Thursday, December 8, 2022

Delivering Stories of Progress


FIRING LINE: Bantag, Marcoleta and Acuzar

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Okada Manila
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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

From dying of natural causes, Jun Villamor (real name: Cristito Villamor Palana, Jr.) was found to have been suffocated with a plastic bag over his head, based on the autopsy conducted by the country’s foremost forensic expert, Dr. Raquel Fortun.

Does it even surprise anyone that there was foul play? Of course, it was done to silence the middleman who knew end-to-end who pulled the trigger on radio commentator Percy Lapid and ordered it.

Certainly, Jun Villamor had no “insurance policy” signed by Bureau of Corrections Director General Gerald Bantag. If he did, no one would have dared touch a hair on his head.

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Bantag is naturally on the defense and angry as he feels investigating agencies are setting him up to take the fall for everything.

For all we know, he might just be another middleman. Perhaps, his best move now in this chess game – if he knows anything about the kill plot on Lapid – is to let the truth bring everyone down.

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BBM diehards are ganging up on SAGIP party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta. All he ever did was point out the obvious: a costly electric bill for the aesthetic lighting up of the San Juanico Bridge.

Many parts of the Visayas region are known to experience scheduled brownouts due to power supply and distribution woes, that electricity can be more expensive in certain areas. Many other areas are without power at all.

Marcoleta is simply calling out the government to solve the power industry’s troubles first before spiking up consumption for aesthetic purposes. Isn’t that why President Marcos recruited the best and the brightest from Aboitiz Power Corp.? Or are they just posturing to hide another agenda?

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Housing Secretary Jose Acuzar is left in a most embarrassing situation. After bearing the torch for his president, vowing to obliterate the six-million housing backlog in the country by building a million housing units a year till the end of the Marcos administration in 2028, his department gets a measly allocation of P3.95 billion for next year.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) earmarked only four percent of the fund requested by Acuzar to embark on fulfilling BBM’s promise to solve the housing shortage. It’s a shame his department has such an ambitious project, yet it gets only about half of the P7.61 billion allocated by the previous administration for housing this year.

Is the DBM making a fool out of the President? Is Marcos himself making a fool out of Acuzar? Or are they all just fooling us?

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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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