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PIA Press Release

Commentary: The million-dollar ethical question

By Bong Pedalino

Tacloban City (21 September) -- About two weeks ago, a certain Joey figured in a tussle with a rival in the entertainment industry, in an issue that has something to do with concerns on handling TV game shows with integrity and honesty.

This week, another Joey figured in another controversy, the conflict related in a sense with a rival, and definitely not in the entertainment world but borders closely with politics, although the difference between the two is blurred you cannot exactly differentiate one from the other.

This character in the cast named Joey is a prominent son of a prominent father, and he did raise issues on integrity and honesty, albeit impliedly, in a high-end business deal in which he was involved as a losing bidder.


So there's the catch -- he lost the bid. Otherwise, had he won, all the sizzling exposes that came from his mouth would not have been known.

He lost the bid, and he goes all around town, implicating every Tal Pulano and Tal Pulana as having told him to accept this much money and, worse, barked at him to evaporate to thin air with a sharp, pointed finger.

Trouble is, when you point an accusing index finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you; in legalese, the burden of proof is on you.


DOTC Sec. Leandro Mendoza uttered a sad commentary at the Senate hearing yesterday, September 20, when he said "I don't know what to believe anymore" regarding stories that saw print in the press on the much talked-about NBN-ZTE deal these days.

Pres. Arroyo also commented that too much noise and focus on the deal has distracted the mainstream media from covering other positive developments, especially in the economic field, with equal intensity and passion.

Be that as it may, a disturbing twist in the current imbroglio is that nobody seems to bother, the media included, on the million-dollar ethical question: why is this prominent son of a prominent politician -- the fourth highest official of the land -- cannot be put to task for a possible violation of a law known as Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act?

Is any member of the Ethics committee, be it in the Senate or the Lower House, brave enough to start the ball rolling? Or have they got any balls to start with?


LOCAL FRONT: A ceremonial turn-over to the various local government units and signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for early warning devices like rain gauges, water level gauges, and "batingaw" or bells from the READY project of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and SMART Communications was held yesterday, Sepember 20, at RK Kangleon Function House, Maasin City. Several Mayors or their representatives attended, including Gov. Damian Mercado. While aceepting the gadgets, however, Gov. Mercado sounded practical when he expressed a desire the equipment would not be put to actual use. "We hope there will no longer be disasters even as the tools for predicting them are already given to us. We pray disasters in our province will no longer return," Gov. Mercado said. We join him in thatwish.

ODDLY YOURS: Most venoms from snakes are dangerous and deadly, sometimes causing instant death to any person who might be bitten. But the poison from snakes known as Russel and Malayan Pit are rare exceptions. In advanced European nations in 2001, doctors use Russel's venom to prevent blooding among "hemophiliacs" -- people who are prone to excesssive blood oozing from cuts and wounds. The venom from the Malayan Pit works on the other extreme: it dissolves blood clots, letting blood flow back to normal circulation. (PIA Southern Leyte) [top]

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