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National shame: diverted or undistributed relief goods

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(BY: ATTY. BATAS MAURICIO) LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS:“… The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, in John 10:10, the Holy Bible).

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SCANDAL OVER DIVERTED OR UNDISTRIBUTED RELIEF GOODS NOW A NATIONAL SHAME: Clearly, aside from the death and destruction brought about by rains, floods, and strong winds coming to the country on regular intervals, Filipinos now also have to fear the shame descending on the entire nation as a result of relief goods and donations, coming from local and foreign donors, being pocketed by unscrupulous persons, or are being allowed to rot instead of being seasonably distributed.

This national shame has become a part of Filipino life every time a typhoon or some other calamity strikes, prompting even international agencies and governments to demand accounting of their donations.

I am sure officials of the Aquino government are aware of this anomaly, yet it is clear they are simply brazening it out, uncaring about the black eye given to President Aquino and to his avowed “righteous governance” program by this shameful malady. I will not be surprised if and when, at some point in the future, another calamity strikes, no one will want to help us anymore, for fear that their donations and other assistance will just be diverted again.

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EXPIRED DONATIONS FOR CALAMITY VICTIMS: I am saying this because in the past, I wrote about this already. On January 13, 2012,  I sent the following article to newspapers and Internet and Facebook groups carrying my column entitled “Expired donations for Sendong victims? Paging Red Cross”. Read on:

“Paging the Philippine National Red Cross. Here is a text message, translated from Filipino to English, from someone who claims he is a resident of Valencia, Bukidnon: `Good morning, Atty. Batas Mauricio. I am amazed by the people from government, especially from Red Cross. Instead of helping us victims of Sendong, they seem to be giving us more problems.

“We line up for hours, sometimes for a full day, for the relief goods and donations they will give us. We are happy because, somehow, we receive something. But it is irritating us no end to find out, after we reach our homes, that the products given to us cannot be eaten or used anymore because they have expired! Perhaps, it is better if we change `Red Cross’ to `Black Cross’…from Valencia, Bukidnon.’ The texter’s number is 09268869639.”

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DINKY SOLIMAN NEEDS TO EXPLAIN: Then, here is another article I wrote some two or three years ago, also highlighting the inability of the Aquino government to respond to the needs of our countrymen stricken with typhoons:” Cotabato City Mayor Japal Guiani is standing his ground, and is insisting his constituents have not received any aid from the national government yet despite their misfortune due to the rains and floods that visited the city. And, despite Malacanang denials, I am prone to believe him.

“A report by ABS CBN TV Patrol confirmed Guiani’s lament: millions of relief bags were found stocked and undistributed at the warehouse of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Cotabato City, notwithstanding the clamor for more aid from hapless city residents.

“Indeed, while President Aquino may have authorized the release of some P10 million for the Cotabato City flood victims, and the money was immediately sent, it would seem DSWD sabotaged the Chief Executive by holding on to, and not distributing, the relief bags. Dinky Soliman has a lot of explaining to do here.”

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REACTIONS? Call 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com. -30-




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