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Incompetence also a face of corruption

04:27 AM April 13, 2015

Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay was ordered suspended over alleged irregularities he committed while in office. But he defied the order by barricading himself inside the Makati City Hall, protected by a horde of “supporters” who staged a rollicking, fun-filled fiesta at the City Hall quadrangle, complete with free food and drinks, T-shirt giveaways, crappy movies and stage shows.

Senior citizens were seen in a photo with ready meals of cooked rice, chicken and spaghetti which they could not have bought or brought themselves (Front Page, 3/14/15). So who shouldered the humongous expenses incurred by this unlawful assembly?

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Judge Raphael Yrastorza of the Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 14 ordered the Balili family to return P38 million (part of the P99 million) they received from the Cebu provincial government for the sale of a 24.9-hectare property in Naga town in 2008. A geodetic survey, conducted after environmentalists questioned the deal, revealed that eight hectares of the area is submerged in seawater while 1.4 hectares is a mangrove forest. Even more shocking was the finding that 20.2 hectares out of the total 24.9 hectares is public and inalienable land which may not be owned or sold by a private entity. This judge completely absolved and exonerated Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu’s second district; she was the governor when the deal was consummated. The judge defended her by saying, “A buyer of a registered land need only to rely upon the title of a registered land and has no obligation to look beyond such title.”

Only a fool will buy real estate worth P99 million on the mere say-so of a Torrens title, without bothering to actually see it. What happened to due diligence? It is a bigger fool who will return money he no longer has, having spent it on the understanding that it was his to spend and that the buyer knew what he was getting into when he released the money to the seller. Yet, here we have no less than a judge saying that “Garcia should not be blamed for buying the submerged lots.”

A “DENR exec says 3-km wall in Lingayen natural” (Across the Nation, 3/14/15).  How can this Department of Environment and Natural Resources official not know that it’s very, very stupid to say that a three-kilometer wall built by men and machines, a wall that did not exist when God made Pangasinan, is “natural”? Drake Matias has no business defending the golf course development project. He should be protecting the interest of the people and the environment.

Regional director Victoria Abrera of DENR-Ilocos Region’s Environmental Management Bureau also dismissed the allegation that black sand mining was being carried out in the area, saying, “there was no activity or any earth movement, only stockpiled black sand which was extracted from the golf course itself.” Here we have proof of the cadaver, yet she says there was no murder?

Is it not the pinnacle of bungling incompetence and stupidity to waste and sacrifice the lives of 44 young, well-trained Special Action Force commandos just to get rid of one terrorist? Is incompetence on the job not also a face or facet of corruption?

Errors like these blight and ruin us all. Left unchallenged and not corrected, to be committed again and again with impunity, these errors tend to collectively build and bolster our unenviable reputation as a “nation of dunces,” a country of tofu-brained corrupt and corruptible automatons whose total and comprehensive understanding of the concept of happiness is to exchange honor and dignity for a packed lunch of chicken and spaghetti! If our elders can be bought this cheap, what is to stop our children from selling and prostituting themselves just as cheaply?

This is the reason why the most recent Pulse Asia survey showed Jejomar Binay leading the 2016 race for the presidency. Trailing him are Sen. Grace Poe, Joseph Estrada, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago and Bongbong Marcos. Even dogs, pigs, parrots and mice can be taught tricks and can learn lessons requiring intelligence, critical thinking and discernment. But, very sadly, not us.

Antonio Calipjo Go ([email protected]) is the academic supervisor of Marian School of Quezon City.

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TAGS: court, DENR, elders, Junjun Binay, suspension, Victoria Abrera
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