By MAYOR ISKO MORENO
My heart was filled with so much gratitude when our city treasurer, Jasmin Talegon, presented to me the list of donations that have so far been given to the city of Manila by ordinary citizens who simply want to help the present administration make a turnaround from the city’s decrepit condition caused by recent years of neglect.
The total donations reached P21.7 million in all and mind you, these came from Filipinos from all over the world, including immigrants, overseas Filipino workers, students, and even children.
Believe it or not, these donations included coins from piggybanks and loose dollars from Filipinos who expressed faith in the new administration of Manila and said it was their small way of contributing to the positive changes in the city.
These are hard-earned savings coming even from non-residents of Manila, which makes them even more valuable.
I cannot thank these kind-hearted individuals enough. I can only assure that these donations will be taken very good care of by myself and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and put to real good use. They began pouring in as early as July, 2019, when Vice Mayor Lacuna and I assumed office.
For the information of the public, once I receive the donations, no matter how big or small, they are turned over to city treasurer Jasmin Talegon for proper accounting.
I am planning to use these to help fund the city government’s planned vertical housing projects for informal settlers, public health facilities, and other city projects for the less-privileged citizens of Manila.
These donations came with heartwarming notes and letters which I will forever keep and treasure as they inspire me to do more and strive for the better. I appreciate all the kind words and they boost my morale and that of the city officials working with me.
These donors have expressed faith and trust in our administration and we in the city government of Manila will not fail them as we work to the best of our ability.
Our deepest condolences fo the family of Samson Bautista, the “pares” vendor who was mercilessly shot in the neck pointblank by an armed holdupper.
It will be recalled that Bautista was initially brought to the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center (GABMMC) where he was attended to by our very able hospital director Dr. Ted Martin and his staff.
I paid Bautista a visit and promised to give him a permanent vending place once he recovers. Unfortunately, he had to be transferred to another hospital for a more complicated operation and did not make it.
The suspect, Alexander Ogdamina, 36, of Gasangan, Baseco Compound, Port Area, admitted that he is a drug user and was in fact under the influence of illegal drugs when he shot the poor victim.
Thanks to the closed-circuit television (CCTV) in that area, the suspect was easily identified and arrested.
It is along this line that the city government plans to utilize a better tracing system that will make it faster for our law enforcers to locate and arrest criminals and wanted persons or those so-called fugitives from justice.
Under the new system, we are eyeing the use of a device that will have a special feature called “facial recognition” in order to better track down suspects.
With this in place, information on anyone who passes by will automatically be known via facial recognition, so that those who are wanted by law authorities will be easily identified. Based on our database, the algorithm will recognize your face and raise the red flag and then we will follow you.
I have been offering reward money for every “wanted” arrested by the police, in an effort to keep the unsuspecting public safe. Imagine you or your loved ones out there carrying on your regular activites without knowing that someone in the neighbourhood is a “wanted” rapist or murderer who may strike again at any given time.
In return for all these efforts, we ask the victims of crimes to make sure that they do file a complaint and see the cases through, so that the suspects will be prosecuted and punished accordingly, instead of going scot-free once again and ready to go back to their old ways just because their previous victims chose not to lodge any complaint.
Much as we would really want to help the victims, we cannot do everything alone.
Gaya ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first! ***
For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account— ‘Isko Moreno Domagoso.’