Where’s Ping?

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014


CEBU Gov. Junjun Davide has expressed frustration over the delay in the release of funds from the national government for the rehabilitation of northern Cebu, six months after super typhoon Yolanda wreaked havoc on central Philippines.

But Davide pacified himself by the fact that delays are inevitable to ensure transparency and accountability.

That because the “matuwid na daan” (straight path) is paved with good intentions, period.

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Cebu Capitol officials were earlier beaming with pride for having been the first to submit a rehabilitation and reconstruction plan to the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) headed by Secretary Ping Lacson.

Gov. Junjun Davide even slashed the proposed budget from P26.5 billion to P10.5 billion to “make it more realistic.”

When would his realistic budget finally materialize?

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Baltazar Tribunalo Jr., head of the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said their presentation of the province’s rehabilitation plan before the OPARR was postponed because of Lacson’s tight schedule.

“Where’s Lacson?” asks a headline on page 27 in the Sun.Star Cebu Tuesday issue.

Where else? The rehab czar is busy exposing the names of lawmakers, Cabinet members and other high-ranking government officials involved in the P10-billion pork barrel scam engineered by Janet Lim-Napoles.

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People Surge, a group of super typhoon Yolanda victims in Eastern Visayas, has urged Ping Lacson to resign because he seemed more focused on the pork barrel scam than on helping Yolanda victims back on their feet.

But as what Gov. Junjun aptly observed, Ping Lacson’s office has no funds. Everything he does is merely recommendatory.

Perhaps, with Lacson who never dipped his fingers into the pork barrel fund as rehab czar, the pork barrel scam can be stopped from mutating into a rehab scam.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 21, 2014.

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