November 24, 2017, 5:19 pm
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Canadian waste

I WATCHED and listened to the entire arrival statement and press conference of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong when he returned from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit held in Vietnam last week.
For 1 hour and 16 minutes, Digong did not utter a single cuss word. And it was not because of the absence of questions asked that usually triggers emotional outbursts from him, particularly those on illegal drugs and interference of other countries in our domestic affairs.
There were brief moments in his responses when he looked like he was about to utter his favorite expletive. But none came.
My humble compliments, Mr. President. It must have taken a lot of conscious effort on your part to resist the powerful urge to cuss during those moments. 

I am glad that environmental advocates led by activist priest Robert Reyes have raised at this time the issue of the Canadian waste dumped in the Philippines several years ago. 
I have written about the matter a couple of times in the past. The last time was when it was brought up during the APEC Summit held here two years ago. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to look into the matter and come up with what he called a “Canadian solution”. 
That was two years ago, mind you, and nothing has happened since.
I think it behooves our officials to raise the matter again with Trudeau. Thereafter, the Department of Foreign Affairs should keep following up the matter with the Canadian Embassy here and our Embassy in Ottawa. 
Given the lack of appropriate action on Canada’s part in the last two years, it is not farfetched that she will continue to sidestep the issue. That being the case, I’d like to reiterate the alternative solution I previously suggested – send back the 100 containers to Canada or dump them in international waters, put the blame on Canada’s inaction and call it the “Canadian solution”.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources reportedly said that the Canadian waste is “strictly prohibited to be exported and is classified as Waste No. Y46 listed in Annex II of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.”
(NOTE: I hope someone from the Philippine Delegation reads this piece this morning. There may still be time to raise the matter with Trudeau before he leaves.)

The mainstream media had a field day writing about Digong agreeing with Senator Antonio Trillanes’ view that the case filed before the Sandiganbayan against ex-President Noynoy Aquino will not prosper.
The impression that one gets from the reports is that the two agree with the Ombudsman’s decision to charge Noynoy with only graft and usurpation of authority.
I do not believe that that is the case. I think Digong agrees with Trillanes only insofar as the weakness of the charge is concerned. Both agree that a President has the inherent authority to issue orders to the Armed Forces and the PNP. Therefore, there could not have been a usurpation of authority.
I think Digong’s position is that it was the wrong charge. He is worried Noynoy will be acquitted and altogether escape responsibility for the Mamasapano Massacre of the SAF 44.
In contrast, Trillanes’ position is confined merely to the weakness of the charge and gives the impression he would be happy if Noynoy were acquitted.
Another NoynoYellow supporter, Senator Joel Villanueva who is not a lawyer, said the charges against Noynoy are “legally inappropriate”. 
Does he mean the Ombudsman made a mistake? If so, he’s right. They were the wrong charges in that they obviously are meant to make Noynoy get off the hook. 
In this regard, it will be recalled that the Senate hearings conducted on the Massacre by the Senate committee chaired by Senator Grace Poe and the probe conducted by the PNP panel headed by retired General Benjamin Magalong both concluded that Noynoy was responsible for the tragedy. 
Noynoy-appointed Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio Morales, decided to file the lesser charges of graft and usurpation of official function against her benefactor in the Sandiganbayan in an obvious attempt to shield Noynoy from a harsher verdict.
“We say again that the said charges are designed to fail—in order to inoculate President Aquino against the graver charge of mass homicide which could possibly put him behind bars for the rest of his life,” said Ferdinand Topacio, legal counsel of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).
The VACC wants reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide as one of the possible charges against Aquino for the deaths of the SAF44. 

The Department of Justice has started its reinvestigation on the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
I think the DOJ should include in its investigation the alleged bribe given to all the incumbent senators, except three, at the time of the impeachment trial of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. The bribe money was sourced from the illegally declared Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) concocted by Noynoy and his erstwhile budget secretary Florencio Abad.
According to reports, Senator Franklin Drilon allegedly received the biggest amount (P100 million) followed by Senator Chiz Escudero (P99 million). The rest received P50 million each. Some congressmen also allegedly received varying amounts sourced from the DAP for voting to impeach Corona.
The alleged bribe recipients should all be made to account for the money they got. Otherwise, they should be charged in accordance with the law. 
Naturally, the bribe giver should also be held accountable for the illegal act.
Today is the 194th day of the eleventh year of the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos, son of the late press icon and founder of this newspaper.
After the acquittal of Major Harry Baliaga Jr., the only person formally charged with Jonas’ kidnapping, I guess what happens next is now up to Divine Providence.
From an internet friend:
Two guys are out hiking. All of a sudden, a bear starts chasing them. 
They climb a tree, but the bear starts climbing up the tree after them. The first guy gets his sneakers out of his knapsack and starts putting them on. 
The second guy says, “What are you doing?” 
He says, “I figure when the bear gets close to us, we’ll jump down and make a run for it.” 
The second guy says, “Are you crazy? You can’t outrun a bear.” 
The first guy says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you.” 
14 November 2017
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