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Rough Cuts: Money lender now a party-list group

We have nothing against these so-called party-list groups. But again we can only heap the blame on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for giving them accreditations as such.

The provision of the 1987 Constitution allowing party-list organizations in the national law making body is very clear. That is, to give opportunity for certain marginalized sectors of the Philippine population to be represented in the national law making body.

Unfortunately, there are vested interests that are able to hoodwink the COMELEC resulting to the bastardization of the same constitutional provision. Topping the list of the “bastardizers” are politicians who want to perpetuate themselves and their family members in power, the scheming businessmen who intend to have continuing influence in the operation of certain fields of enterprise, and those who think that politics can be a source for easy money.

Who do you think is/are responsible for the sudden conversion of a long-running television action drama “Ang Probinsiyano” into a party-list group? How come this money lending institution the “Manila Teachers” is now seeking a reelection as party-list representative? Then here is this supposed drivers’ association “Dumper” whose nominees may not have even taken the driver’s seat of any public utility vehicle?

They are only three of the many party-list aspirants that are vying for a seat in the House and claiming that their groups are not represented in the government’s law making processes.

Yes, the number of party-list groups in the country’s elections under the 1987 Charter has increased substantially. We are now starting to doubt if there are still sectors left for congressmen elected under the mainstream process to represent in Congress.

With all party-list groups claiming to represent the voice of this and that sector of the Filipinos, every voter in each congressional district already has his/her “other” House representative.
Clearly, it’s a huge waste of taxpayer’s money.

If the COMELEC does not have the balls to ferret out the party-list groups that are creations of certain vested interests and political families how can this constitutional body help institute the desired changes in the country’s political system?

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Well, the last Holy Week commemoration was relatively peaceful all over the country. Except for some bloody accidents there was hardly any earthshaking news of incidents, man-made or brought about by natural calamities, during the entire week.

What was clear during the Holy Week though was the scorching temperature in most part of the country including Davao City as a result of the El Nino phenomenon.

But in two sitios in the peripheries of the village where our family opted to spend the Holy Week, the erstwhile peace was disturbed by two deaths. In Barangay Biao Joaquin the body of a tricycle driver with his throat slit, was dumped in a shallow roadside canal. According to some kibitzers, the victim had messed around several times with married women. And it is believed that his being a lothario could have caused him his life. So, lesson for philanderers: Don’t mess around with married women. Doing such will lead you into the vortex of harm’s way.

In another village some six kilometers from our rural house a barangay police auxiliary was shot dead by three armed men believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA). Well, that is the risk a resident has to take if he decides to serve his village as peace officer. One would never know what could get the goat out of the rebels. Or they could prick the pride of some village residents to the point that they would make you appear abusive. In such a situation any such barangay peace officer could end up in the marked list of the rebels, or be vulnerable to personal vendetta.

But of course the blood spilled by the killings should not be enough to mire the relative peace prevailing during the last Holy Week observance.

Using our farm residence as base of all our activities during the Lent our family visited a total of sixteen churches all over the city. We have already made it a tradition to do “Visita Iglesia” every Holy Week where we attend the mass commemorating Jesus’ washing of the apostles’ feet in the last church we pay homage to.

Yes, we feel blessed that we have done this for the past many years already. And we commit to pursue the same in the coming years as long as we can still physically do it.

Of course we missed the company of two family members. Our eldest son is on board an ocean-going vessel and last week his boat was in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Our other son was not allowed to go on leave by his employer because the nature of his job requires his physical presence especially because the peak of land travel is during Maundy Thursday and morning of Good Friday. We just have to live with it.

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