Lito Lapid speaks, finally

By Herbert Vego

FOR the first time on live TV, I saw Senator Lito Lapid speak in the Senate for a purely self-serving reason. It was to air his disgust over a vlogger who had allegedly besmirched his reputation by naming him owner of the 10-hectare site of the 46-building Lucky South 99 POGO hub in Porac, Pampanga.

A subject of a joke calling him a member of the “committee on silence,” Lapid broke his silence to say he would resign from his senatorial post if found guilty as Causing had imputed.

The vlogger, who immediately reacted in both streamline and social media, turned out to be Berteni “Toto” Causing, an Iloggo lawyer-engineer.

He held up a copy of an alleged tax declaration paid for by the senator, pertaining to a piece of land owned by Lapid and his wife Marissa, which used to be a portion of the 106-hectare property of a certain Ruperto Cruz.

Toto could not confirm, however, whether the declared property is within the 10-hectare site of the Porac POGO hub, alleged to be a hotbed for various illicit activities including human trafficking, prostitution, forced labor, and online scams.

Alas, the “Pinuno” – which is the role the senator-actor plays in an ongoing telenovela – might have succeeded only in pushing the fiery vlogger to dig deeper.

The bigger hole that Causing vowed to probe is the alleged misuse of the Cruz estate which had been the subject of distribution to Porac farmers under the land reform law, Republic Act 6657. Influence peddling – by whom? – must have triggered the transfer of the property to the wrong hands.

If the intended beneficiaries have already been issued a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), they could go to court

If Lapid had not done any favor to the POGO hub in Porac, he should have initiated its Senate investigation, being the chairman of the Senate Committee on Games and Amusement.

Lapid is a native of Porac.  He had been governor of Pampanga. His palusot that he had not known about the POGO lurking under his nose is too unbelievable to be true.

Tsk tsk, he must have wished the POGO hearings being conducted by Senators Wyn Gatchalian (chair of Committee on Ways and Means) and Risa Hontiveros (Committee on Women and Children) had not shaped up.

Since Sen. Lito is running for re-election in 2025, baka POGO would be his Waterloo.



A recent post on MORE Electric and Power Corporation’s Facebook page shows linemen at work on tree wiring.  It can’t be done without shutting off power within the working area to ensure safety. This is one of the reasons why a 12-hour scheduled brownout for that purpose is necessary.

About 50 circuit kilometers of lines have been tree-wired. The tree wires are insulated primary lines, used in place of bare conductors, to prevent power interruptions caused by animal intrusion and swaying tree limbs. They are made of concentric or compact stranded conductor materials with three non-metallic layers.

Much of the tree-wiring work has already been accomplished, according to Engr. Bailey del Castillo, MORE Power’s vice president for the network development and operations.  This means that in this month of July, we would be experiencing fewer scheduled power interruptions.

More often than not, the brownouts are scheduled to coincide with maintenance works by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which transmits electricity from the power plants to the power distributors.

Aside from tree wiring, replacement of rotten poles since with concrete are in the “must” list of line works needing immediate attention.

In four years, the utility has replaced and installed over 7,000 poles, installed 45 automatic circuit reclosers and 22 load break switches to isolate and immediately restore power during momentary faults, and purchased modern testing equipment.

Kudos to MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro for leaving no stone unturned to achieve world class.


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