IN times of crisis caused by natural calamities such as typhoons, the poor, and the very poor among the more than 100 million Filipinos are the people who need the government the most. But do political leaders show genuine concern when they get busy studying strategies on how to politically benefit from helping the typhoon victims?
A number of these victims must have been among the beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash program (CCP) but were made to sign for P2,000 and given only P200. Guess where the bigger amount of P1,800, or 80 percent, went. Your guess could be as good as this writer’s.
(I know this because a member of a group of CCP beneficiaries in a municipality told me that on one occasion in the past they went home empty-handed because they felt they had been cheated of money intended for them by the government.)
And when these elected public servants, who do not deserve at all to be called public servants, neglect the constituents who voted them into office, who else comes next to mind when we try to find people able to extend a helping hand to the poor?
There is only one sector of society that might be able to share a part of their wealth which comes from their business. The mere mention of the word associated with big conglomerates would make obvious what Due Diligencer is talking about.
It is Big Business.
Yes, they are already helping the poor a lot through their foundations and other charitable endeavors. They would probably share more at what might now be a very critical time for those who would be rendered homeless and without food by typhoon Ruby.
With their profit, Big Business can spare some cash for the typhoon victims without having to pass the hat, or a tin can, around as some of them do to solicit donations from the public.
Hopefully, these “tin can proponents” would donate the proceeds under the label “public participation” and separately make their own donations. I know this because I once checked some of those tin cans and found them empty.
There is no need for Due Diligencer to “expose” the earnings of Big Business, as those figures could be found either from their audited 2013 annual financial reports or their nine-month earnings for 2014. It is enough that Due Diligencer saw the efforts of conglomerates in getting more people involved in helping the less fortunate among the country’s population.
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IT seems the Aquino Administration may soon lose steam, if not its argument, in its effort to jail Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla on allegations he benefited illegally from what is now the infamous P10-billion pork barrel scam.
If the prosecution really has a strong case against Revilla, the government lawyers just have to contend with someone on the senator’s side — lawyer Raymond Fortun, who has put up a solid argument as Revilla’s spokesman. He was able to argue his case well in a recent interview with ANC, or ABS-CBN News Channel.
But as far as this writer is concerned, the lawyers of the senator must have found the prosecution’s weak side that perhaps Fortun intentionally did not disclose in his media interviews, preferring instead to reserve it for his and his team’s final assault.
Or did he really know what Due Diligencer is referring to?
Of course, Due Diligencer and other non-lawyer followers of the court proceedings on the misspending or misallocation of the P10-billion pork barrel funds would have to content themselves with reading what newspapers publish based on the reports filed by their reporters.
(Disclosure: Atty. Raymond Fortun was one of the lawyers who defended President Joseph Ejercito Estrada in 2001 in the only impeachment case ever filed against a sitting president of the Philippines. Incidentally, this writer was on the opposite side being one of the prosecution’s witness who corroborated the testimony of lawyer Perfecto R. Yasay Jr., former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, against the former president and now the mayor of Manila.)