Duterte’s officials vanish when rains, floods strike PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 June 2018 16:13

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our ancestors did not follow your law; they did not pay attention to your commands or the statutes you warned them to keep…” (Nehemiah 9:34, the Holy Bible).

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DUTERTE’S OFFICIALS VANISH WHEN RAINS AND FLOODS STRIKE: If there are government agencies that needed to be yoked with the strong arm style of governance of President Duterte, I am certain they would include the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the local government units of Metro Manila, the Philippine National Police National Capital Region (PNP NCR), and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its attached agencies, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The reason is simple: these agencies, their officials and their employees, appear to have mastered the art of making themselves vanish from their lofty offices once the rains start pouring down and floodwaters start rising uncontrollably in many parts of Metro Manila. This vanishing act is scandalous, to say the least, because it is during calamities such as these that they are needed the most by the affected citizenry.

Take for example the heavy downpour and the inevitable rise of floodwaters in critical areas in the metropolis which started around 5:30 p.m., and which mercilessly continued well into the midnight of Thursday, June 21, 2018. Because of the continuous rains and the resulting flooding of many streets in Metro Manila, many commuters and office workers failed to take their usual rides, staying on sidewalks, wet and hungry, for five hours or so.

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NO ONE HELPED METRO MANILANS STRANDED ON THURSDAY: What happened next? Well, about a million or so Metro Manilans who were rushing to go home after working all day on Thursday had to wait, with clothes wet and soaked with water, and with their feet drenched by floodwaters. Then, for lack of any umbrella or any other sufficient covering against the rains and the floods that could have allowed them to walk home somehow, they were forced to simply stand still some more on the sidewalks near their offices or their schools, doing nothing, wasting precious time.

How could have this misfortune struck Metro Manilans? Because no vehicles wanted to brave the rains and the floods that Thursday afternoon (and well into the night). Then, aside from not having any vehicles which they can ride, the stranded Metro Manilans also had no place to go to, to wait for the rains to stop and the floods to subside. It was a double-whammy for all of them that day and this where my beef comes from.

If the officials and employees of MMDA, the local government units of Metro Manila (the cities and the barangays that comprise its territory), the PNP NCR, and the LTO and LTFRB of the DOTr, possessed even only half of the brain of a paramecium at that crucial moment, they could have immediately done something and afforded relief to our afflicted countrymen, by the simple expedient of deploying big trucks or rubber boats for their use, at least to enable them to cross-over to drier areas.

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“WHERE IS THE DUTERTE GOV’T?” The police and the barangay public security officers (BPSOs) could have also patrolled around the flooded areas where many people were stranded, to assure their safety and their security, and to see to it that, afflicted as they were already by the pounding rains and fast-rising floodwaters, they would not also be falling prey to Filipinos who would have no qualms trying to pull a fast one over them, just to fleece them with a peso or two, with one scam or another.

The problem however was that, officials and employees from the MMDA, the PNP NCR, the local government units, and from the LTO and LTFRB, were even the first ones that scrambled to secure themselves from the rains and the floods. And because these officials and employees could not be found on the ground, no one managed to answer the pitiable howls, a la Vice President Binay in 2016, from the stranded Metro Manilans: “where is the Duterte government?”

As I see it, the only way to prevent a repetition of this scandalously-shameful vanishing act that I personally witnessed on Thursday among government officials and employees, President Duterte should employ a mailed-first policy against them, right away kicking them out from the service if they cannot be of assistance to the people at a time when that assistance is a matter of life and death for many.

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FOR QUESTIONS, REACTIONS: If anyone would like to ask me any question about what the burning issues of the  day mean, or what we have discussed here, or to consult on any problem, whatever it maybe, please call 0917 984 24 68, or email me at batasmauricio@yahoo.com, or post your concerns at www.facebook.com/attybatas.  Promise, I will answer right away. Thank God in the Name of Jesus, Amen!