Thursday, June 01, 2006

Mercado: Case of substandard boulders

By Ram Mercado - Sun Star

THERE are quite incredible events and items that go unnoticed by the casual reader.

Take this municipal mayor in the area who loses tremendous bets at the Casino table in town.

Former personnel handling right-of-way disputes in his stretch of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project (SCTEP) wanted the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) or the Office Ombudsman to look into alleged connections of this local executive with a leading contractor whose current work in the particular road project is the subject of engineering inquiries especially in its usage of substandard materials (boulders, rocks).

Our informants predicted that this well-known contractor may also land the Bridge project now under the bidding process, courtesy of his friend, the mayor.
Casino insiders related that once, during a losing streak by his honor, the contractor was contacted to provide support and "relevance" naturally, in exchange of grateful goodwill from the politician who once harassed the SCTEP officials by opposing the project within his turf. BCDA should look into his substandard usage of boulders/rocks to ensure the integrity of the project going Tarlac.

Another apparently incredible event, a decision by a Bulacan court sentenced a paraplegic (paralyzed in both arms and legs) to a severe jail term for rape.
The victim, pinned down by the "lumpu" with one hand pointing a knife to her throat, and assisted by his female friend, the accomplice, succeeded in his attempt, it was proven in court.

There are many who doubted, with a sector denouncing the decision, a rape was a possible under that circumstance, citing the physical inability of the culprit in all his ambulatory faculties.

Friends and family of the rapist blamed his lawyer(s) for his haphazard defense like exploiting "power failure" on his part, his incapacity to ride (even the Chacha - express), and motion sickness.

But the judge found wisdom in that a cocked gun (which is always deadly) can instantly fire given a target. Include the fact a woman accomplice held the victim's leg apart during the target practice.


I have received information that two large manufacturing locators inside Clark are dumping their fluid waste into ground funnels in their heavily guarded compounds.

The toxic water effluents coming from chemicals, dyes, and other detergents, are injected into the soil, it was reported, a serious environmental violation contrary to Philippine laws and the regulations of the Ecozone. Names of the two plants are being withheld pending further validation of the sources.

If this is true, the environmental group of CDC and the DENR-3 people involved at Clark are in big trouble. In the meantime, millions of pesos have been saved in the scheme by the two plants instead of the expensive hauling of the effluents to the sanitary landfill in Capas.

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