Bzzzzz: The DILG official who warned Gwen they'd see each other in court

PEOPLE talk about...

[1] LACSON MEANING OF 'P2P.' It is "parked to pork," Senator Ping Lacson says, meaning the lump sum amounts are appropriated, waiting for the intervention of the legislators concerned to convert them into pork.

Reversing his earlier finding, Lacson says a total of P20 billion is "parked" in the general appropriation budget for 2020, intended most likely for pork barrel that the Supreme Court had ruled is unconstitutional.

[2] SONNY O.'S CANCER. The speculation is that since former Toledo City mayor John H. Osmeña won't divulge the type of cancer he was diagnosed with because, he said, it is a "private matter," the body part affected must be a private part. That would limit the range of public guessing.

RJ's threat to sue

When the name RJ Echiverri came up in the news as the assistant secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) who "warned" Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia that they'd see other in court over the DILG ratings controversy, people asked, "How is he related to former Caloocan City mayor Recom Echiverri?"

Recome had an "open-secret" illicit relationship with Marjorie Barreto, which led to the breakup of Marjorie's marriage to movie actor Dennis Padilla. Marjorie and Dennis have a daughter Julia, who is also caught in the turmoil of the Barreto family controversy.

Showbiz feud got into a government issue: the question on how much or how far a local official such as Governor Gwen can criticize the conduct of a national agency such as the DILG.

Ricojudge RJ Echiverri must be the son of that famous ex-mayor. Whatever their ties, the showbiz controversy came up because of the name.

His beef against Gwen? The governor "challenged and questioned" DILG on its order lifting the ban on importation of pork amid the ASF threat and the flunking of seven local governments -- Carcar City and the towns of Badian, Carmen, Compostela, Moalboal and Pinamungahan -- on the clearing of street obstructions. Is a national agency now beyond criticism by a local official?

That appointment of Leni

Vice President Leni Robredo must have thoroughly studied the offer of President Rodrigo Duterte for her to serve as co-chairperson of the agency called ICAD or Inter-Agency Commission on Anti-Illegal Drugs. The other co-chairperson is the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency or PDEA with 20 government agencies under it.

The appointment dated October 31 says it is valid until June 30, 2022 "unless sooner revoked." It does not say what specifically VP Robredo will do; it may be assumed that as co-chairperson of ICAD, she will share with the PDEA chief the duties of leading the inter-agency group.

The document the President signed orders all the government agencies under ICAD -- particularly, PDEA and all other enforcement agencies -- to give her "full assistance and cooperation."

Surely, no parameters are set for her job and no specific goals for her, given the circumstances that led to the offer. Robredo had criticized Duterte on the way the drug war is waged. And now she is given the chance to take part in that war.

If the drug war would continue to fail, Robredo would now be largely responsible for the failure. If it would succeed, she would not get full credit for it. And if along the way, she and the President would trade barbs anew, she could be summarily evicted again, as he did before when she first joined the Cabinet.


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