Bzzzzz: April 27 special working day in the country. Speaker Velasco, Cebu City north caretaker, may visit district soon. Sawang Calero case a hot-button issue.

·3 min read

Sawang Calero case: bad to worse

THE April 19 killing of one Ritchie Nepumoceno, a complainant/witness in the extortion-rape case against police assigned to the Sawang Calero, Cebu City station, has smeared the reputation of the group called Sawang Calero 11. And it has gone from dirty to dirtier, bad to worse.

Adding more doubt over the integrity of the police suspects was that one of the Sawang Calero 11 reportedly shot himself four hours after the death of Nepomuceno.

Mayor Edgardo Labella knows the case is a hot-button issue. He asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate.

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House bill passed, not soon enough

Two developments regarding the celebration of "Kadaugan sa Mactan" on April 27, a Tuesday:

[1] President Rodrigo Duterte -- in Proclamation #1128 dated April 8 but released Wednesday, April 21 -- declared April 27 a "special (working) day throughout the country in celebration of the quincentennial celebration of Lapu-Lapu in the Battle of Mactan";

[2] The House of Representatives last March 16 passed on third reading House bill #8897, authored by Representative Paz Radaza, which seeks to declare April 27 of every year as regular (no-work) holiday throughout the country.

Republic Act #11040, signed by President Duterte last June 29, 2018, already declares April 27, Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu or Lapu-Lapu Day, as special working day throughout the country and a special non-working holiday in Lapu-Lapu City. Radaza's bill, which would make the day a regular, no-work national holiday, obviously would not become a law in time for next week's celebration.

Expanding the no-work holiday to the rest of the country will have to wait for the succeeding anniversaries, which will already be outside the 500th anniversary period of celebration, from March 16, 2021 to October 28, 2021. In the same Proclamation #1128, Duterte declared this year as the "Year of Filipino Pre-colonial Ancestors."

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Sotto hospital annex, barangay projects

For people, particularly the residents of Cebu City's north district, who must be interested to know what has been going on since Speaker Lord Allan Velasco assumed last November 18, 2020 as caretaker of the district, two days after the death of congressman Raul del Mar, here are bits of information from the interim office:

[1] The Speaker has pushed "all the bills filed by RVM," some of which were transmitted to the Senate and others under the technical working group."

[2] Speaker Velasco has been checking on the progress of the late congressman's projects, especially the completion of an annex to the Vicente Sotto Hospital;

[3] Velasco had a Zoom meeting with del Mar's congressional staff first week of the month, in which he asked for update of projects, including those in DSWD and DOLE, "to which he gave additional funding last year for SAP";

[4] The speaker said he will add P50 million to the P100-million budget for SPWH projects for 2022. The new DPWH rules require a P3-million minimum for one project in each of the 46 barangays in Cebu City north. "So far, all requested projects for the barangays are covered," a staffer told Bzzzzz.

[5] Velasco may visit the district soon. "He is just waiting for the vaccines" to be substantially rolled out.

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