PROBABLY, it won’t be long before the name of former president Benigno Aquino III would be mentioned in the growing scope of investigation over illegal drugs in the country.
This is because aside from Sen. Leila De Lima, who is Aquino’s justice secretary during his term, another official in the former Cabinet is being linked to drugs.
A report said Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency officer Jonathan Morales tagged former executive secretary Paquito Ochoa as one of the coddlers of the illegal drugs industry.
As executive secretary, Ochoa worked right inside Malacañang where Aquino used to hold office and reside.
If Ochoa had anything to do with drugs, did Aquino know about it since the two are reportedly close buddies?
We will know as more investigations are set to be held. The House of Representatives is set to start its own probe and has called on De Lima to shed light on the matter.
Leila’s dilemma is getting bigger each day with more fingers pointing at her as one of the top government officials associated with illegal drugs.
Recently, big-time whistle blower Sandra Cam revealed eight witnesses will support the government’s complaint against De Lima before the House inquiry.
This is aside from the fact that Albuera mayor Rolando Espinosa, father of alleged druglord Kerwin Espinosa, hinted that a senator is indeed in the drugs list.
At any rate, De Lima is bravely fending off accusations against her saying such are futile attempts to stop her campaign against alleged extrajudicial killings resulting from the government’s war on drugs.
But majority of the people appear to be ignoring complaints on extrajudicial killings and are more inclined to support President Duterte’s drive to wipe out drug pushers and their cohorts in the country.
The current sentiment is that Duterte is simply fulfilling a pledge to make the Philippines a safer place for our families.
Tycoons can help
The private sector particularly the mall tycoons should do their part in the government’s efforts to ease the Metro Manila gridlock.
Mall owners should provide road setback or additional lane from their property to serve as another lane for vehicular traffic.
Policymakers say it would just take minor road work on the part of the malls to contribute considerably to traffic ease.
The presence of malls should not aggravate traffic situation if they have road setback systems that logically regulate the flow of traffic in their area, Mall owners are duty-bound to support the government and give back to their patrons from whom much has been taken.
Congestion is heavier where there is a mall. Data show that, on account of the lack of road setbacks, traffic congestion is heavy in the following mall sites: Ayala Uptown Mall in Katipunan, Fisher Mall in Quezon Avenue, and Fairview Mall in Regalado Street, Quezon City.
On the other hand, it is observed that in SM Novaliches, SM San Mateo and SM Megamall, which all have road setbacks, that there is smooth flow of traffic in their respective areas.
If SM can do it, there’s no reason for other malls not to follow suit.
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