16 May 2007

Getting on with life

THINGS are back to normal at City Hall, in spite of anxieties that arise when incidents like this happen. Mike Julia, the city comelec registrar, blamed it to overreaction by partisans identified with Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte, who appears headed towards becoming the first post-Edsa '86 congressman of the 2nd district to get reelected.

Apparently, some eager-beaver Kampi watchers noted two persons getting into the Sanggunian Panlungsod session hall last night. Alarms were sounded in their big bosses' directions, and instead of clarifying it with Comelec which is on top of the ongoing canvass, a truckload of PNR regional mobile suddenly materialized at City Hall 1 am today.

When emotions run high, harassments similar to what Melvin Chua of the city hall's Public Safety Office suffered become commonplace. It could have been avoided had they only inquired, and found out that the two persons spotted were DepEd personnel authorized by Comelec to secure the area for the night.

The slow canvassing notwithstanding, the Naga Planning Studio course successfully started today with a tour of city hall offices, including our own, and ended with a courtesy call on Mayor Robredo.

Dr. Nora Angeles, whom I and Vice Mayor Gabby Bordado last saw in wintry Vancouver last November, led the 21-person group of UBC graduate students -- comprising of Canadian, American, British and Chinese nationals -- in asking the mayor what local needs can their multidisciplinary team lend their expertise on. Later today, we are regrouping to reassess how we shall go about with the course, given the mayor's inputs.

At two, department heads will be meeting with Atty. Eleanor Echano, city auditor, to discuss COA's audit observations and recommendations for 2006. It will be followed by another meeting later in the afternoon with Tere Melgar, an Filipina academic who is doing a comparative study of Naga and Porto Alegre, Brazil; done with the Brazil part, she's back to refocus on the Naga phase of her research.

Early next week, a UP professor will be coming over for an interview with the city's i-Governance team. It will be followed by a group of Afghan visitors who will be hosted by the Ateneo de Naga University in their Naga leg.

Indeed, the city is getting on with life after that divisive, but necessary, distraction -- and in spite of the comparatively slow canvass being delayed by unnecessary legal goobledygook mounted by shameless nincompoops who have ran out of better things to do.