ILOILO CITY (21 February 2013) — I have to find a place to write after we were told in our office this morning that all of us had to go down and sit on the chairs at the Iloilo Capitol ground to watch the large screen of a certain Pres. P-Noy Aquino delivering his speech at the ground lobby inside the Capitol.
For security reason (and to protect his bald pate which is slightly smaller than a communion plate, from being photographed), nobody was allowed to standby the grills of the atrium (open space from the second through sixth floors under the dome) and take photos of Pnoy at the ground floor.
Presidential Guards, early morning of February 21, disabled smoke detectors at the Bayad Center, Office of the Iloilo Provincial Treasurer, to ensure that their alarms won’t set off even if PNoy, a heavy smoker, puffs 10 lighted cigarettes simultaneously. The sub-office serves as holding area for the President.
They are obviously defying RA 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 that bans smoking in public places, particularly Section 5 of its which reads:
“Section 5. Smoking in Public Places – Smoking shall be absolutely prohibited in the following public places:
“a. Centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels, and recreational facilities for persons under eighteen (18) years old;
“b. Elevator and stairwells;
c. Location in which fire hazards are present, including gas stations and storage areas for flammable liquids, gas, explosives or combustible materials;
“d. Within the buildings and premises of public and private hospitals. Medical, dental, and optical clinics, health centers, nursing homes, dispensaries and laboratories;
“e. Public conveyance and public facilities including airport and ship terminals and train and bus stations, restaurant and conference halls, except for separate smoking areas; and
“f. Food preparation areas.”
Had a law enforcer (there were many in the vicinity) brave enough to enforce the law, accost the violator and charge him accordingly, PNoy would have been liable to pay a fine of P500 – P1,000 for first offense, P1,000 to P5,000 on second offense, and P5,000 to P10,000 on third offense.
PNoy, still at the Capitol ceremonies, will lead the symbolic laying the time capsule for the P11-billion Jalaur Multi-Purpose Dam in Calinog, Iloilo, which will generate hydroelectricity, irrigation and potable water.
(Incidentally, Moroboro Dam in Dingle, Iloilo is a mere speck compared to the proposed dam which is 20 times bigger. However, it flooded Dumangas, Barotac Nuevo, Pototan, Mina, Zarraga, Leganes, Dingle and Duenas, when the NIA opened its gates morning of December 27, 2012 in the wake of heavy rains triggered by typhoon Quinta starting afternoon of December 25. We can’t imagine the devastation, when, due to heavy rains and built-up pressure, the NIA would have to open the gates of the proposed dam.
(Sen. Franklin Drilon, proponent-in-chief of the megadam, assures llonggs that his brain child, which sits on the Northern Panay Fault Line, will be “earthquake” proof. He is the same Franklin Drilon who brought the P200-million Hall of Justice in Iloilo in 1992, incidentally the only building that sustained the biggest cracks in the in the aftermath of the 5.9 earthquake that hit Iloilo City February 6, 2012. The structure is substandard and is structurally defective that the DPWH condemned in March 2012 as public danger. Its foundation was deficient, and the materials used on it substandard. Ti, mabato pa kamo kay Drilon?)