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ROUGH CUTS | Mindanao’s new ‘invaders’         

REMEMBER what we wrote at the height of the controversial decision of the power group of San Miguel Corp. to terminate its power supply agreement with Manila Electric Co.? It surely was a decision of one astute businessman who knows that while the move was certain to lose a huge revenue, in the long-run it will help the business recover many times over.

    And we even entertained the idea then that in order to get what the top man of the SMC power group Ramon Ang wants – an increase in his cost for every kilowatt hour of power sold to MERALCO –he might even duplicate in Mindanao what he did in Luzon. Or, it could be the other way around. That is, using the much vaunted resources of the San Miguel Group, Mr. Ang might shift a huge investment in power in the whole of Mindanao in addition to what the group already has – the power plant in Malalag, Davao Occidental.

     Now we heard his group is funding a major project that will boost power in a fast developing area which development potentials could approximate – even surpass – that of Mactan Island in Cebu. And by all indications the bold gamble assured SMC’s power group a strong position in future competition for control or assumption of the concerned business entity.

     We can also recall that another multi-billion conglomerate is training its eyes in Mindanao – the group of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) of Enrique Razon. The group is not only into containerized port management but has already forayed into power which it has succeeded after serious oppositions in Iloilo.

     The Razon group even expressed interest in the expansion project of Davao City’s containerized port in Sasa some years back. Then it set foot in Madaum port in Tagum for a while. But like the Davao City port intension, the Razon-led ICTSI eventually withdrew.

     Then there was this report about the group’s interest in the water distribution in Tagum City and nearby municipalities. Whether it was pursued or not we do not have any idea so far.

     And we should not count out local business mogul Dennis Uy from the list.

     What do all of these mean? What else but the growing attractiveness of Mindanao for investments in businesses that could tilt the balance of development of the country to this southern Philippine Island. In other words it is not just the long-time dominant business conglomerates  that are lording over Mindanao that have the monopoly of such industries as power distribution and generation, water distribution, mining, transportation, tourism, agriculture, fisheries. Now, the new and even more aggressive corporate groups are scrambling for their share in the pie.

     And if the supposed “locals” because of their pioneering presence in Mindanao, not the island being their birthplace, will be complacent and ignore the situation on the ground, one day they will wake up with their share of the pie eroded or perhaps even totally lost.


     How reliable is the neuro-psychiatric examination done on those who would want to join the military or police service in the country?

     We are asking this question because of what happened recently inside the compound of Camp Evangelista, home of the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army in Cagayan de Oro City. Shortly before Valentine’s Day a soldier shot dead four of his fellow soldiers like they were the worst of his enemies. And to think that the gunman and the four victims were brothers-in-arms. They might have even gone to battle against the enemies of the state together and have their backs on each others while in the course of the encounters.

     Then, without any apparent reasons the suspect soldier turned his arm towards his brothers and mowed them down. In fact, investigations conducted on the shooting disclosed that there was no enmity between the suspect and the victims. The probers though did not rule out personal grudge.

     If that is so, how did the suspect pass the neuro-psychiatric test administered on applicants for soldiers? Frankly, it is hard to believe that an honest conduct of the neuro-psychiatric test on individuals  will not discreetly reveal his or her inner behavior .

     Unfortunately, man’s greed will always lead him to commit illegal activities like favoring certain agencies or business entities to administer the exams because the latter is willing to fork money for clients who are as greedy as the processors of applications,

     Now should we be surprised if in so many instances already policemen and soldiers of varied ranks are increasing as perpetrators of this and that crime in the country like abduction, robbery, kidnapping and drug dealing?




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