April 29, 2007

Election 2007
Fariñas: Political will needed to enforce all laws

THE ENFORCEMENT of all laws and to ensure its strict implementation lies upon the political will of the chief executive concerned, said former Ilocos Norte Governor Rodolfo C. Fariñas, who is now on the political comeback trail after years of political inactivity as he battles Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Michael M. Keon for the province’s gubernatorial post.

Fariñas’ statement came about after the recent arrest of several Chinese nationals who were caught working at Rigid Mining and Aggregates without the proper permit. Police authorities and immigration officials later discovered that the said mining firm, which operates in Carasi, Ilocos Norte, was also using chemicals allegedly used in the manufacturing of illegal drugs. The mining company later disputed the allegation saying the chemicals seen in their mining site were being used in the extraction and processing of minerals.

Nonetheless, Fariñas stressed that if the present administration of outgoing Ilocos Norte Governor Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., who has endorsed Keon to succeed him, is not lax on the implementation of all pertinent laws or even just simple policies governing the administration such as on mining and other forms of irregularities, then would-be violators would have second thoughts about committing illegal acts in the province.

“We do welcome our investors but they should abide by our laws. These foreign nationals can’t do this [alleged] irregular activities without the consent of authorities concerned,” Fariñas said.

The former three-term governor added that the leadership of a chief executive in the implementation of laws within his jurisdiction plays a vital role to ensure that any form of illegal activity will not be committed in the province.

“It’s a matter of respect to authorities that no one would attempt to commit such. If they can see that you are lax then they [would] try to ‘test the water’ but if you send a clear signal to the investors that you don’t want foolishness in doing business then they will have a second thought,” he explained.

Fariñas also cited the number of political killings in the province where three mayors were killed during the nine-year term of Marcos from 1998 to 2007 as he noted that these actuations reflect the administration of present leaders to mobilize concerned authorities within their jurisdiction to solve these issues the soonest possible time.

Meanwhile, the governor’s wife, Atty. Liza Araneta-Marcos, in a press conference, said the killings Fariñas mentioned should not be blamed on the governor’s leadership because all municipal mayors that had been assassinated were already given justice as their suspected killers are already detained. She added that this was not the case though with the case of former Laoag Vice Mayor Jimmy O. Chua, whose killers still remain at large.

Leilanie G. Adriano

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