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ROUGH CUTS | Politically motivated move? Well…

The members of the Davao City Council are one in supporting ousted Chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Mabel Sunga Acosta. They chorus in saying that the ouster is a political act.

Well, it is as if the councilors of the City do not know that even the creation of the Office (MinDA) several years ago was itself a political act to provide opportunity to some favored individuals to get juicy positions in government.

Yes, Acosta’s replacement as Chair is one political act that emanates from the parting of ways between erstwhile friends former President Rodrigo R. Duterte and incumbent President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. If Davaoenos will recall Acosta was appointed by Duterte before the 2022 Presidential elections. And she was not touched by Marcos, Jr.’s administration in the next two years from its assumption.

We too, believe that the lady former MinDA chair was well on her way up to the end of her 6-year term. What with her religious performance of the responsibilities in her office. But then the flare-up in the Duterte-Marcos political alliance. Duterte, suspicious of the motive behind the non-grant by the House of Representatives of a confidential and intelligence fund sought by the Office of Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio and that of the Department of Education where she is Secretary until now, as well as the forceful push of the Lower House for a Charter Change through a People’s Initiative, the former President started launching his vilest and scathing attacks on Marcos, Jr. as President and his private person.

And while Marcos, Jr. appears to be more calculating in his responses to the former President’s verbal tirades, he apparently is now using his most convenient but devastating armament at his disposal. And that is by slowly doing away of what he thinks are remnants of Duterte loyalists occupying critical yet politically “disposable” positions in government, MinDA included.

Unfortunately for Ms. Acosta her agency’s main office is in Davao City and she too is from the same metropolis. And being a Duterte appointee casts doubt on the President’s mind as to Acosta’s capability of executing her job with his appointing official now a vicious critic to the incumbent President who has authority to have the MinDA function in accordance with his administration’s over-all goal.

And can the President be blamed if he thinks he cannot work comfortably with someone whom his trust and confidence is lost?

Yes we agree that Acosta’s replacement by Leo Abellera Magno is clearly a political act. But it is much similar to her appointment as Chair immediately upon er entry to the agency. That is politics in this country.


And here is another issue suspected by the City Council members to be another politically motivated act by the Marcos Jr. administration. And that is the relief of 35 policemen led by newly assumed Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Director Richard Bad-ang.

As a way of showing the councilors’ desire to be given a clear reason of the wholesale relief they are inviting the Police Regional Office (PRO) XI Director or his representative to attend in the next regular session on June 4.

Councilor Luna Acosta, daughter of erstwhile MinDA Chair Mabel, strongly believes that politics could have played a major role in the relief of such a huge number of policemen.

In an earlier resolution passed by the council, it said that the local lawmaking body is one with Mayor Sebastian Duterte calling for accountability and transparency in the police action.

It can be recalled that the relief came about after a grim warning was issued by the mayor to illegal drug merchants in the city that they will be killed if they insist on pursuing their trade. The mayor’s warning was made during his welcome speech during the assumption to office of Colonel Bad-ang. Only days after, a series of drug buy-bust operations resulted to the death of seven suspected drug dealers and confiscation of millions worth of illegal addictive drugs.

Now the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of PRO XI is conducting an investigation on the circumstances of the death of the seven suspects in compliance with the mandate of the National Police leadership.

To make sure that the probe will be free from potential influence by those who are subjects of the investigation, the PRO XI has to relieve the 35 policemen with the commitment that they will be reinstalled once there will be no evidence of wrongdoings on their part in the death of the suspects.

Well, we believe it is fair enough. What would be most unfair is if whatever is the result of the investigation will not be made public and the relieved policemen will not be reinstated and instead assigned somewhere else.


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