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Rough Cuts | Tap the CIO

We could only wonder why Councilor Conrado Baluran has to sponsor the passage of a resolution in the City Council to raise people’s awareness on the existence of Ordinance No. 0417-18 or “The Special Incentive Package Parking Spaces in Davao City.” Is the local government bereft of communication units to take care of undertaking what is or are necessary in order for the people to be kept abreast with what the city and its officials are doing?
At the Sangguniang Panlungsod level it has the Committee on Information and Communication chaired by first district councilor Mabel Sunga-Acosta. Baluran can easily approach the lady councilor and take up with her the need to drum up people awareness on this very timely and significant ordinance.

We believe that Baluran and Acosta can easily convene the latter’s committee so it can discuss strategies to bring to the attention of the public why such an ordinance was crafted and the benefits it can give to those who will take advantage of the local legislation.

And easily, Acosta’s committee can invite representatives from the City Information Office (CIO) to serve as resource persons in devising an effective awareness campaign especially on important ordinances that will impact on people’s lives.

We can also be certain that if Acosta’s committee is convened it would not only be the issue of awareness on Ordinance No. 0417-18 that will be tackled. The possibility is that the SP information body will be able to know the program and projects of the CIO in connection with its mandate to communicate to the people what the local government is doing for them.

If the CIO has existing programs and projects the SP’s information and communication committee could probably work for the enhancement of the CIO budget so that the implementation will be assured.

Really it’s a waste of time, and even money, if the City Council comes up with supposedly important legislations but after its signing by the City Mayor these just become simple documents piled in the SP journals and hidden in pitch darkness inside cabinets at the legislative building.

In fact we are aware of so many ordinances that the City Council has passed and after the initial media hoopla these end up without implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for years. As to Ordinance No. 0417 Series of 2018, we doubt if it has its IRR already. If it does not, then it could also be another reason that no one so far has come to City Hall to expressed intention to avail of it.

Well, we may be tempted to interpret councilor Baluran’s resolution as kind of an incontrovertible proof that some members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod are not communicating with each other.
Or, should we tinker with the idea that the councilors believe the CIO’s services are only for the local government’s executive department? And if they believe otherwise, then they should tap the CIO for any awareness campaign they want done, or probably help that office effectively do its job.
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Our new neighbor in the opinion pages of this newspaper, lawyer Caesar Europa, in his column last Friday, July 18, did not hesitate to manifest his position against the restoration of the death penalty proposal espoused by some members of Congress.

Europa who is a son of our good friend and lawyer idol, the late Cesar Europa, also admits what he says as the “imperfection of our judicial system.” Hence, to him, carrying out a death as penalty (if restored) to a wrongly convicted person is IRREVERSIBLE.

Given the “imperfections” of the country’s judicial system, according to my new neighbor, “mistakes can, and do, happen.” And we take this to mean that if an accused person has been put to death in compliance with the sentence and found out after that he was wrongly convicted, that’s it. He cannot anymore be brought back to life to either be exonerated and freed, or serve a sentence appropriate for the crime he might have committed.

According to Europa, that would be a case where one cannot just say, “Ay, Mali. Sorry ha.”

The lawyer also intimated in his treatise that he would probably “all for it” (restoration of death penalty) if “we could have a system where we could be truly sure about the guilt of a violent criminal who has no value in society.”
We take out hat off our new neighbor. It is unusual for a practicing lawyer to be frank and candid about his personal position on issues that have bearing with the practice of his profession.

Yes, maybe we can adopt primitive and crude ways of punishing convicted criminals, including Europa’s suggested “short stays on the anthill or dipping hands on boiling water.”

And if we may add, apply the punishment on the component of the convicted criminal’s body that is. or are used to commit the crime. Say, if a man is convicted of rape his manly genitals be severed in addition to his prison time. How about that?
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