Tuesday, 23 July 2013 13:45
LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… `The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’…” (Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, in Matthew 25:40, the Holy Bible).
CONGRATULATIONS, SENATE PRESIDENT DRILON: As I said before, it’s all over but the formal announcement as to the choice of Sen. Franklin Drilon (Liberal Party, Iloilo) as the next Senate President, to replace outgoing Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile. Seventeen senators voted for him to become the new Senate President, while six voted for Enrile on July 22, 2013, as the 16th Congress opened.
After his election, Drilon took his oath as the undisputed leader of the upper chamber of Congress, with a solemn, if impossible, promise: for the Senate under his leadership to craft laws that will address the day-to-day needs of the mass of Filipino people who continue to be mired in poverty.
I say Drilon’s promise, with due respect, is going to be some kind of a “mission impossible” because, indeed, what can senators and the Senate as a whole do to uplift the continuing material deprivation of millions and millions of Filipinos who, according to official government records, remain poor even as President Aquino has been in power for the last three years?
DRILON MUST PURSUE ABOLISHING ‘PORK’: The truth is that, Drilon and his colleagues can technically only come up with legislation, nothing more, nothing less. And what is glaringly clear is that, most of those who are in the Senate today have been there for as long as we can remember, and yet, the laws they have passed have not really pushed the Filipino poor to a better life.
Maybe, what Drilon and his followers can concretely do is to renounce, give up, and waive, their P200 million pork barrel allocations every year which will amount to P4.8 billion annually, and ask that the amount be instead channeled to providing business opportunities for the farmers, the fisherfolk, the white-collared employees, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and even the jobless and the out of school children.
If our senators do that, then, they can be viewed as real partners of President Aquino in his quest to eradicate poverty and desperation among our people. Anyway, we already have examples of senators who have not been receiving their pork barrel allocations, but who continue winning in elections anyway. Now, more than ever, our senators must walk their talk, as it were, in addressing the needs of our people.
USE ‘PORK’ FOR THE POOR: Indeed, if Drilon and the other lawmakers from the Senate will only be true to their Christian faith, then they will know that their God——who is the God of the Bible—has given specific instructions on concretely helping those who are in need. In James 4: 14-17, Christians are told to provide for their needy brethren, and not give them words of encouragement.
These Biblical verses say: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, `Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
In 1 John 3:17-18, it is also written: “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth…” Drilon and his fellow senators who profess to be followers of the Christ should endeavor to put these verses into action in their lives as legislators.
REACTIONS? Please call me at 09817 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0922 833 43 96. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
By Atty. Batas Mauricio
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