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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, November 11, 2014
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with Rolly Espina
OPINIONS

Violations of procedures in raid?

Rolly Espina City Veterinarian Patrick Decena yesterday claimed that Councilor Carl Lopez had violated several procedures and risked possible legal challenges in the raid staged last week at the city slaughterhouse of the AVM Bernardo.

The first violation, Decena claimed, was the failure by the complainant to submit their reports of alleged violations by the slaughterhouse to the office of the city mayor who could have authorized the subsequent raid on the AVM slaughterhouse.

The second was the staging of the raid at 1 a.m., the early morning hours. Although nighttime seemed the proper time to do it, it now appears that this was done at an unholy hour without representatives of the various agencies concerned with implementation of the national slaughterhouse Act.

More important, Decena claimed, was the fact that the raiding team was composed of members of the Regional Intelligence Unit of the Regional PNP.

Since they were not aware of the protocol and procedures needed, what happened was that they just conducted the raid, confiscated the meat, and had it buried immediately, he said.

On the other hand, that meat should have been subjected to examination by the city veterinarian’s laboratory which has the forensic capability to determine whether the meat was safe for human consumption or not, he said.

The hasty disposal of the meat through burial was expensive because the meat had been considered safe for human consumption, the stocks could have been given over to various organizations and could have helped feed the hungry, said Decena, adding that because the policemen involved in the raid were not familiar with the proceedings, they just hastily followed the orders by Councilor Lopez reportedly to have the meat buried immediately after the raid.

The findings by Decena and others involved in the investigation into the raid of the AVM slaughterhouse will be evaluated by the office of Mayor Monico Puentevella for possible action.

***

Offhand, I could have focused my attention to city problems and issues. But the Yolanda super typhoon is something that refuses to go away. Each day, the televisions get our attention to the various post-typhoon issues, including the most pertinent question how many actually there killed by the super typhoon.

I remember that President Benigno Aquino came up with figures that did not exceed 6,500. And the counting stopped sometime after that. And, worse, later a senior police officer who had come up with a much bigger estimate found himself removed from office and never heard again.

Of course, it is a fact that the original estimate by Malacañang had never convinced people. There just were too many missing persons post the super typhoon. That is why until now the group of activist legislators headed by Rep. Neri Colmenares are to undertake a hearing into how many had actually died in the typhoon. Colmenares and company had come up with something like 8,000. And nobody disputed them. So, by just listening to the complaint by the survivors, it seems the higher figures may actually be correct.

There is also the fact that until now, there are a lot of complaints about the progress of rehabilitations and reconstructions in the Leyte and Samar areas.

Of course, one must admit partly the rebellious residents are to be blamed for the delay of the relocation of illegal settlers, still it seems that what is sad is the refusal by the government to communicate with the squatters.

Perhaps by this time next year, we may find out how true are the government estimated fund received and funds budgeted for release.

Then, the deluge if the figures do not sound true.*

Editors Note: The Bacolod City Veterinarian is Ma. Agueda de la Torre*


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