Rough cuts | This ‘weakest link’ issue

IT IS about time the leadership of Davao City and the appointing authority to show actions that would prove they are very much aware that there are a good number of people capable and qualified to become public servants to Davaoeños.

And we are referring to the strong possibility that the slot in the third district for the Sangguniang Panlungsod vacated by the elevation of councilor Bernie Al-ag to the Vice Mayorship will be filled up soon.

Yes, after the sudden resignation of Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, Al-ag being the highest vote getter among the topnotchers in the city’s three districts, was appointed to replace the former. This leaves the third district with only seven councilors to represent its population in the local legislative body.

Thus, it would be unfair for the people in the 3rd district to be not equally given the same number of representatives in the City Council where they hope to get development projects through their councilors.

Now there are talks of having the vacancy filled up and already there are names that surfaced as potential appointees or are being considered or interested. Top in the list is Presidential son Sebastian “Baste” Duterte. We have no doubt about his chances.

But there are also other budding politicians who could be equally, if not even more ready for the position as Baste.

Based on the sudden appearance of posters expressing strong support for the President’s push for Federalism we can sense that Manila Bulletin Asst. Vice President for Circulation Dante Simangan who is from the third district may be interested in the slot.

We have also encountered some people rooting for Mintal Barangay captain Ramon “Abay” Bargamento II to be appointed. Mintal is also a leading barangay in the city’s third district. And it is beyond argument that under the watch of Kapitan Abay” Bargamento the said barangay has shown it has all the potentials of a developing township that is taking off with so much speed. Yes, under the leadership of Kapitan Bargamento anyone historically familiar with the Mintal of the pre-Japanese time can see the revival of that economic status of the said barangay.

What Bargamento has done to Mintal he sure can do it to the entire district 3 of the city. That is, if he really is interested for the slot and given the chance to be appointed.

Yes, if the appointing authority and those who possess weight of recommendation would not be too myopic of their choices then very soon we can see a new face in the City Sanggunian. More so if this early, the same people would have some reservations as to the clamor for a stop in the dynastic control of Philippine politics.

Of course it would be a totally different story if the present situation in the local legislative body is pre-designed for a particular political purpose.

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We are a little bit perplexed on the statement issued by Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa saying that “coordination is the weakest link” among Davao City’s law enforcers.

From the way Dela Rosa’s statement was framed it would appear that the PNP national chief already knew that the different law enforcement organizations’ ability to respond effectively to possible terrorist attack the likes of the Marawi siege is hampered by their lack of coordination. He said this is the reason why the simulation exercises (Simex) were done in Davao City under different scenarios.

Understood plainly, the Simex last week were to validate Dela Rosa’s observation that there is indeed lack of coordination, and that he was hoping to strengthen the areas where the weaknesses are established.

We do not know if the Simex assessment made by individual experts or organization of evaluators was immediately made available to the PNP chief and the local government authorities. We believe that the people of Davao City have the right to know the level of coordination or interoperability of the various responder law enforcement organizations based in the city.

What had last week’s Simex disclosed? Was there an improvement in the level of coordination? Was there a regression, or was the level of coordination and interoperability observed by the PNP Director General before the Simex the same during the conduct of the simulation exercises?

We believe that these questions have to be answered by whoever is authorized to do so, or be responded accordingly if only to assuage the apprehension of Davaoeños that they may not be amply protected from potential attacks of terrorist groups in the future.

No, not because the members of the various law enforcement organizations are not trained to do their job but because they are not working as a team. That would be more disastrous.

Posted in Opinion