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Hiding the truth
By Manuel Morato

Things have gone haywire. The biggest offenders of corruption have shifted to the hands of the local government officials, as we were informed by other residents in our area.
Nagwawala ngayon ang maraming local government officials passing resolutions by the City Councils “Special Permits” that will favor them, their friends, and their families by rezoning their respective cities under their control from residential areas to commercial, unknown to the residents.
By not publishing the resolutions passed, pirming nauna silang mamili ng residential lots sa murang presyo. Sa ngayon wala ng mabili dito sa aming lugar at nabili na daw ng mga local officials who were blessed with inside information.
Ang Barangay namin mismo ang nagsabi. No publication para mabili ng mura ‘yong mga house and lots, now applicable sa entire Quezon City, kasi sila lang ang may alam na na-declare na nilang commercial ang maraming areas.
That’s the biggest racket now ongoing in Quezon City. All Barangay Captains must be informed to disseminate the “new law” for the residents to know. We, the residents, were not told and simply kept in the dark. Thus, we could not even object. If not for the help of our lawyers who dug into the minutes of the City Council, we would never have known.
Mr. President, where do we run to? Who will check these “landgrabbers” in our area? This big corruption is going on – the biggest form of corruption for they buy cheap from the owners, not knowing that his/her house and lot has been re-zoned and declared commercial allowing 21 storey buildings to rise; and higher. Our parents’ ancestral home was victimized by landgrabbers through questionable ways.
President Duterte, corruption has gone to another more lucrative level. I was invited to a City Council Session about 3 weeks ago and I was surprised to witness that the owner of the property beside my 4-storey building owned by Mr. Dexter Co was granted “Special Permit” or “SP,” asked again for an additional floor to go up to 22 floors; and it was granted so fast – like selling peanuts on a sidewalk. I wonder what’s in it for them?
The wrongdoings of the past continue; and in a larger scale. Why? I really do not know. The officials who’ve been loyal to the Liberal Party are now, hypocritically and artificially, joining the ruling party in order to secure their hold on power. And by so doing, they claim to be “untouchables” again. They continue doing their shenanigans by being identified with the power that be now. When will this evil game end?
The name of the game is to outsmart the people: property owners and homeowners by keeping them absolutely uninformed of the decisions of the City Council headed by the Vice Mayor.
Ang laking pinsala nito sa aming neighborhood when one day in April this year, the three lots of my parents on which the ancestral home once stood was excavated, the ancestral home demolished in total disregard of RA 10066 of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that structures 50 years and above cannot be demolished without going through court.
RA 10066 is meant to preserve all historical sites, including ancestral homes. Not for anything, I believe my parents ancestral home deserve a little respect for having been one of the founders of Quezon City together with President Quezon who appointed my father, Tomas B. Morato, as its first Mayor in October 12, 1939, the same day the City Charter was signed.
The ancestral home of my parents on 99 Scout Gandia Street was then South 10th Street. The streets here were renamed after the Boy Scouts who died in a plane crash in Bombay, India, on their way to the Boys Scout Jamboree in Greece, I believe in the late 1960s or 1970s.
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