We have no doubt that the massive flooding and landslides in most of the Southeastern Mindanao and Caraga Regions have reached not just to the knowledge of government officials in the said geographic locations but to the national leadership as well.
We are certain that the President is already aware of the gravity of the devastation not only to the livelihood of the people in the affected areas but also to government infrastructures, especially roads and bridges and some government buildings housing offices of some agencies.
Now is the most appropriate time for President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to show his magnanimity and live his promise during the election season that he will have a government of unity among Filipinos. The President must show his compassion to the hundreds of thousands of disaster victims whether they are his supporters or not. He must visit the provinces or cities devastated by the floods due to incessant rains that lasted for over a week and still threatening these parts of Mindanao.
Of course people know that his now political nemesis and former ally, immediate past President Rodrigo R. Duterte is from Davao City which is in the Davao Region, the area most heavily hit by the destructive cataclysm. But if only for the cause of the Mindanaoans in these areas who undoubtedly helped him (Marcos, Jr.) catapulted to Malacanang, the President, even if just temporarily, should forget about his rift with the former chief of state. He should come to any or all of the affected provinces to show that he is not just President for the Ilocanos Manilenos or the Visayans. He should make the Mindanaoans – the Davaoenos specifically – feel he is their President, too.
Marcos, Jr. should not re-live the life of the history-scorned Emperor Nero who just keep on playing his flute while the Rome of old was burning. The President must come down to the flood-ravaged areas and shows the people that he is doing one most important task for his constituents – boosting their morale at this time when it is lowest.
Besides, by taking a hard look with his naked eye at the degree of damage caused by the floods he will have an idea how the national government should respond to the situation. The President will know how he would be able to find solutions to the people’s problems both in the immediate and in the long term.
And this is where we and most of the people believe the role of the Presidential Assistant (PA) for Southeastern Mindanao in Sec. Leo Tereso Magno comes in. As President Marcos, Jr.’s man Friday, PA Magno is expected to bridge the people in the disaster-hit areas to the President.
Personally, we feel that Secretary Leo should convince the President to visit his constituents in the Davao Region even if he is now currently at odds with the former Davaoeno President. For certain PA Leo knows that even just the presence of the President in some of the areas most affected will be enough assurance to the suffering people that they have the President’s concern.
It is actually no secret that Filipinos normally join hands when confronted with humongous calamity. Sad it may be, but oftentimes disasters lead to the forging of unity and cooperation among people.
We can only hope that the Presidential Assistant for the regions will be able to explore the opportunity discreetly offered by situations like the one now bringing some provinces in Southeastern Mindanao down to its knees.
While former President Rodrigo R. Duterte seems to have toned down a little his verbal tirades against President Marcos, Jr. his “lieutenants” have not. The likelihood is that the former President has his tacit approval of what his loyal supporters are doing.
One of those carrying the attacks on the administration is former Duterte Spokesperson lawyer Harry Roque. The former Malacanang mouthpiece claimed in his latest harangue against the administration of PBBM is that he claimed to have heard reports of a plan to dismantle the Philippine Army’s Task Force – Davao. The dismantling, according to the “Marites”-sourced information of Roque, is because the Davao City-based army unit is perceived to be loyal to the Dutertes.
The rumor mongered by Roque was immediately denied by the spokesman of the 10the Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.
Apparently the spokesman of the former President might have speculated his idea of the disbandment of the Task Force-Davao after the visit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff in the Army unit’s headquarters in the Davao Region only recently.
Well, how can this country ever move forward when most, if not all, politicians out of power start throwing everything including the kitchen sink to any new administration even before it could start laying the foundation of its course it intends to travel.
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