Promises are only strong as the person who gives them.
— American author Stephen Richards
ACCORDING to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, he will be working even on Christmas Day and he won’t celebrate the New Year, too, because he will be really going out of his way to spend time with victims of super typhoon Odette (international name Rai) which wrought destruction in the Visayas and Mindanao, rendering thousands of our countrymen homeless and without food or water.
As of press time, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released the initial P1 billion slice of the P10 billion fund pledged by Duterte for calamity-stricken regions. The president explained he would be spending the holidays visiting communities ravaged by typhoon Odette to speed up the distribution of relief packs and cash aid for victims.
While in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, he promised that the government will be working “overtime” during Christmas and New Year to ensure that affected communities will receive the much-needed assistance. He added that he was aware of the criticism hurled at the administration over the purported delays in the state’s relief efforts. He acknowledged that authorities were slow in responding to the needs of areas hit by Odette, saying the massive devastation in several provinces stalled the release of funds.
Once again, the former Davao City mayor has promised aid. And once again our politicians are looking at natural disasters as a boon to promote their political career, giving them a chance to showcase what they believe is genuine care for the people they serve.
The People’s Champ, Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao, has been criticized by his detractors for taking advantage of the crisis by using his vast wealth to boost his presidential bid in the forthcoming national and local elections scheduled in May next year.
And once again we question why are Pac-Man’s critics giving notice to the eight-division world champion’s giving aid to typhoon victims when others are also doing it—and with their names and faces shamelessly advertised on the relief packs being distributed to the citizenry in Odette-hit areas now suffering from deprivation, hunger and lack of drinking water.
We note a recent press release by presidential aspirant Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso’s, where the good mayor of Manila promised typhoon victims aid from the country’s premier city.
The only question we have here is why only now? There was typhoon Yolanda, Ondoy and other severe storm that struck the country but Manila’s promise to give aid is significant because of its proximity to next year’s elections on May 9.
And we wonder why our leaders think of these great ideas of helping the people whenever it’s near election time. They promise “heaven and earth” when campaigning and believe they are the country’s Messianic leader who would bring prosperity to the Philippines.
But as soon as they win they are stricken with amnesia and forget about what they had said to the electorate who had high hopes about their leadership.