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Commentary: NBN: Deal or no deal?

By Bong Pedalino

Tacloban City (8 September) -- The raging controversy on the proposed National Broadband Network project (NBN) can be reduced to a single question - is it a deal or no deal?

Ironically, the answer can not come from sources that created a lot of noises but from the Supreme Court, since a petition seeking to scrap the whole project was already filed.

Which led us to wonder why all the fuss when in fact the controversy was already left for the Court, the Highest Court of the land for that matter, to decide?


Yes, Virginia. There lies the difference between the bar for a purely legal action and the bar of public opinion, the trial of the Court and the trial by publicity.

On the day the legal action was submitted to the High Court up to the point when the High Court shall render a promulgation on the issue, it can take time, maybe a month or two, because the Justices would have to study the case brought before them thoroughly.

But while the decision was pending or forthcoming, public opinion, mostly adverse, has to be contained one way or the other so as to satisfy the curiosity of some and the right of information of others.


It is for the sake of publicity, and clarification, that Presidential Legal Adviser Sergio Apostol issued the call to DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza and Comelec Chair Benjamin Abalos to come out and speak, adding that the two created "unholy silence."

Well, to be fair with Abalos, he had already spoken, but everytime he did so he raised more questions than answers. As for Mendoza, he had not yet talked, until this writing, thus Apostol's admonition for him to come clean.

"He's the one faulted but said nothing," Apostol was quoted as saying in press reports.


Next week, the NBN issue may be overshadowed by the Erap case decision and the ongoing Garci re-opening in the Senate. Or it may still compete for news prominence with sizzling, fresh revelations by the day.

And while the Supreme Court has not yet rendered a word on the petition, the best recourse, as suggested by Apostol, is to engage the charges and allegations in the trial by publicity, so the public can be enlightened, with Mendoza "the person who should be the one answering."

Silence, sometimes, can be deafening.


LOCAL FRONT: Cong. Roger Mercado has a practical advice to those dreaming to become village and youth leaders one day: prepare and get ready for the October 29, 2007 elections. The lawmaker himself said that even if the lower house would succeed in passing a law for the postponement, it can still be delayed at the Senate, leaving no more time. Besides, there's no harm in preparing, really, whether the polls will come or not. Interested individuals have a lot to learn on this wisdom, and they should heed it sooner than later, or else they will also be overtaken by time.

ODDLY YOURS: Here is a sample of an incident that may add yet another proof that a cat possesses a rather long life. In November, 2001, Blanca Martin of Copenhagen, Denmark, has a pet cat that accidentally jumped into a washing machine at work. For twenty minutes the cat mixed it up with washed clothes inside, turning and grinding its way through all around. Through it all, the cat was still alive and, after a surprisingly dizzying experience, slowly walked out of the washing machine. (PIA) [top]

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