03 February 2007

Shortchanged and betrayed

THIS letter first appeared yesterday in the single-again Inquirer website (after that quiet divorce with GMA News and Public Affairs, which now has its own here), so I had to link up to it before being buried by the daily flood of information that ritually comes its way.

After visiting the devastated areas like Guinobatan and Padang, Legazpi City and seeing practically nothing, Teresa Ala, a Bicolana who now lives in Alberta, Canada, asks where all the dollar donations went, including the $1 million that Canada sent (around P41 million at the current exchange rate).

I don't blame her for again feeling shortchanged and betrayed. If there are people who profit from the tremendous suffering caused by calamities like Reming and Milenyo, our opportunistic politicians easily top the honor roll. For instance, these two successive columns by Neal Cruz about Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman here and here describe a typical gimmick they pull off every time disaster comes.

So, where have the donations to Bicol victims gone? Iriga Mayor Madel Alfelor-Gazmen asked the same thing when two truckloads intended for her city suddenly disappeared; now she is reaping the political whirlwind.

Expect all of these relief goods to suddenly flood the region come election time, courtesy of some "generous" politicians. They know the answer to Ms. Ala's question all along.


Filipinayzd said...

Vinizit namin yung aunt namin sa Legazpi nung December 13. Ayon sa kanya, wala silang nareresiv na tulong sa barangay atbp. Yung anak nya na nagwowork sa isang prayveyt korporeysyon, nakakaresiv, isang sako ng bigas atbp.

Nung pauwi na kami (ilang minuto matapos magkolaps ang isang tulay sa Guinobatan), nakasabay namin yung karavan pauwi, dala pabalik ang ilang relif, mga konstraksyon matiryal!

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Baka nagsidetrip papuntang Pantao, Libon kasi yung multimillion-peso all-weather regional port doon,nagiba ng bagyong Milenyo at Reming.

Yung NEDA regional office na nagrereklamo, kakasuhan ata. At yung congressman na maysakop ng distrito, tatakbo daw para gobernador ng Albay.