing the alleged suppression of press freedom with the denial of the renewal of the 25-year old franchise of the network. Prestigious sectors of the press themselves like the FOCAP or the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines and even well-known journalists who are advocates of press freedom have joined the fray in expressing their sympathy for the Lopez-owned network as an “assault on press freedom.”

In a commencement address at the University of the Philippines Mass Communications class, Ging Reyes, for instance, took advantage of the occasion in claiming that the denial of the 25-year franchise of ABS-CBN was part and parcel of a pattern to suppress press freedom in the Philippines. I don’t blame her since she has to parrot what the Lopezes want their executives and employees have to say.

What sadden me more than anything else is that whenever somebody is convicted for libel, for instance, like Maria Ressa of Rappler for committing cyberlibel, it’s an assault of press freedom. Or, if Ressa were charged with tax evasion as she was, it’s also an assault on press freedom. Santa Banana, this so-called assault on press freedom is becoming a big joke!


I still cannot get over the non-action by President Duterte no less that incident when no less than the police officer in charge of the National Capital Region Major General Debold Sinas violated an imposition of a health protocol like not wearing masks and observe social distancing. His subordinates serenaded him with a “mañanita,” since it was his birthday. It was all over traditional and social media, and yet Sinas was not even reprimanded. And yet, other violators of health protocols get arrested and thrown into jail.

My gulay, it’s instances like these why people have less trust and confidence on the police. It’s also instances like these that people at times doubt Duterte’s pledge that he won’t tolerate shenanigans from people in government.

Santa Banana, what ever happened to the investigation of the deaths of no less than 19 convicts at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa whose names and causes of death were not known?

The National Bureau of Investigation was tasked by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to look into the matter. There were theories that some of those who had died were well-known drug lords behind bars. They could have been listed as dead to enable them to go scot-free.

This was later on denied by the Bureau of Corrections Officer-in-Charge. The names of those who died some allegedly by coronavirus and other diseases came out later. But, the whole story of these mysterious deaths still has to be told. How come nobody is talking?

Topics: Emil Jurado , Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine , MECQ , COVID-19 , ABS-CBN radio and television network , National Capital Region Major General Debold Sinas
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