With Due Respect, Mr. President

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014


TEARS -- It is alright to cry, even for a president. Even in the middle of a very important speech if suddenly the image of your mother comes to mind. It only demonstrates the feeling of a son towards a departed mother. Sorry critics -- that was no acting.

President Aquino's voice cracked and tears welled in his eyes. Paused, and regained his composure later. I loved him for that because I can relate to him. It was in 1998 and I was in the thick of a mayoralty campaign and I vividly remember those many instances when in the middle of my campaign speeches I will stop, closed my eyes and when to continue my voice cracked and there were teardrops rolling on both cheeks. It was because it was in that portion of speech when I said “ima nung balu mu oyni na ning disnan ku keng biye ko. Alkalde ku Angeles at kandidatong kalaban la ring makwalta. Sana ima mabye kapa at ikit muku at dimdam muku sanang mag-diskurso keng entablado.” I was never ashamed to cry, even now when I remember my late mother.

THE SONA SPEECH -- A higher percentage of those polled said that the State of the Nation (SONA) speech of President Noynoy was the best among the four thus far delivered. With due respect, I can't agree with the majority.

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How in heaven's name you praise the labor secretary saying that there were only two labor strikes in the country last year and said that additional warm bodies entered the workforce last year. With due respect Mr. President, there will always be decrease in strikes in the labor force, because workers now in various sectors are hired only for five months. How could they be unionized. I f there are millions of jobs created as you claimed, they are those labeled as ENDO workers. They are terminated before they reach six months in their employment. And maybe re-hired again after a vacation of few months. Fix this one. This labor contracting also should also be reviewed, and maybe put a stop to it.

MORE ISSUES -- Are you sure there are no more “tongpats and padulas” and bid riggings in many engineering districts and several bureaus of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Mr. President? Napatawa ang mga kaibigang kontratista habang pinapanood ka namin sa TV sa may Ribeye. Savings? Look what happened when Secretary Babes Singson awarded a project below the estimate for savings' sake. The Magalang-Pandan road was originally more than P100 million. The contractor bidded P60 million and was given the award. Now he cannot hope to finish the project with that amount and hoping there will be a change order where corruption seeps in.

Don't claim Mr. President the Tiplex project. This was started during President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's time. And your Green City project in Capas is hardly moving. The local officials in your home province are not even delighted because there is not a single roar of a bulldozer machine since it was announced more than a year ago. Thank God, if the project will even get a good start while you are still in Malacanang. What about those thousands of informal settlers there? What are your plans? You think you can relocate them in two years?

In the Typhoon Yolanda rehabilitation, you should have told us how much was the total donations that came both from local and foreign donors. How was this spent? In my church services, the officiating priest always s to the faithful how much was the total in the last Sunday’s second collection.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 31, 2014.

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