“Money and corruption are ruining the land, crooked politicians betray the working man, pocketing the profits and treating us like sheep, and we’re tired of hearing promises that we know they’ll never keep.”
By Alex P. Vidal
A FORMER town and provincial official, a good friend of mine, who was lucky to get a juicy position under the Duterte administration, is now super rich.
I know him even before he entered politics. We had the same passion. And he was not rich.
Now, he is a multi-millionaire. No, he didn’t win the lotto.
He was neither engaged in the stock market nor in the real estate.
He was a simple man who had a lucky stint in the public service (where he learned the ropes of “how to earn more than what you get in the payroll” without having to work like a slave).
He was a promising “promdi” (from the province) until swallowed by the prevailing system, a common sickness of those given the opportunity to work in the government only to dip their fingers in the cookie jars.
We won’t be surprised if he is one of those being investigated by the Presidential Ant-Corruption Commission (PACC) as reported recently.
I personally won’t be surprised if one day he will send me another email “to explain my side and to inform you that I am a victim of intrigues and jealousy; and these critics only want to destroy my reputation.”
Like what he did when he ran and lost for vice governor.
The decision to close a portion of Boracay’s shoreline for a 72-hour clean-up August 14 after a female tourist allowed her child to defecate in its water, was over acting.
Also, the decision of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu to instruct Boracay Inter-agency Task Force (BITF) General Manager Natividad Bernardino to isolate the area for the cleanup, was theatrical.
Authorities could have just cleaned up the mess without necessarily announcing it in the whole world through the mass media after the incident was reportedly caught on video and went viral in the social media.
Their wild reactions only exacerbated the incident’s negative effects on Boracay’s tourism.
It’s like washing their dirty linens in public.
World class beaches are not spared from beachgoers urinating and pooping in their waters especially during the sunset.
This happens every now and then, but authorities tipped off about the incident were careful not to overreact in order not to turn the fire into a conflagration, or not to make a mountain out of a molehill.
There are municipal ordinances that deal with this kind of unsanitary behavior by vacationers. Local authorities can throw the books on violators.
But if they can help minimize the impact of such incident in public which will have negative effects on tourism, it’s best if the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the DENR can solve the mess silently and refrain from making a billow out of it in the mass media.
If publicity in the social media is cruel, publicity in the mass media will leave a bad taste in the mouth.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)