"DNA tests will determine if the severed heads belonged to foreign nationals."
The recent incidents of bombing in Jolo, Sulu have given rise to speculation that terrorists are now deploying suicide bombers in their objective to sow terror in the country. No less than the President has raised this possibility.
In fact, this development has prompted, Sulu caretaker-Representative and Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles to call on the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to conduct DNA testing on the two recovered heads from the blast site of the Jolo twin bombings.
According to Nograles, who claim his office has been receiving information from various sources regarding the attacks, there exists a possibility that those individuals are foreigners and that DNA testing may be able to verify such reports.
“If the DNA tests will confirm that these severed heads belong to foreign nationals, then we have to call the attention of the Bureau of Immigration to make necessary precautions, as well as the coast guard and navy to implement all that is necessary to prevent entry in the ‘back doors’ of the archipelago,” Nograles says.
Nograles’ theory appears to be more sound than those claiming that local Muslim groups have now resorted to suicide bombing in furtherance of their goals. This writer for one, doesn’t believe that it is not in the culture of Filipinos, regardless of religion or ethnicity, to resort to such act. In fact, Nograles says that even he could not believe that Tausugs cannot do such thing to a fellow Tausug.
Nonetheless, more than ever, Nograles says there is a need to increase militray funding to counter the threat of terrorism in Mindanao.
According to the solon, while the threats against the Cathedral were present as early as five months ago, the military lacks the necessary fund to secure the area.
“This is why the people of Sulu fully support martial law in Mindanao. I trust that the President and the Armed Forces will maximize the martial law powers to bring the perpetrators to justice,” according to the caretaker-solon.
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When Boracay was closed last year for purposes of rehabilitation, it was expected that the renewed look of the island resort would attract more tourists. Thus, there was a need to also rehabilitate support infrastructure including the airports which service the tourists off to their island getaway. That includes the Kalibo International Airport.
In compliance, the rehabilitation of KIA stared last July and was projected to be completed by March this year.
The intial phase of the project amounting to P17.9 million cornered by Herbana Builders, Inc. include refurbishment of the existing passenger terminal building; repainting of the international passenger terminal building interiors; landside beautification through landscaping; electrical system and air-conditioning system rewiring; and enhancement of railings and barricades.
Also to be done at the KIA are: Reblocking of apron pavement; runway strip grade correction; and construction of a power house.
However, according to Jerry Yap, publisher/editor of the daily tabloid, Hataw, given the deployment of workers of the contractor, it would be impossible to beat the March deadline for the rehabilitation of KIA. Yap claims there are almost no workers working on the project.
“Aba e paano tatapusin ang konstruksiyon sa isang airport kung tatlong tao lang ang gumagawa gayong P17 milyones ang halaga ng kanilang kontrata?!” Yap states in his column.
Yap adds that this was due to the fact that most of the workers Herbana “imported” from Manila to work on their Kalibo project, had since gone back home after the contractor failed to pay them their salaries.
I am not sure how the Department of Transportation comes up with their criteria or how they set their terms of reference in their biddings to choose contractors for their projects, but I think Secretary Art Tugade has to check and verify these reports.
If accurate, this will not sit well with the President’s Build, Build, Build mantra.