Legitimate confiscation-A A +A
By Jun Ledesma
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
THE mob which called themselves "Barog" ransacked the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Services. The broad daylight plunder was carried under the helpless and hopeless law enforcers. Leading the pack was Akbayan a communist legal front who dubbed itself as "progresibong grupo."
This is a sad day in Davao City. Knowing how stickler is our city authority in enforcing laws and regulation I am dismayed and shocked that this anarchy could happen and as it happens seemly appears to be abetted. A leader of the group, a certain Cherry Orendain, declared on radio: "This is a legitimate confiscation!" Out there in Quezon City, a spokesman of the front was singing the same refrain.
This brand of audacity is heard only in a less civilized herd in a mobocracy. We should not allow these elements to tarnish the image of Davao City. Knowing how pan-handling foundations work behind political fronts like Akbayan, you can be certain that Davao will land anew in the pages of foreign media as a city where mendicancy can drive the poor and the hungry into looting and anarchy. Already, the image of Davao in anarchy is on national TV.
What is despicable in this abominable scene is that out there in Compostela and Davao Oriental, government officials and DSWD have been working day and night trying to let the loose ends meet for the victims of Typhoon Pablo. At the height of the crises, Barog inveigled its members to go to Comval because Manny Pacquiao and Digong Duterte will be there to distribute relief assistance.
When the group converged, they rubble rousers among them started fanning discontent and prod the throng to occupy the national highway. It took more than 13 hours and the promise of Secretary Soliman to hand over to them 10,000 sacks of rice. Thousands of commuters from north and south of the region were held hostage by Barog. Soliman was intimidated but she asked from the leaders a list of names of those which Barog claimed were victims of Pablo.
During that incident, DSWD and the provincial government officials led by Gov. Chiongkee Uy hardly had any respite from packing relief goods. Akbayan or Barog could be of help but all that the officials asked were list of names of beneficiaries.
Obviously, the militants do not subscribe to this simple instruction for, as their garrulous spokespersons would say, the aids do not belong to the government but to the people. This is the way they justify the raid at DSWD regional office in Davao City. "Legitimate confiscation."
In a sane society where government enforces rules and regulations, certain mandates have to be followed. Submission of the list of names of recipients is no big deal. It is a simple task. But Barog will not have none of these processes. They want 10 thousand bags pronto never mind if Soliman, DSWD regional director Precy Razon and Uy go to jail for not being able to account for the aid which the national, foreign and local donors gave.
The "militants" claimed they are hungry and tired of waiting for government aids. But look at them. They are able-bodied. Hungry? Debilitated? My gosh, some of them even carried two 50-kilo sacks of rice on their backs! Poor? Soliman is right. Where in the world did they get the money to pay for the rental of the buses they used to ferry the so-called hungry victims of Typhoon Pablo? Did they threaten the bus company to “loan” them their buses under the term of threat or "or else."
Were they funded by beneficiary foundations which are serving as legal fronts of CPP/NPAs? If the later is true then they again succeeded in telling the world, in particular the donor foundations in Europe, that hunger is stalking Davao City, that injustice pervades and that the poor have taken the stand to ransack and to loot relief goods that are being horded by a “corrupt” government.
Of course we know that this is not true. The relief items that they carted were in fact not for Compostela Valley and for Davao Oriental but for the victims of the recent typhoon Cressing which inundated seven towns of Davao del Norte. If Barog plunderers are not aware yet, there were as many victims of floods in Davao del Norte as there were victims of typhoon Pablo in Comval and Davao Oriental.
But after all is said and done, there is a subterfuge in the recent events involving the recent activism of the New Peoples Army and the legal fronts of the Communists Party of the Philippines. The pillage of the DSWD bodega in Davao City which is the center of communication in Mindanao and the twin assaults on Del Monte and Dole plantations in Bukidnon showed how government security forces have grown timid.
Sadly the image of our Armed Forces is being eroded. This series of events that showed the timidity of the AFP and the Philippine National Police only invited aggression. Remember heroes can rise in the midst of anarchy and they will not emerge from the diffident forces of the state but from the mob.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 28, 2013.