Bzzzzz: Questions that haven't been asked, or answered, about Labella's Milo

PEOPLE talk about...

[1] ANOTHER COUP IN THE HOUSE, with House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano facing an alleged ouster plot. The talk escalated amid Cayetano's handling of the ABS-CBN controversy. Sighted Monday (March 2) was his rival Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco biking with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Mayor Sara engineered the ouster of another speaker not long ago.

A deal brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte would have Cayetano serve as speaker for 15 months or until yearend of 2020, followed by Velasco for 21 months. The president's daughter rejected the deal but didn't say what she'd do about it.

[2] THE MCWD PUBLICIST BEING A THOROUGH PROFESSIONAL. The public information officer of several years (she passed through three chairpersons of boards of directors of the water district) has graciously resigned without talking, or even just hinting, about the turbulence she must have gone through the latest MCWD crisis.

Questions on 'Milo'

What Cebu City Hall media have not yet asked, or have not yet obtained an answer, are these questions about the Mayor's Information & Liaison Office (Milo) which Mayor Edgardo Labella set up starting with his February 20 letter to barangay captains:

[1] How many people will each Milo office comprise of? Just one head of office? How about a clerk or secretary?

[2] What will the authorized expenses of the Milo head and his associate/staff consist of, other than his salary? Rata plus office supplies and the like? Must it include rental of office space should it not be granted by the barangay captain and his council and no other government-owned facility is available? How much will each Milo and the total program cost and from which item in the mayor's budget will they be charged to? Or would it need a supplemental budget in the City Council?

[3] If it is an information and liaison office, why are councilors "overseeing" the program (one in the north and one in the south)? Shouldn't it be the barangay affairs unit under the mayor's office that will direct each Milo office?

[4] Would each request to the mayor from the barangay -- be it the barangay captain, barangay council, or an individual or group -- have to pass through the Milo for its endorsement?

[5] What are the contents of the executive order that, per his promise in July 2019, would cover the "functions and responsibilities" of Milo officers?

ABS-CBN not out of woods

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has repeatedly promised the House will give ABS-CBN a fair hearing, but not now, not until May.

The committee on public services reportedly wrote the National Telecommunications Commission a letter requesting that NTC give the broadcast network a provisional franchise until the House will have decided on pending bills seeking to renew ABS-CBN's franchise. The Senate committee hearing produced, among others, (1) the opinion of the DOJ secretary supporting the right of NTC to issue the temporary permit and (2) the practice in past franchise applications to allow the continued operation of the broadcast company until Congress acts on its franchise. A concurrent resolution is pending for Congress to give the provisional authority until acceptance or rejection of its application for extension. President Duterte has accepted the apology of ABS-CBN for the delay in giving its refund for un-aired ads in 2016.

Despite all that, the fate of ABS-CBN still hangs, like that of one of its teleserye heroes.

The period to watch is between now and May 4, when the franchise expires.

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