By Valeriano Avila (The Freeman)
The Philippine Star
I would like to inform our fellow media practitioners in Cebu that this coming Friday, Sept. 7th, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma is inviting us to have a Recollection for Media Practitioners from 8:00am to 11:45am at the Filipiniana Hall at the Archbishop’s Residence along D. Jakosalem St. I look at this as a way for Arch. Palma to reach out to us for some spiritual nourishment in preparation for our up and coming Cebu Press Freedom Week. To our friends who want to join, please email me your intentions so that we can do a head count on how many of us will be there with Arch. Palma this Friday.
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When the late Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior & Local Government (DILG) perished in a crash last Aug. 18, he was given a State Funeral fit for a President or even a king! But what were the accomplishments of Robredo? They were numerous… but mostly it was during his stint as Mayor of Naga City. But nonetheless, the officialdom of the Aquino Regime gave him that honorable send off that few people could even hope to get in their lifetime. For me, the reason why Sec. Robredo was lionized by the Aquino Regime is due to the fact that he was a square peg in a round hole.
Indeed, Sec. Robredo should have represented the new kind of politics that should have emerged from the heels of the EDSA Revolt that removed a conjugal Marcos Dictatorship. But in truth, Robredo was a one-of-a-kind in a sea of ugly traditional politicians, who cling to power because too many of today’s politicians believe that an elective position has become something of a family heirloom that would be handed down from generations to generations. This is why, Robredo’s replacement, former Senator, then DOTC Sec. Manuel “Mar” Roxas could never fill the “tsinelas” that Robredo wore.
Pundits are already saying that in the Aquino administration, only Sec. Robredo believed in the concept of “daang matuwid” or straight path, while the rest of PNoy’s cabinet, including the President himself, only give lip service to this otherwise noble goal. When the Senate Impeachment Trial Court ousted sitting Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona for an offense which was not really impeachable, he threw the gauntlet at the Aquino administration for all of their minions to show their Statements of Assets, Liabilities & Net Worth (SALN). However, only a handful of senators or congressmen accepted the Corona challenge and the rest ignored it.
But it seems that the Corona challenge has not yet been totally forgotten. Enter Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara who has recently filed a bill to honor the legacy of Sec. Robredo, to require all governors, mayors and even barangay captains to post and publish within their territorial jurisdictions, a summary of all income and revenue from both public and private sources, as well as a listing of all their disbursements, expenditures and utilization of funds for the entire year.
I dare say that this is a highly commendable move on the part of Rep. Angara because I’m sure that he would earn “pogi” points in making this suggestion. But will this pass in Congress or in the Senate is the question that I’m sure no one can answer. But do we really need such a bill if supposedly the people in power today are already practicing the principles of “daang matuwid?” For sure, many in the Liberal Party are espousing the principles of Daang Matuwid, but practicing it is a whole different story.
Actually, Rep. Angara doesn’t really need to come up with his proposed bill if only Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, III declared as his priority the Freedom of Information Bill (FOI) which was his campaign promise, but in the end, seems to be an election promise that he intends to break. His minions are already saying “There’s no need for FOI because the President is already practicing transparency.” If so, why are there still a lot of problems in our highly centralized government?
Once again, we bring you to the issue that has hounded the Commission on Elections (Comelec) with their purchase of luxurious or overpriced beds and furniture. It had to take Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano to expose the shenanigans in the Comelec, and in response to his tirades of corruption, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes admitted in public that the beds were “luxurious, not overpriced.”
But what gets my gall in this era of the so-called “daang matuwid” is that the Office of the Ombudsman has totally ignored this issue, pretending that this is not happening under the watch of PNoy. We can only reckon that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales may have been told to keep mum on this issue because the Comelec Chairman Brillantes is the fair-haired boy of PNoy. So much for all that talk about “daang matuwid.” If the Ombudsman cannot file a case against the Comelec, then can we say that “daang matuwid” is dead in the water?
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