Vultures during calamities-A A +A
Thursday, October 24, 2013
IT IS sad to note that during an extreme calamity, pranksters can’t keep their impish tricks even as vultures lurk in the corner waiting to strike at their helpless prey.
The spreading of the hoax about the magnitude 8 quake that was supposed to hit us had prompted people to run outside their homes and offices during every aftershock. It was totally a callous act. Whoever posted the warning on Facebook must have been out of his/her mind.
“There’s no way to predict when quakes hit,” Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said in his homily during the celebration of the feast of San Pedro Calungsod.
“This is an unchristian act. Nahadlok na man gani ang tawo imo pang dugangan (people are already scared and you aggravate it),” Palma told the press after the mass.
In Bohol, despite the warning by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) against jacking up prices of basic commodities, some businessmen still took advantage of the misery of the quake victims.
Instead of apprehending and criminal charging those vultures, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will set up discount caravans in Bohol to prevent hoarding of the basic commodities.
With the coming barangay polls, some candidates shamelessly took advantage of the calamity. This earned the ire of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas, who warned politicians not to take advantage of the tragedy.
There were reports of hoarding of relief goods by some barangay and municipal officials in Bohol. Roxas has ordered an investigation.
Even with the flow of relief goods and financial assistance to Bohol from all over the country and abroad, some children were still on the streets begging for food and money.
In Loon, the town hardest hit by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, residents live on tents. They bear the heat of the sun during the day and the cold at night.
Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio Evasco, meanwhile, had the guts to tell Red Cross volunteers to leave town. He was angry that the volunteers did not coordinate with him in the distribution of relief goods.
But the Red Cross volunteers have a valid reason in not giving the relief goods to Mayor Evasco. Aside from this being a barangay election season, it is also the policy of Red Cross to directly distribute relief goods to beneficiaries.
On the other hand, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has moved the barangay polls in Bohol to Nov. 25. Comelec will also issue a resolution banning candidates from distributing relief goods.
Similarly, Facebook should unmask the person that posted the M8 earthquake hoax that horrified those who read it or were told about it so appropriate charges can be filed.
There have been many speculations as to what pork barrel-scam artist Janet Lim-Napoles will reveal when she appears and testifies before the Senate blue ribbon committee on Nov. 7.
There is even a notion that Napoles will not say anything by invoking her right against self-incrimination. But Napoles can only invoke this right if the question asked is incriminatory. Otherwise, she is bound to answer all the questions asked.
But it is too early to tell. As Sen. Teofisto Guingona, chair of the committee, put it, let’s wait until Napoles appears before the committee.
If Napoles would testify, her testimony is expected to rock the halls of Congress and the senators involved in the pork barrel scam. I don’t think it would be as strong as the magnitude 8 quake, though.
Sens. Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla were charged with plunder together with Napoles before the Ombudsman over the billions of pesos lost to the pork barrel scam.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 24, 2013.