Advertisements

A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES

In 2013, as Senate President Franklin Drilon poured more than P2 billion into roads and bridges for Iloilo City, he set aside a measly P50 million for the retrofitting of the Ramon Avancena Hall of Justice after it was damaged by the February 6, 2012 earthquake.
Drilon ignored the pleas of judges, prosecutors, lawyers and the general public to demolish the building because it was condemned as structurally weak, and posed a danger to its occupants, and build a new one.
Drilon said there was no money.
But only 3 kilometers away, Drilon was pouring P153 million per kilometer on a road widening project which most Ilonggos felt wasn’t even necessary.
He didn’t find it important enough that lives are at stake.
Anyway, the retrofitting was completed early this year. Is the building now safe?
Judges, prosecutors, lawyers, court personnel and litigants who have to work under its roofs are not convinced.
They are complaining that the same swaying motions of the floor that was observed before the February 6, 2012 earthquake could still be felt. Cracks have started to be noticed in critical parts of the building.
Drilon should pray that Iloilo City won’t be hit by a strong earthquake.

Advertisements

Ready to crumble

Ready to crumble

Editorial cartoon of Raul Abellar in Iloilo City’s “The Daily Guardian” captures the grave danger that lawyers, judges, litigants and court personnel face with the “retrofitting” that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), sponsored by Senator Franklin M. Drilon, wants to undertake on the structurally shaky building.
The “retrofitting” scheme has met with strong objections from the stake holders. Engr. Nilo Jardeleza, a noted structural engineer, said the Hall of Justice could become another Hyatt Baguio which collapsed like a house of cards after the magnitude 7.7 earthquake that hit the mountain city in 1990.
Atty. Hans Sayno, spokesman of the Reconstruct the Hall of Justice Movement, noted that a powerful politician seems hell-bent in hiding the anomalies in the construction of the building.
It is public knowledge in Iloilo City the building was erected during the incumbency of Drilon as DOJ Secretary in 1991.