By ARTHUR L. ALLAD-IW
I had been observing that every time an exposé is done involving the administration anomalous deal, a counter move is being done with its primary aim to divert public attention from the issue being exposed. I observed that this administration’s tactic of deviating from the real issue being exposed proved effective.
A concrete example is the exposé on the anomaly tainted $329 million NBN-ZTE deal. The NBN-ZTE deal reached its height and provided a clearer picture of the anomaly, there arose the rice shortage issue. Since rice is the main staple for Filipinos and the projected rice shortage will surely affect them, the move of the government to address this alleged shortage will now be the focus while the NBN-ZTE deal will wither.
Honestly, I do not believe that there is a rice shortage in the country. In fact we have enough rice according to reliable farmers’ groups. In fact, surplus rice produce is being sold so cheap. Farmers cannot have at least a little profit from their products.
Even farmers from subsistence villages have enough rice produce. In the Cordillera, they are exporting it so cheaply. It is not them that benefit most from this exportation because their products are bought so cheaply per kilo. The indigenous names of their rice are being used for these exportations. But this is another story.
Assuming, but not accepting, that there is really a rice shortage, I believe it is because of rice traders who might be in an organized system working ala mafia or cartel. Senator Nene Pimentel has an interesting expose: that the DA secretary’s father-in-law is involved in rice trading. Of course the good senator is asking the truth about this. If the DA secretary’s father-in-law is involved in a la mafia rice trading, then it is not appropriate for him to be in that office – an office that is primarily responsible for the agricultural food security of the country. If such issue is indeed true, I hope it will not be brought to a congressional inquiry. Anyway, I am sure it will not be resolved at all because of those magic words executive privilege.
Let us go back to the rice shortage issue. If Pres. GMA would address the rice “shortage”, of course it could swing the public opinion on her side. That would be maintaining and strengthening the status quo, at least up to 2010, if she will not extent her term. Who will believe her words anyway? Once she said she will not run, but she did not keep her words. Once she said “I am sorry”, yet she makes effort that the public would not know the truth about the 2004 electoral fraud.
But my point is this deviation from real issues. If every time we have such controversial or substantial issue being exposed and the administration can deviate to another in their favor, what would happen to those issues? They will remain unanswered. And that is not for the people’s benefit, it is for the administration’s benefit.
This is what I think is wrong. The people suffer from government mismanagement. It destroys the role of government to serve the people where its authority emanates. And every time the government officials commit a crime, they can go away by invoking the executive privilege. Why do we need then a government if the system is like that? Why do we need to share from our pocket money for government revenues, if those revenues will not be used for our welfare? #