Thursday, July 18, 2024

Delivering Stories of Progress


FIRING LINE By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

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Another one gets the ax

What do you expect? Manila elected a former trash collector as its mayor. Now, the young and vibrant Isko Moreno is ridding the city of its garbage, both literally and figuratively.

As reported in both social and mainstream media, the indefatigable Isko, who seems to have the energy of a born reformer, has achieved so much, in just 30 days. He has spruced up parks and clearing the streets of illegal vendors and illicit transport terminals.

No wonder, he has earned praise and admiration from city residents.

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The mayor had Carriedo Street in Quiapo cleared of illegal hawkers and trash two weeks ago. Last week, he ordered the relief of the police community precinct (PCP) commander who has jurisdiction over it after he discovered, during a surprise visit to the street, that the vendors had returned and mounds of trash had rendered it impassable.

Everyone is aware that ordering the relief of a police officer due to negligence or corruption in his area of responsibility is nothing new to the Manila mayor.

After finding tons of human waste scattered at the Bonifacio Shrine and having stepped on one, Isko ordered the relief of the Plaza Lawton PCP commander recently.

Before that, the mayor axed nine members of the Meisic Police Station 11 in Binondo, including their station commander, for allegedly extorting money from illegal vendors.

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During the city’s flag-raising ceremony last week, Isko threatened to fire all personnel of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) if they did not point to the person who was caught on Facebook video extorting money from a family riding on a motorcycle.

The visibly irked mayor said he would not tolerate extortion and threatened to entrap and file charges against lawbreakers.

Hours later, Isko along with law enforcement officers presented to the media Ricardo Galit, the traffic enforcer caught on video. The mayor took his ID card and vest and fired him.

The mayor said Galit was right to stop the family for failing to wear helmets as they passed near the corner of Fugoso St. and Rizal Avenue. The traffic enforcer’s biggest mistake, however, was accepting a bribe from the family.

Again, how many corrupt cops or city traffic personnel would have to be axed for the mayor to accomplish his promise to rid the city of its garbage?

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at

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