Three major policy decisions were made by the President this week that affect our daily lives. First, the sending of more military troops to Negros to fight lawless violence including those in Guihulngan and Canlaon cities in the first district; second, the appointment of new Supreme Court chief Justice Lucas Bersame ; and the allocation of P16-Million for each congressional district in the whole country for 2019 budget. Is it another kind of pork, a female pork?
They may have abolished the old pork barrel but a new pork is reborn: this time P16-million automatic for each congressional district but with the caveat that it will come from national agencies’ budgets for infrastructure for the districts. Pork or not?
You cannot really outsmart Filipinos when it comes to swinging money. The old abolished pork is that congressmen had the prerogative to choose his own project out of his P17Million pork allocation each year.
This time, it is the government who will choose the projects but the congressmen will determine where to put the projects.
Example: the three districts in Negros Oriental chose to use the “pork” from the DPWH and our congressmen chose to “widen” the national highways into two more lanes which is good. But the bad thing is that there are certain highway concrete roads which are still good but are uprooted and re-cemented. Crazy some say. But such money cannot also be diverted to other purposes otherwise it will be technical malversation on the one who caused it to be diverted. Sorry. No better roads for habal-habal into the rough and slippery mountain terrains, even if some highways are wastefully remodeled. Yeah, crazy policy.
The civilian community especially in the first district is already much too injured with so much unsolved extrajudicial killings and violence and vendettas especially in Guihulngan and Canlaon cities. We agree with many people that sending more troops to the area will not solve the problem.
Insurgency has never and will never be solved with guns and violent intimidation. The more you intimidate, the more the wounds of insurgency will escalate. You do not heal wounds by ripping more wounds in the body. You heal wounds with tender loving care and the right medical dosage without opening new wounds.
We heard that the President has amended his Negros order of troop augmentation saying that he has decided to order a hundred or so Special Action Forces SAF teams who will scour the mountains of Negros incognito and hunt NPA sparrows and cadres, silently and secretly. How accurate can the SAF be?
Mind you the rebels are mixed with the civilians. An innocent civilian killed can spring more indignation. Their guns are buried underground until they use it. They do not know whom to attack because the troops do not know the faces of their enemies. They don’t even know the terrain. There might be more possible civilian casualties. A more improved intelligence system is better.
Did Pres. Duterte make the right decision? How about addressing the root causes of insurgency side by side with his SAF augmentation? Guns alone will never solve the longest rebellion in history, which has also the longest un-checked causes of such rebellion.
Take the case of medical missions, these events may not cure, but certainly it breeds goodwill and trust among the people. Maybe the military can also do these kind of goodwill-building efforts.
We simply believe that our rebels are just too angry with our system of a corrupt government. In loud but whispering voices, we can see and hear the people are also angry with our corrupt people and system of government. How can you for instance tolerate billions of pesos of illegal drugs slipping past customs? To think that people in government are also in cahoots? Then worse, promote the ones responsible? Do you think the people are not angry? They ARE VERY angry, Virginia.
We see too much politics even in running simple government hospitals. We see so many government paid casuals and job orders out of poor people’s money, who do not have commensurate job descriptions except voting for their man in the next elections.
The Chinese and Russians do not do that. Then whom are we Filipinos imitating in this culture of corruption? The Americans? Why are we so corrupt a government? Are we run by mad lunatics?
That is why we have nonstop rebellion because of a bad, dishonest, and corrupt system of government where honesty, equality, integrity, transparency and industry are very strange words. Unless we stop these bad traits, you can expect rebels on the side roads.
Please, people of the Philippines, let us not solve violence with military guns.
Rather, let us rather fix our rotten system and come up with an honest to goodness resolve to clean up the mess and give the people genuine, uncompromising, honest, and compassionate kind of government service.