OUTGOING Davao City Mayor and incoming Vice President of the Philippines had this advice to her younger brother Sebastian “Baste” Duterte who will assume as mayor of the city on June 30 – for the new mayor to do exactly what he will commit to do for the Davaoenos when he takes his oath of office seven days from today.
According to VP Inday Sara if Baste will do to the best of his ability the duties and responsibilities demanded of the office, then he can never go wrong. Sara knows where off she speaks. She was able to do exactly what she advises Baste during the terms she headed the city. And no one can argue against that because had Sara done any single act that is not within the ambit of the office she held for quite some time then she could have some rough sailing in her bid for reelection and in her journey to the second highest position of the land.
But will Baste do what outgoing mayor Inday wants him to? Will he not succumb to the many temptations strewn on his way? While we have no doubt Baste is a respectful younger brother and most likely one good listener to any advice that will redound to the good of his person both as mayor and a Duterte family member, there is no guaranty that he can have the handle on the men and women who he will take along with him to help run the city.
We all know that in government it does not have to take the highest official of a given unit to personally commit the venalities for him or her to be accountable for the misdemeanors. All those whom he has given positions of trust can easily bring him down by their own omissions.
It is on this aspect, we believe, that Baste must be wary about. He may be able to do exactly what his sister the incoming Vice President, wants him to do for the good of the people. But should he fail to rub the mandate on to his trusted men and women, then that would be his political perdition.
Baste, meanwhile, seems to be hitting the ground running. What with his commitment to pursue to the full accomplishment the big-ticket infrastructure projects now on-going or in the pipeline for implementation.
Yes, we are happy to hear about these priorities from the mouth of the incoming mayor himself. We have to note that while work is now in progress as far as the multi-billion coastal road much work has still to be done for the infrastructure to be completed to its desired lineal length. And the time table is sometime by the end of 2023 (or is it by 2025?)
Then we have this other big-budgeted project, the first ever by-pass road with a tunnel component in Mindanao. The surface portion of the project has been undergoing the massive clearing and earth filling already. However, the boring of the tunnel has just been started. While, like the coastal road project this by-pass infrastructure is also at the behest of the national government. But Baste, being the mayor of the host city, has a very critical responsibility in ensuring that the project will also be listed in the priority completion by the national government.
On the other hand we encourage the incoming mayor to take some of his time to read and have an observant eye on the posts of some bloggers who have recently been wandering in the remotest barangays and mountain villages of the city. From these blogs the video documentation of the places visited, the new mayor will learn that there are still a number of places in the city that seem to be forgotten by government that theses and the residents thereat can easily be categorized under the most miserable condition despite being part of a highly urbanized metropolis.
Imagine, in some of these remotest areas any part along the way, mostly on top of mountains and hills with treacherous ravines on both side, can become cemeteries for the natives living there!
Yes, based on narratives of lumad residents since they cannot avail of embalming services due to distance and absence of money, they just bury their dead anywhere in the vicinity of their decrepit houses. Or in cases where the family wants to bury the cadaver in city-designated burial grounds the last journey may be hampered by fl on rivers they have to cross. Thus, once the body of the dead starts emitting foul odor the family has to have the cadaver buried on the side of the trail.
Maybe the new mayor who is known for his adventurous nature can look into the video and find where these places are exactly located. From there he may be able to include addressing the plight of the indigenous people in those areas as another of his priorities.
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