Zam/Bas and Jolo exile area of undesirables? PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 August 2016 13:20

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

Almost all erring PNP and AFP rank and file as well as government agency executives are threatened or actually transferred to Zamboanga City, Basilan and Jolo, Sulu as a punishment or demotion on their jobs. It is ironic and lamentable that our area, which has been neglected in terms of development since the beginning of our Independence from the Americans  and, subjected to all forms of social disorder, made a “playground” for tribal power play and social injustice, a testing ground of government misadventures like DAR’s Land Reform Program which destroyed local and multi-national industries and forced them to “close-shop” leaving thousands of laborers jobless and penniless in the process. And now adding insult to injury, Zamboanga, Basilan and Jolo have not ceased to be a “punishment destination” for erring government undesirables.

* * * * * *

“Throwing a rotten tomato in a basket of fresh tomato,might spoil the freshness”.  Besides, a “rotten tomato” can still influence others in his group and instead of changing them for the better is not a sure remedy but rather the urge and inclination to do wrong is still with him, and might have a multiplier effects. The late President Ramon Magsaysay has already branded Mindanao as the “Land of Promise” which has never been fulfilled until today. Now government is again branding Zamboanga, Basilan and Jolo as exile area of law breakers, a fatal commitment for our development, which is a case of “from the frying pan to the fire”.

* * * * * *

What is there is Zamboanga, Basilan and Jolo, that some people are afraid of? And has become a normal by word to scare scalawags and scoundrels in government? Perhaps, it is high time that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the first President from Mindanao, will lead in changing the image of Zamboanga, Basilan and Jolo, as a dangerous and scary area, and integrate us into the mainstream of society and to erase from the minds of our countrymen that we are “barbarians” and dangerous. Zamboanga, Basilan and Jolo, are three Mindanao areas that has contributed largely and prominently to our Philippine History and it has to be recognized and not ostracized. To treat the areas of Zamboanga, Basilan and Jolo like a “land of Zombies” to scare shenanigans in government, is unfair and unjust, because our area has better to offer the country for development if only we were taken care of from the beginning.

* * * * * *

The influence of the bad to the good is electrifying, sometimes, although the good will prevail but the bad will always leave its mark. One funny story of how influence works. Table Talk learned this story many years back when we were still a traveling detailman of a multinational phamaceutical company. It goes this way, “One day a Chinese couple, whose prosperous business is in Iloilo, had a problem as to who would handle and manage their business when they are all gone?  They have only one child, a son, but he cannot speak Chinese to deal with their suppliers but only the local dialect of Ilonggo. The father had an idea, he looked for a remote island in China mainland and made sure only Chinese are staying there, and convinced his son to stay there for one year to learn Chinese.The son agreed and stayed in the island alone after his father brought him there to make arrangement for his stay. One day the mother asks her husband, it is now almost oneyear, we will get our son now and bring him home, but, the husband said, we will extend it for one more year so he will really speak fluent Chinese. Two years have gone by,  so the couple went to the island to retrieve their son, thinking happily that they now have someone to handle their business. As soon as they landed in the island, the couple to their aghast and surprise, saw that all the Chinese islanders were speaking  Ilonggo. Their son’s influence is indeed electrifying.”.

* * * * * *

Scoop: Stop thinking that Zamboanga, Basilan and Jolo is are dangerous area where erring government officials are threatened to be sent into as a punishment. We are not “Alcatraz”  “Iraq”  “Syria” or “Somalia” where bombs just explode anywhere or where assassins and murderers lurk in every corner. We are peaceful and happy and can still eat three meals a day without government subsidy. Agree or disagree.