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ROUGH CUTS | A ‘dictatorial’ tendency?

We have several friends who went hiking as far as Tambobong in Baguio district over the week-end. They dropped by our house to cool themselves with “halo-halo” in an outlet run by our children.
They told us that they heard some residents complaining of the strict monitoring by a private company of their activities utilizing the water of the Upper part of the Tamugan-Panigan Rivers.

We told our friends that the strict monitoring could possibly be part of the government’s having declared the stretch of the rivers as protected area. Therefore, the authorities could have enlisted the assistance of the private company.

Our friends though said that they were told by the residents living along the river banks, mostly lumads, that they have no other option but use the river as their source of water for household use, for bathing, and lately for livelihood since many lowlanders have already discovered some stretches of the river to be appropriate for bathing and relaxation, especially during this very hot season.

But even this early they are now confronted with fear that one day, sooner or later, they might be hauled to jail or have to be penalized with hefty fines for violating government regulations. They told our friends that they cannot possibly hide their infractions because a drone is flown almost daily and they suspect that it is taking pictures of their every activity in the river stretch.

We can only sympathize with the disadvantaged residents in the area. Clearly, they have become victims of the so-called development aggression now creeping slowly but surely in the highland communities.
How unlucky they could become.


We have not yet seen or read in the papers that Davao City is included in the list of places the heat index is already precariously dangerous to the health of human beings. But already at the current level of the heat index it seems that it is getting unbearable by the day.

And the condition of agricultural plants, grasses and what remains of the once green forest is foreboding of the things to come if the on-going heat wave will continue for some time. In fact a brother-in-law of ours who has a 13-hectare farm planted into durian, cacao, lanzones, mangosteen and of course coconut is now worried looking at the slowly withering fruit trees. Imagine if the fruit trees – even half of them, will die replacing the same could mean so much expense and another long years of waiting for the replacement plants to bear fruits again!

A creek that runs across his farm is now totally dried up. The creek, when still having a sizable volume of water flowing, could have satisfied the requirement for watering as many as 500 to a thousand cacao plants. But there is no water anymore. What is left are dried leaves falling from the withering cacao and lanzones plants along its sides.

The coconuts? Well, according to our brother-in-law, after his recent harvest he expects a 50 percent decrease in the fruit bearing capacity of the coconut trees should this very hot dry season persist.
And the sad thing about it is that he and several other similarly situated farmers will continue spending for labor in farm maintenance and possibly in watering the plants that need the liquid to survive the dry spell.

We wonder what the government – both local and national – is up to, if only to help the most affected sector of the population.

Let the authorities be reminded that giving assistance of food packs with 3 to 5 kilos of rice, 3 to 5 canned goods, noodles could only make the beneficiary live for a day or two at the most.


We strongly support former President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s assertion that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. is apparently beginning to show his “dictatorial” tendency. That is, in as far as his imposition of a 60-day suspension of Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib.

Why the haste? Why did the President issue the suspension order just because of an administrative case lodged against the governor without giving him a chance to present his side?

He seems to forget that Governor Jubahib is not an appointee of him but installed in office by the majority of the people of the province. The President should have respected the mandate of the people and not be influenced by administrative cases filed against the top provincial official which, without doubt, is with political undertones. The complainant could have the backing of Jubahib’s political rivals who may have connections to certain power brokers starting from the days of old.

Honestly we believe that the Jubahib suspension is like penalizing the governor even before his guilt is determined.

If it isn’t “dictatorial,” then what is it?


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