So it’s the property of the family of our good friend Sisoy Rodrgiuez that will be affected by the construction of the Davao mainland-Samal Island bridge? We’ve read it in the local papers that last week the family has already filed its formal opposition with the Department of Public Works and Highways.
We can understand why. For who will not oppose should such project traverse either the Rodriguez family property in Sasa or that of the family’s resort site in Samal? Both properties are by now among the most valuable in Davao City and in the Island Garden City of Samal.
Meaning, whether there is a bridge to be constructed or not, the properties of the family will still command an exorbitant cost. And if it is the Samal side of the bridge that will traverse the Rodriguez property that would mean their pioneering tourist establishment in that island will be good as gone forever. For how will a resort nestled in nature’s bosom continue to maintain its allure when on top or beside it is an imposing block to its panoramic view?
Or, if at all, what will remain of the privacy of resort visitors when every Tom, Dick and Harry on board vehicles passing the bridge portion where the Paradise Beach Resort is located can have the luxury of becoming an unwilling peeping tom?
Meanwhile, we assume that other nearby resort owners could be celebrating for the possible final construction of the bridge traversing the Rodriguez property at the Samal beach front. They could be thinking that such is a boon to their own resort business.
Let’s see where will this Rodriguez family opposition lead the multi-billion peso bridge project to, and how long will people wait for its settlement.
It is likely that many Filipinos, even us Davaoenos, do not have any iota of an idea that most, if not all, military or police personnel that are appointed to higher or highest position in the organization or in the government bureaucracy, are at one time or another, assigned in Mindanao, specifically the Davao Region for that matter.
Having had assignments in Mindanao, especially in the southeastern region, allowed the top — mostly retired — military and police appointees to work closely with the former Davao City mayor and now President of the Philippines Rodrigo R. Duterte. So the President knows them personally and had tested their capability in dealing with the rigors of the job in the agency they are assigned or appointed to head.
The one we consider the most prominent among retired military officials who is now holding Cabinet position is former AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Ano. He is Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Governments that has supervision of the all-too-often controversial Philippine National Police (PNP) due to the involvement of some of its members – high and low – in criminal activities like shabu recycling and even in kidnapping and liquidation. Before Ano was promoted AFP chief-of-staff he was assigned in several command responsibilities in this southern Philippine island.
Another military retiree appointed to head a highly controversial agency – the Bureau of Customs — is former Task Force Davao commander and later also appointed AFP chief is Rey Leonardo Guerrero. He now heads the Bureau of Customs where he has the difficult task of erasing the tag of the bureau as the most graft-ridden government agency.
Former AFP chief Carlito Galvez, after having overseen the government’s battle to recover Marawi City from the ISIS-inspired Maute group, and some other battles against the Muslim separatists, now has on his shoulders the mandate to implementing the peace process with his former adversaries including the New People’s Army (NPA).
Still another military top brass is now Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that is now in the thick of the gargantuan efforts of attending to the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Mt. Taal eruption.
One of Duterte’s latest appointees to the high echelon of the military organization though, is the current Chief of Staff Gen. Felimon Santos. He was Eastern Mindanao commander before he was catapulted to the top of the AFP. Santos succeeded another military top gun also with Mindanao connection, Gen. Noel Clement.
The most recent of course is the new PNP Director General in Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa who hails from Davao. He is as fluent in the Bisayan dialect as any other Mindanaoan
But of course who could blame the President of his choices? They whom he had worked with closely and he had chosen, definitely have his full trust and confidence.