Just when one thought that the pro-Duterte bloggers led by their queen, Communications Asst. Secretary Mocha Uson, have gotten the better of their critics in the opposition in the recent Senate public information committee hearing, lo and behold we see cracks developing in their united front.
The cracks came via lawyer Bruce Rivera who chastised fellow pro-Duterte bloggers Sass Sasot and Thinking Pinoy administrator Ramon Nieto for supposedly conspiring to spread the fake news that Vice President Leni Robredo is pregnant.
Though Rivera later dismissed and described his online harangue with Nieto and others as “away bakla (gay quarrel)” and clarified that pro-Duterte bloggers “don’t spread fake news,” his disclosure should alarm the public — yes, even diehard Duterte fanatics — on the all-too-real prospect that this administration is quite adept at spreading black propaganda against its political enemies and are employing taxpayers’ money to fuel their misinformation campaign.
As per latest report, Nieto — who boasted that his consultancy contract isn’t enough to cover his taxi fares — claimed that he will quit and donate the amount left over from his consultancy contract with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to his favorite charity, whatever it is.
Then again, will the DFA pay him the amount given as to how he belittled his ties with the agency? Administration critics can only snort in disgust and say good riddance at this development. The DFA hierarchy, the government and the Filipino people won’t be helpless with Nieto’s exit.
* * *
Whatever one can say about Presidential Asst. for the Visayas Michael Dino, at least he didn’t overreact on the surface to news about his alleged neglect of families displaced by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
Though I did hear from some sources that Dino mentioned “certain politicians” that are eager to see him fail, his office made the prudent decision to allow the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate these groups that are supposedly trying to use President Rodrigo Duterte’s name to fast-track their transactions with government agencies.
Then again, Dino’s preoccupation with Cebu City’s transport situation and his persistent lobbying against the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project may be to blame for whatever inadequacies he may have in dealing with the rehabilitation of areas that were devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda nearly four years ago.
The rehabilitation and rebuilding alone would necessitate full-time attention and work, yet Dino still finds time to involve himself in Cebu City’s political scene, being overheard several times how the city would be different if some other mayor was in place, in a nod to Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella.
Since it is still a year and several months away to the next election, it’s best for Dino to focus on the tasks mandated to him by his boss President Duterte and leave local concerns to local officials.
* * *
I really don’t care so much about Dino and Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s political intramurals insomuch as I am concerned about the fate of the BRT which should be allowed to work for the city residents since they deserve a better mass transport system now than wait for decades more for another untested one that may prove to be more expensive and damaging to the landscape.
Speaking of which, there are some developments I saw on my Facebook feed about a monorail project being developed in some metropolitan areas in the country including Cebu.
I am of the opinion that monorails or train systems should be situated at the outskirts rather than in the middle or some areas of a town or city. We don’t need to constrict existing road space with these elevated rails nor should we have to widen roads to accommodate them.
Elevated monorails shouldn’t be built since, like the skywalks and flyovers, they tend to block the skyline, i.e., the people’s view of the sky which is one of the very few things that reminds us of our living connection to nature that is now being obstructed by our asphalt and concrete roads and streets as well as our high-rise structures of glass, steel and concrete.