By Mortz C. Ortigoza
During the 83rd birthday of former five-time House of Representatives' Speaker Joe de Venecia attended by foreign and local high rollers and his supporters held at his coastal abode, I bumped into former Philippine National Police Chief and retired Four-Star General Art Lomibao.
“Sir, I’ve been reading about you in the old columns of Max Soliven like when you visited him in his hospital bed,” I told the former top honchos of the National Irrigation Administration and Land Transportation Office while we shook our hands.
“Send mo nga sa akin ang link,” the PMA Class of 1974 alumnus retorted.
I told him that I read the intrepid and prodigious columns of Soliven, 77, since first year college.
I first known his death in November 24, 2006 in Japan while I was airborne to Manila from Davao City after visiting my old folks in the southern island.
“Me too, we have mutual admiration (to his op-ed),” he answered me as Regional Examiner Editor Edwin Tandoc had a hard time taking our photo op with my android phone.
“Edwin, give me my phone and I’ll do the “selfie” with the general,” I said.
By the way, Soliven was Speaker JDV professor in Ateneo de Manila when the latter was cutting his teeth for his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.
Author and former national police chief retired four-star general
Art Lomibao during the recent 83rd birthday bash of formerfive-time House Speaker Joe de Venecia.
Here are some of the excerpts of the June 29, 2006 article of Soliven on Lomibao:
“Even while still in hospital, I managed to confer with Police Director General and Police Chief Arturo C. Lomibao who came to visit me. Lomibao, who is retiring on July 5, his birthday, has done a crackerjack job – but he had only one year and four months in which to do it. Too few men. Too little resources. Not enough firearms. Too many rascals in the police force. What can even the most earnest, hardworking, courageous chief of police accomplish – when he’s already a lameduck on the very day he was appointed? I’ve argued – and this, too, quite often with the President herself – that a police chief must have three years in which to lead. It won’t happen. The next guy slated to take over will, if my calculations are correct, have only eleven months until he retire also – next year. The third in line just about a year and a half”.