Stop the ranting-A A +A
Saturday, January 19, 2013
LAST Tuesday, a throng of left-leaning organizations set up a barricade at the national highway in Montevista, Compostela Province. For the entire day, they hindered traffic in the main and vital artery that linked the northern and southern regions of Mindanao. As a result, about 25 kilometers of vehicles from both sides were stalled, stopping thousands of commuters and the transport of goods to include truckloads of relief goods to victims of Typhoon Pablo.
The despicable display of might in the pretext of right is brazenly deplorable. Their purported cause: That the relief goods are being hoarded, that the distribution of goods must not be done by the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The other side issue is to stop logging and big scale mining. These, of course, are a lot of hogwash. They were there in fact attempts at discrediting the local government, the AFP and the national government agencies before the visiting foreign diplomats who wish to survey the extent of the devastation in the region and how the foreign aid are being handled and distributed.
The leaders of the protest groups were visibly identified as communist fronts.
We maintain that there is nothing wrong with espousing communist ideology but it is absolutely wrong and immoral for groups which were bussed into the site of demonstration to deprive commuters of passage in the national highway. The enthusiasm of many was on account of the false information which the group leaders disseminated that Congressman Manny Pacquiao and Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City will be in the area to distribute goods. This was of course untrue. The police force tried to intervene and appeal to the leaders to allow vehicles to pass through but to no avail. The policemen exercised maximum tolerance for they knew that if they bodily confront the radical leaders, pandemonium will ensue.
While force was necessary to deal with the haughty radicals, we understand that the police operatives cannot have that option given the public furor over the alleged illegitimate operations in the Atimonan, Quezon.
The pretext that there were hoarding of relief goods has actually no bases. In a calamitous situation where all eyes are on the distribution of relief goods, it is simply not possible for any agency to hoard. Donors accompany their relief goods to centers of operations both in ComVal and Davao Oriental. Once there, hundreds of volunteers are present 24/7 repacking goods for distribution. Because much of the areas affected are isolated, the provincial authorities who are on top of the situation have to seek the assistance of the military for the use of their manpower and vehicles to ferry the goods to destinations.
The Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy transport relief goods to towns at the eastern seaboard since roads and bridges were rendered impassable. The Philippine Air Force, ferry goods to extremely remote areas.
The radicals trivialized the issue of fermented rice alleging that the stock stayed too long in the distribution center for which reason this gathered molds. But things like what they claim can happen. That part of delivery was part of the rice being transported from Agusan to ComVal which got stuck along the way because of engine trouble and was soaked by rain.
Department of Social Welfare Director XI Precy Razon explained that that was very insignificant and unfortunate incident compared to the volume of rice and goods that they have delivered to all nooks and crannies of ComVal and Davao Oriental.
She also stressed that the DSWD has the list of every family in every barangay in the two provinces affected by typhoon Pablo. The distribution is now systematic and that they still have to hear complaints from recipients.
We believe in DSWD Director Razon and ComVal Gov. Arthur “Chiongkee” Uy and Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon. We just cannot subscribe to the allegation of the leftists that the goods are being used by the provincial officials to pursue their political agenda. They forgot that the two governors are running unopposed and are on their final term.
We likewise cannot agree to the idea of not involving the AFP from the relief and rescue operations. These legal fronts conveniently forgot that several army men out to rescue victims of floods and inundations also perished as they undertook their mission. Pull out the soldiers and the facilities of the AFP and we will all be back in crises and the quagmire of insurmountable problems. If these demonstrators want to help and relieve of their suspicion that goods are diverted, then let them volunteer in the repacking and distribution of relief goods, reconstruction of schools, roads and bridges.
Stop this lip service to the typhoon victims. Let us put a stop to this ranting for this characterizes the bystanders and the indolent.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 20, 2013.