Iloilo clan member ‘lobbying for DOH post’

By Alex P. Vidal

“Access is vital in lobbying. If you can’t get in your door, you can’t make your case.”—Jack Abramoff

A MEMBER of a not-so-powerful political clan in Iloilo has been reportedly “moving heaven and earth” to get the Department of Health portfolio currently held by Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire as officer-in-charge.

The clan member reportedly felt “relieved” when the Health portfolio was handed to Vergeire only as OIC until July 31.

In fairness, the clan of this DoH aspirant went all-out for President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in the recent election.

When it comes to access to Mr. Marcos, the clan member is shoo-in since their political tentacles also have strongholds in other Visayas regions.

“As a matter of fact,” our A-1 source informed us, “the clan member has been making a noise these past weeks, spending some bucks for press releases by suggesting to the government to use a certain pill to fight a disease that is not even alarming.”

The source said the clan member “was hoping that by making a noise in the press releases (it) is one way of getting the President’s attention. Kanya kanyang style lang.

The clan member has been lobbying for the health portfolio even before Mr. Marcos took his oath last month, revealed the A-1 Source.

The clan member “wants to be vindicated,” added the A-1 source, who was among those tapped to “accommodate” the clan member’s series of press releases. The source did not elaborate.

We’re not against the clan member’s attempt to vault back to the DoH especially if the clan member is very much qualified.

We’re just amused by the method the clan member has been using to get the President’s attention.

The source was right: Kanya kanyang stlye or gimmick lang. Good luck.

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Our Pennsylvania-based Ilonggo friend, lawyer William Demaisip, who is now on vacation in Iloilo, has been warning us that New York is a dangerous place with all sorts of crimes happening from time to time.

Even before the upsurge of the so-called Asian Hate Crime in America immediately after the spread of pandemic in 2020, Atty. Demaisip was already skeptical about choosing New York as residence.

“I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings,” Atty. Demaisip would always tell me in messages, referring to my choice of New York as my official residence.

The irony is that it was the mayor of Philadelphia in Atty. Demaisip’s state of Pennsylvania who expressed shock and sorrow over the killing of a fellow Filipino lawyer, John Albert Laylo, who was shot while on vacation together with his mother in Atty. Demaisip’s state city last month.

Mayor Jim Kenney has also reportedly offered a $20,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest of the shooter, who remained unidentified as of this writing.

Laylo, 35, had last worked for a private company in Manila and had also served as a legislative staffer for jailed opposition Sen. Leila de Lima from 2016 to 2018 before leaving to take up graduate studies. De Lima had expressed hope a suspect would immediately be held to account “for the brutal and senseless act.”

-o0o-

Violence and killings happen even in the most peaceful places anywhere in the world, especially in big metropolis like the Big Apple, Los Angeles, Chicago and, yes, Philadelphia.

Not to be outpublicized, the gun violence epidemic in New York City took its toll again Sunday night (July 17, with seven people shot in two hours in three separate incidents around the city that never sleeps.

After an out-of-control surge at the start of the year, shootings abated somewhat as the NYPD and City Hall reacted with a variety of new measures.

But the last couple of weeks have seen a resurgence of gun violence, with the week ending July 10 being by far the worst of the last year for shooting incidents.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)

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