Saturday, October 1, 2022

Delivering Stories of Progress


FIRING LINE: PNP Chief says ‘life is beautiful’

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

In spite of science-based opposition from health experts who say unmasking in public places is premature given the prevalent risk of spreading COVID-19, President Marcos has come out with an Executive Order making wearing face masks optional in outdoor areas.

It shows that President Bongbong’s priorities put unmasking of the public to calculated risk of infection ahead of unmasking hoarders, smugglers, and corrupt officials involved in agricultural smuggling.

*      *      *

Last Sunday morning, many Metro Manilans tasted life without electricity, with power outages experienced throughout most of the capital region. However, for us in Quezon City, electricity was restored, thankfully, after less than an hour.

Little did we realize then that the power outages extended as far north as Ilocos and down south as Bicol, along with many provinces in between. Reason: At least 3,627 MW of power were lost from the grid when seven power plants went on a forced shutdown.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) called the incident “simultaneous forced outages,” which Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla assured were temporary since there is no prevailing fuel supply constraint.

Experts in the energy industry are saying otherwise. So now is the best time for Lotilla to prove he’s not in that position on account of his “power connections.”

*      *      *

Much is desired of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at this time when sensational crimes are on the rise, particularly the latest reports of kidnapping, syndicated crime, and crimes of passion.

Netizens have openly criticized the PNP leadership for lacking a punch, comparing it disparagingly to the tenure of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa as Chief PNP when criminals ended up dead at dark street corners.

Early this week, Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. answered his vilest critics by saying “life is beautiful” and that death was an easy way out for evildoers – who he’d rather see languish in jail to pay for their crimes.

What can I say? I agree with you, General Azurin, sir!

*      *      *

House Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto – a long-time lawmaker in both chambers of Congress – pointed out that the last time the government funded the establishment of a school library was way back in 2006.

The 16 years that followed had the Department of Education (DepEd) allot zero for libraries in all public schools nationwide. So is it a coincidence that the Philippines now ranks last among 79 nations in the latest survey on school children’s reading comprehension?

I recall Madam Inday Sara Duterte once saying during the campaign, “let me educate you,” in jest. So maybe the Vice President better take her viral jokes seriously.

*      *      *

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

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