Unity against pork-A A +A
Monday, September 9, 2013
LIKE other spontaneous alliances, the current movement against the pork barrel should recognize the presence of differences among different groups. We want to build the broadest alliance and focus this force on the removal of the pork barrel.
This way, we remove a pillar propping up traditional politics.
We are not just against the scheme of some senators and congressmen to funnel their pork barrel to NGOs of Janet Napoles. We also are not just against the SOP from pork barrel projects of other senators and congressmen. We are against the pork barrel system that motivates rich men to spend millions for vote-buying to become legislators even if they are not interested in making laws. We are against patronage politics.
In the process, however, the movement should accommodate those both with and without political affiliations. The prime movers of the anti-pork rallies should recognize these differences and the various initiatives within the broad unity against the pork barrel.
Thus I am glad that initial kinks are now giving way to coordination meetings among various prime movers.
Today for instance, Msgr. Rommel Kintanar is reaching out to Stella Palomo-Monteño and her group who are organizing the Sept. 11 activity using the Facebook page “Fuente Ta.” She is getting online support from various online groups like the Maghisgot Kitag Politika, Bay.
Right after the Sept. 11 anti-pork rally at Fuente Osmeña, leaders of various civil society groups will also be meeting representatives of the Archdiocese at the Sacred Heart Center to plan out next moves.
Do I approve of Janet Napoles becoming a state witness? I am not a lawyer and don’t think like one. But if Napoles begins telling the truth about congressmen and senators she dealt with, she would be opening up a Pandora’s Box of sorts.
I am particularly interested in how these legislators, in the guise of going about their legislative work, defrauded government of millions through the years using a fund that has nothing to do with making laws.
If the process leads to politicizing further a critical mass against removing the pork barrel, perhaps even including the un-programmed lump sums at the disposal of President Aquino, then why not? If the process should lead to the removal of pork out of the political system, then by all means let Napoles rat on those congressmen and senators who connived with her.
The community oil cleanup efforts during the first few days after the mid-sea collision and sinking of the mv Saint Thomas Aquinas has given way to a handful of workers hired and trained by Genetron, a professional waste disposal agency based in Bulacan. Work of these workers who are clad in white eco-suits is also supervised by the Philippine Coast Guard and monitored by a team of oil spill and mangrove scientists.
As this developed, the salvage tugboat Trabajador 1 has arrived with special equipment for siphoning the oil remaining inside the sunken ship. I gathered the mv Saint Thomas Aquinas lies on its port side some 50 meters below sea level.
Earlier, Dr. Rex Sadaba, who is the program manager of the Oil Spill Cleanup Program of the University of the Philippines Visayas, advised that oil leaking from the sunken ship should be stopped permanently as soon as possible so cleanup efforts at the coastal areas won’t go to naught.
I chanced upon Joel Mari Yu, the program manager of the Cebu International Promotions Center (CIPC), at the wake of the late Art Cuizon, father of my friends Ahmed (yup the LTFRB director) and tour guide leader Al Cuizon. Condolence diay, bay.
Because I could not help myself from asking about the latest CIPC controversy, I got more than a mouthful from the man who had been promoting Cebu for the last 19 years.
Striking was how the respected marketing guru Philip Kotler and my friend Mike Hamlin of TeamAsia–in the book “Marketing Places in Asia”--considered Cebu as among the places for emulation because of the success of CIPC. Yu was bringing along a copy of the book with him.
Until recently, Yu said representatives from other places were coming over to learn how CIPC is doing it. But it seems Mayor Mike Rama would rather scrap CIPC because he wants his boys to handle the marketing of Cebu themselves.
Still, I am keeping an open mind on the issue and I do want to know how other Cebu stakeholders think about this latest development at Cebu City Hall.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 09, 2013.