MANILA, Philippines — The family of Ronda, Cebu Vice Mayor Atty. Jonnah John Ungab who was killed in an ambush in Cebu City last Monday, has no words to describe their grief.
“That morning earlier, we received a threat, a text message whether he chooses his life or his client’s,” said Mrs. Pearl Ungab, wife of the slain lawyer.
Their only wish is to attain justice for the death of the vice mayor.
They are also calling on the public to cooperate with and support the investigation the authorities are conducting to hold those behind the ambush accountable.
“I ask you humbly for your assistance who was there on that fateful morning when I held my husband’s head, bloody and fighting for his life,” said Mrs. Ungab.
Ungab’s wife also denied allegations that her husband was involved in illegal drugs.
She explained that he had just served as the counsel of self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.
“As he always traveled without any sort of protection to threats. Why would he? Because deep inside, he is just fulfilling his duties as a servant of the law. He didn’t steal, proliferate drugs, use drugs and hurt anyone,” said Mrs. Ungab.
Meanwhile, the Cebu City police office created a task force that would focus on the case involving Ungab’s death.
Among the angles authorities are looking into is whether the incident is work-related or not.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has condemned the killing of Atty. Ungab.
The IBP calls on the authorities to resolve Atty. Ungab’s killing which took place a week after a failed ambush on another lawyer in Quezon. — Robbie De Guzman | UNTV News and Rescue
The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board Region-7 (NTWPB) has ordered bus operators in Cebu City to provide their drivers and conductors a fixed monthly salary plus other benefits including overtime pay, night differential and other incentives.
NTWBP Region-7 secretary Grace Carreon said that the directive aims to avoid the “boundary system” which often leads to accidents as drivers are forced to work long hours.
“DOLE Department Order 118-12 was issued because of safety considerations that’s why we will give premium to the safety measure,” she added.
Under the boundary system the driver pays the vehicle’s owner/operator a fixed amount commonly called “boundary”, for the use of the unit. Whatever he earns in excess of that amount constitutes as his income.
Chris dela Calzada has been a bus driver for 18 years. He often works overtime but never earns enough to provide for his family.
“Minsan malaki ang kinikita, minsan wala, minsan wala kaming naiuuwi sa amin kasi depende sa dami ng pasahero, (Sometimes the pay is enough but other times we take home nothing. It depends on the number of passengers)” he said. Dela Calzada is looking forward to the implementation of the directive for the assurance of a monthly income.
Bus operators who cannot provide minimum wage and benefits to bus drivers and conductors can no longer renew their franchises.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Ryan Mallari)
Water supply shortage is not only being experienced in Metro Manila and Rizal, but also in Metro Cebu.
Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) Spokesperson Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara said, “The supply shortage is caused by the lowering of the water table and pollution of sources due to septic waste and long-term use of fertilizers.”
Kara revealed that even without El Niño, the MCWD is only serving 43% of the Metro Cebu’s requirements due to the insufficient supply and fast increasing demand.
The Jaclupan and Buhisan dams, have been supplying water for the MCWD customers in Compostela and Talisay areas.
Currently, the water production of Jaclupan has been reduced from 33,000 cu. m. to 23,400 cu.m per day, while Buhisan has decreased from 5,000 cu.m. to 1,000 cu.m. per day, which resulted in a total deficit of 13,600 cu.m. per day.
Among the areas affected by the lowering of Buhisan Dam water level, include, elevated parts of Banawam Horseshoe Drive, Capitol Site, Oppra, Ipil-ipil, Camputhaw, Clavano, Sambag 1, Sambag 2, F. Ramos B. Rodriguez, Juana Osmeña, Pier Area, North Reclamation Area, MJ Cuenco Ave., M. Velez
Meanwhile, Jaclupan facility’s reduced production has affected the elevated areas of Talisay City, and downtown Cebu City.
MCWD has 450,000 cu.m. water demand per day from its customers, but it is now only capable of supplying 228,000 cu.m. daily.
This prompted the said water concessionaire to implement rotational water interruption. It also came up with a plan of building up an additional 4 wells as its short-term solution. Its management is also planning to have a major dam project as its long-term response to the problem.
The MCWD expects the shortage to continue until June this year. — Freema Salonga-Gloria
Still image of a protester sitting on lap of “Lady Justice” on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building | REUTERS
“Justice” is what most people sought on Merriam-Webster, among the world’s most popular dictionaries, as the U.S. publisher on Monday (December 17) named that principle of being fair as the Word of the Year for 2018.
Users looked up the word 74 percent more often than in 2017, Merriam-Webster Editor-at-Large Peter Sokolowski said for the website, which claims to be “America’s most trusted dictionary.”
The surge was prompted by specific uses of the word such as “obstruction of justice,” after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted in August that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election, the company said.
“Looking at the year through the prism of vocabulary by analyzing our Look-Up data reminds us that ‘words matter’,” Sokolowski said in a company video released Monday. — Reuters
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