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ROUGH CUTS | They deserve the Davaoeños’ accolade

A RECENT POST ON Facebook from a group calling itself “Knights of Democracy” says that “Not all heroes wear capes. Some work at the Commission on Audit.”

     Inversely, “Not all trolls work for the administration. They are also in the farms of the opposition. And some of them wear sheep’s clothing at the Commission on Audit.”

     Relative to this we also saw on Facebook a post announcing that a public affairs program on television is forthcoming featuring panelists composed of former COA chair Heide Mendoza, the current COA chairman, one Mr. Aguinaldo, and one other professor. The former chairperson and the current one are all Aquino III appointees, while the other one is closely identified with the opposition. For certain everyone knows what their subject would be and where their discussion on the subject is headed to.

     Well, can we blame some people if they suspect that the three are among the trolls in sheep’s clothing and banding together as “guardians” of the people’s money?

     Easily, the way the COA auditors crafted their report on the alleged questionable fund utilization by the Department of Health (DOH), can be gleaned as “subjective” and opinionated intimating anomalies in transactions of government agencies even before proper investigations on the matter are conducted, or the process of utilization explained. Clearly, their real motive is betrayed. Of course, they can always take refuge on questions related to their conduct to the guaranty provided for in the country’s constitution. After all, the COA is an independent body in government created by the national charter.

     But of course, we believe that the government auditors have a duty to undertake. But what could end up controversial is the way the supposed “guardians” of government finances lace into their report certain hidden agenda and how they make such supposed findings instruments for some other groups with political interest to use against another – in the DOH case, against the administration and its current efforts to tide over the pandemic raging the country.

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     Early this week a certain Mr. Ceballos, reportedly a person with disability, came out in the media claiming that he was slapped by his own Barangay Captain, Roberto Ballarta, of Los Amigos, Tugbok District.

     The incident, according to the complainant barangay councilor, emanated from their misunderstanding over the use of a barangay vehicle. Ballarta, however, in an interview over television, denied he has taken such abusive action against the Kagawad. But it appears that Mr. Ceballos has gone to a doctor to have himself examined right after the incident and that in lodging his complaint with the police the Kagawad is already armed with a medical certificate purporting bruises on his face.

     Well, this development only shows that some government officials, even those who are at the barangay level, have become too paranoid with their power that they would not even hesitate to use their brute force to show they are the authorities. People should be wary of that kind of barangay captain. Running a government, even the smallest unit, does not make anyone over and above the ordinary citizen. Isn’t it that they run for an office to be of service to the people? If one barangay captain can just casually slap a Kagawad, how much more an ordinary citizen?

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     Whoever thought of the idea by the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) to increase the salary of job order health workers not just at the same hospital but in others, deserves the Davaoeños’ accolade.

     Certainly, because by increasing the salary the more qualified individuals for the various health-related positions will be encouraged to apply and be motivated in their work despite the known risks attendant to their responsibilities.

     We do not have any idea how much is the new rate. But the plan is assurance enough that Davao City will have ready additional manpower to respond to any new surge of COVID-19 cases in this part of the country.

     On the other hand, we have this notion that the source of funds to cover the increase in salary could be the local government of Davao City.  If true, then we can say that Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio indeed has that sensitivity on issues that have now become a national cause of enmity between and among some people in government, specifically those working in hospitals.

                                       

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