Editorial: Aid and politicking-A A +A
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
WE OFTEN joke about our obsession with politics. That means acceptance of something that has exceeded the normal bounds, which is dangerous. Too much politics can affect the way we do things.
Take the case of the aftermath of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit mainly Bohol and Cebu last week. It seems like politics reared its ugly head even in the distribution of aid to the victims.
A post in social networking sites claimed that some government officials in Bohol have been selective in the distribution of the aid, implying that these were given only to political supporters.
That this has been denied by Bohol government officials does not mean it did not happen. And if indeed it didn’t happen, this also means that those who posted the accusation were politicking by trying to paint a bad picture of incumbent officials in the quake-hit province.
Perhaps, it is good that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has decided to postpone the barangay elections originally set for Oct. 28. At least the victims of the calamity will be given a respite from endless and destructive politicking.
And while we are still on the subject of distributing aid to earthquake victims, those who are questioning the constitutionality of the so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) has asked the Supreme Court to bar the Aquino administration from using DAP funds as aid for quake-hit areas.
Earlier, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad had said that President Noynoy Aquino’s “calamity and contingency funds are about to be depleted” thus the need to source funding from the DAP.
Asking whether Abad’s statement has basis, or if the President’s calamity and contingency funds could no longer sustain the flow of aid to victims of calamities is a legitimate one. Because it is also possible that Malacañang may just be using the depleted funds claim to justify the use of the DAP or perhaps “legitimize” it.
But one can also question the motivation of the people who are preventing Malacañang from using DAP funds to help rehabilitate calamity-devastated areas. Is the motivation really for the common good or the rule of law or to advance a political agenda?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 22, 2013.