WE AGREE to claims of some sectors of the Philippine population that the military and the police intelligence communities are, after all, not so intelligent; that they are a bunch of undiscerning gatherers of information that has led the government into several missteps that ended up in humiliation. Add to this apparent shortcoming is the dumbness of certain government mouthpiece issuing statements on the matter without studying its possible implications.
The latest of these boners is the alleged “red tagging” by the intelligence communities of the organizer or organizers of the so-called first ever community pantry aimed at helping those individuals or families badly affected by the raging health pandemic.
Why, if those assigned in looking into the background of the organizers, they should have been extremely discreet in making inquiries as to the organizational affiliations of those who are behind the first community pantry, one Ana Patricia Non, and may be some other less exposed individuals.
The intelligence men or women should not have directly approached the organizers or their direct supporters in getting information about them. If they have applied the appropriate tact that they might have been taught while undergoing training on intelligence gathering, there might be people in the close circles of the organizers who might have even unintentionally volunteered giving the information.
Yes, when the intelligence people went directly to the organizers and their minions, they fell on the trap and their intentions were immediately brought to the open. Now, whether or not the organizer or organizers have affiliation with certain left-leaning groups, the miscalculation by the intelligence people placed them in a disadvantaged position. The intelligence community is put on the defensive – a situation that is further exacerbated by the Left and by the perennial critics of government inside and out.
The rather reckless spokesmen of the government’s program to end the movement of the Left in communities are now inside an almost inescapable sinkhole. No less than the National Security Adviser has issued a gag order on them so they would not bring the anti-insurgency program farther to the road to perdition.
Meanwhile, here are some lawmakers, senators specifically, who are mostly aspiring for another term or some higher elective positions conveniently riding on the opportunity into the consciousness of the Filipino voters. They immediately brandish their power of the purse.
They are threatening to defund the anti-red government program just because they believe that the intelligence network of the government is not doing its job properly. Further it is warning the President that the program of the government seeking to dislodge communists in the localities will not be funded in next year’s budget.
Well, these government purse handlers are like depriving a travelling sail boat with its sails, or letting its crew disembark and leave the sail boat move sans guidance of its rudder. All because they feel disrespected by a general whom they earlier called stupid and who return the unpleasant compliments to the lawmakers. All these in the guise of re-aligning the funds of the anti-red program to the pandemic response.
Well, isn’t their act an indication of their myopic view on the matter? Are they trying to say that what they are seeing is a tree or some trees and missing the forest from their sight?
The decision of Davao City mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio to request the national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases like the one that is bringing the world down to its knees, to grant authority to local government heads in the Davao Region to put the borders of each provinces and cities under semi-closed situation and allow only essential travels, is a move in the right direction.
Indeed it is, because right now despite the declining number of new CoViD 19 cases in the various LGU’s in Southern Mindanao, there is no assurance that a surge could not happen. More so because despite the effectiveness of the various health protocols issued by the government, there are still many who choose to ignore them.
One example is the seeming unhampered movement of people from one province or city to another for family visits, bonding and even simple recreation trips. And these activities somehow are even posted in the social media without any hints of hesitation by those concerned.
Clearly, if something is not done to prevent these violations, it would seem that the local government authorities are being openly insulted and the protocols mocked and ignored with abandon. Imagine one day a group or family with private vehicles, or hiring transport services going to Surigao or Davao Oriental for some beach picnics, and in another day posting similar activities in Davao del Sur or South Cotabato or Sarangani Province! How come these are happening so easily for some even as the protocols are still in effect?
Let it not be forgotten that in all the provinces and cities in the Davao Region or in its neighboring Region 12 and BARMM, the pandemic is still very much around. And if there will be unrestricted travels to and from these places no one can be sure he is safe or beyond the infection of the virus. And he or she can bring it back to Davao City or to where he and his companions come from.
As is the common dictum and true in its sense, “An ounce of prevention is worth much more than a pound of cure.” So, it is just right that if some of our people prefer to ignore this saying, let Mayor Sara do it for them. That is, let her impose the preventive measure. We hope the national IATF will not delay its action on the mayor’s request before it ends up late.
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