Call for reform

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


SOME decades ago, when I was a freshman at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City, which was then a vast landscape of cogon and talahib-covered plain, I met a Cebuano-Visayan from Cagayan de Oro, southern Mindanao. He was among a number of other students from the region, mixing up with us from Central Visayas, because we all spoke the same Cebuano-Visayan tongue.

In the rough-and-tumble new campus of UP, which was still without dormitory buildings, we lived in rows of abandoned “quonset huts" of the American liberation forces that occupied about 400 hectares of land, which was granted as site of the nation’s educational training ground for its youth who would be the resource of the country’s future leaders.

And so it was that I recently got a long letter from one of those who had earlier, like me, lived in old Diliman.

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The letter was from an old friend, Reuben R. Canoy, a most respected civic leader based in Cagayan de Oro. Following are some selected paragraphs from his letter:

“I am prompted to write this letter to express my deep concern about what’s happening today. If we go by what’s reported daily by the media, the Philippines is bad news. More than anyone else, you know full well what I am driving at.

“Corruption dominates the headlines. Billions of pesos that could have been spent on basic services and infrastructure projects have gone into the pockets of crooked officials implicated in the pork barrel and Malampaya scams, not to mention numerous past anomalies that have been swept under the rug.

“At the World Economic Forum on East Asia held in Manila on May 21 to May 23, President Aquino boasted of how the Philippines has become an economic success under his government. Conveniently, he failed to mention official statistics showing that of one hundred million Filipinos, seven million are unemployed and four million eat but once a day--if at all.

“Amidst widespread poverty and hunger, crimes have become common place. Holdups, break-ins, kidnappings, “salvaging” and murders by riding-in-tandem assassins are committed daily with impunity.

“The People’s Reform Movement is a citizens’ initiative aimed precisely at crushing the evils of traditional politics and restoring the people’s trust and confidence in government through the election of honest and upright public servants. Its goal is to achieve four distinct freedoms peculiar to our time:

--Freedom from corruption;

--Freedom from crime and terrorism;

--Freedom from unemployment and poverty;

--Freedom from environmental devastation.”

To Reuben and his movement, I go with your cause.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 13, 2014.

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