Hey, Ranjit is talking!

July 25, 2010 at 6:19 am Leave a comment

It was my first time to attend the press conference of 6th District Board Member Ranjit R. Shahani last July 12 at Cocolandia, Urdaneta City. The press con was truly amusing, with the usual no-holds bar statements of Ranjit. But before tackling what were the issues raised, let me first talk on what happened in the morning of said day. Ranjit’s press con was in the afternoon.

I was in Asingan in the morning to see Mayor Heide Ganigan-Chua regarding the complaint of the residents of Carusocan Norte regarding a certain piggery in said place which is owned by Lims. Reports reached me that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has already issued a closure order, but the piggery is still operating, to the consternation of the residents as it is giving unhealthy environment- not only the foul odor but also the canals that have been clogged due to piggery wastes. A resident in the place by the name of Rudy Antonio told me that until now, there was no action from the barangay officials much less the municipal mayor during the watch of former Mayor Carlos Lopez. With Chua’s administration, he is optimistic that something positive will be done on their predicament.

Unluckily, Mayor Chua was not around. According to her private secretary Engr. Em Laroya, she has an important appointment and told us to wait for her. We waited until 12:20 pm but Mayor Chua did not arrive in her office. I am writing the incident here not in defiance with Mayor Chua, but in all fairness and with due respect to her, I know that the situation in Carosucan Norte will be dispatched by her with ease. Mayor Chua, please look at this problem immediately in the said barangay. What makes the DENR not able to enforce its order? Is something fishy in the offing?

Well, while waiting for Mayor Chua, a fellow media man texted us that Board Member Shahani will have a press conference that afternoon. Hearing Ranjit’s name made us to decide not to wait Mayor Chua anymore. We proceeded to Cocolandia in Urdaneta City. Upon reaching the place, several media men were already there- Liezl Basa of Tempo, Tito Tamayo of DWPR, Al Tigulo of DZRD, among others.

At 1:00 pm, Ranjit arrived. Oh, that was my first time to see him very amiable, much so in the midst of media practitioners. He called us by our names which made us more comfortable. Ranjit is no longer the boy he was in 1992 when he was the Vice Governor. He already metamorphosed into a respectable man, maybe having been honed by his association with different kinds of people. But, he is still in his bubbly self, that every time he opens his mouth, one will be amused by his kilometric statements, complete with hand gestures and facial expressions.

What was the press con all about? Ranjit has called on the media to announce that the rift between him and Col. Ronald Gayo of Regional Mobile Group based in Camp Narciso Ramos Camp, Tayug was far from over. He denied that they have already smoked the peace pipe, instead he insisted that Col. Gayo should be suspended by the Philippine National Police top honchos. The rift stemmed from an incident in the second week of June this year in which e Gayo allegedly slapped Ranjit’s coordinator Caloy Soriano of San Nicolas town due to a petty traffic incident. Ranjit said that such action of Gayo was a clear violation of human rights considering that Soriano during the altercation had already raised his hands up in the air.

“Gayo should face internal sanctions. Bakit pa pinapatagal? He should allow himself to be relieved,” Ranjit said. He told media men that it was not true that he’s retaliating because one his bodyguards was accused with illegal possession of firearm during the election.

“That’s faulty logic. I was elected to uphold the interest of the people. These men in uniform should respect the fourth estate. The PNP should toe the line,” he said adding that asking “sorry” has no consolation without justice.

There were many issues raised during the press conference among which is “jueteng.” Ranjit said that “jueteng” should be completely abolished as what President Pnoy ordered to DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo. ]
“Whatever the President says, so be it!” he told the news men. But when asked whether the provincial government will heed to the call, he said that he will ask them on their stand and not tell them what to do on the issue.

Ranjit bats also for the institutionalized check and balance in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. He said that his support to Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. and Vice Governor Ferdie Calimlim is 100%. However, there should be a minority leader who will initiate checks and balances. Will he take that role? In the near future, he said with certainty.

With Ranjit Shahani’s presence n the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, we will expect sessions with mental and verbal tussles packed with hot issues. Wanna bet?

(For comments, email me at empororvirgil@yahoo.com)

Entry filed under: Opinion.

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