News report: CHR officials remind new soldiers to observe human rights law. This one is definitely a welcome news.
But we have yet to hear of news reports on officials of the Commission on Human Rights seeking audience with new recruits to any of the anti-government forces, or with their top leadership to remind them of the same law on human rights.
Are we to assume that the CHR officials believe that those in the armed struggle against the government know better of the law and are fully respecting human rights in their armed struggle against the duly constituted authorities?
Or shall we assume that the CHR believes that the human rights law only applies to government forces and other law enforcement units?
Honestly we have not read or heard any sustained condemnation by the CHR of rebel atrocities some of which have victimized civilians.
Yes, there was one condemnation on the rebel ambush in Masbate where an athlete who was biking was slain. But based on the way the supposed condemnation was done and the shortness of its duration, it appears that it was merely a “skin-deep” show.
But look, when it comes to alleged violation of human rights of civilians allegedly by government agents, the CHR’s sustained attack against the government goes even to as far as the International Criminal Court, never mind if the supposed victims are real criminals whose immediate relatives insists that they are ideal citizens to them and are not capable of getting involved in crimes.
This is the most ambitious yet nebulous program of the local government of Davao City. We are referring to the Local Development Investment Program (LDIP). It is to be backed with a P168 billion – repeat P168 billion – the projects of which are to be implemented within three years. That is, from 2024 to 2026.
We say it is ambitious as it is nebulous because there are no specifics as to the projects even though it is mentioned that the projects planned are on infrastructure, poverty alleviation, solid waste management, health, education and human resource, business and industry support, development, transportation planning and support management, peace and order, disaster and risk reduction and mitigation, etc., etc.
The members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Davao City have already approved the P168 billion proposed budget on its second reading. Meaning, it is just a matter of time and it will be passed by the local lawmaking body.
But as we said earlier in this piece there are no specific projects in each category. Like what are the intended flood control projects and where in the city? What projects are in the pipeline under the LDIP as far as transportation support is concerned? It is on the absence of specifics that the danger lies. For example, in each program categories like water and power supplies, road network, and human settlement, how did the councilors come up with specific budget allocations when they have not disclosed any or all projects under such categories and how much each project costs?
It is worth reminding our local lawmakers that the P168 billion funding of the various projects under the LDIP will come from people’s money in terms of taxes they pay to the city. Even in the payment of amortization of loans that the city may contract to augment the LDIP funds, still it is the people who will shoulder the same for a number of years.
We can only hope that for the sake of transparency and accountability the Sanggunian will come up with the list of projects to be implemented under the LDIP before, on or immediately after it approves on the third and final reading of the proposed P168 billion funding.
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