Editorial: The matter of fairness-A A +A
Friday, October 25, 2013
A CONTROVERSY has many sides, especially if it’s a big one like what happened in Maribojoc town in Bohol when its mayor Leoncio B. Evasco Jr., was accused of accosting Philippine Red Cross volunteers and of politicking in the distribution of relief goods to victims of last week’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake.
Suddenly, Evasco has been catapulted to national prominence, or notoriety if you may, because of the controversy. It is not surprising, therefore, that many people are asking for more information about the said official.
It has now turned out that Evasco served in Davao City under Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for two decades before running for and winning the post of mayor in his hometown Maribojoc in 2007.
“Mayor Jun,” a recent Sun.Star Davao editorial sympathetic to the mayor said, “started his adult life in priesthood, saw the sufferings of the masses at the height of Martial Law and thus took up arms.
“He was enticed to join public service as officer-in-charge of the Davao City Engineer’s Office the year after Duterte assumed his first term as mayor in 1989.
“He became the mayor’s chief of staff the following year until 1996. He then held various positions under Duterte. He ensured smooth operations for the city and never hogged the limelight.”
That information, of course, does not establish who between the mayor and the Red Cross is telling the truth or who was to blame for the fiasco.
Neither does the point that Maribojoc received several awards, “among which was the Seal of Good Housekeeping given by President Benigno C. Aquino III in 2011,” under his watch.
But the information helps in lessening the vitriol that has been heaped on him by people who make conclusions with only a small knowledge of an issue.
More so because, in this controversy, he is a politician in conflict with the Red Cross, an institution that has established goodwill among the people.
The lesson learned here is that perspectives change as additional details of a controversy surface. So it is better to withhold the giving of reactions until enough information has filtered in.
That’s what fairness dictates.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 25, 2013.