By By Fernan A. Gianan
A meaningful presidential huddle
posted 31-Dec-2016  ·  
1,213 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

Congratulations to San Andres Mayor Peter Cua for being recognized as one of the 10 Outstanding Local Chief Executives, ranked 7th, in the implementation of Community-Driven Development Programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) during the LGU Learning Forum held at Naga Regent Hotel on December 20 at Naga City.

The example set by Mayor Cua, whose productive first term as chief exec is exemplified by his Pasada Eskwela program, should be a guide for other municipal leaders in the province.

*****

The ceremonial distribution of relief goods at the capitol grounds, snubbed by President Digong who described the practice as political propaganda, nearly turned ugly when it was announced that the distribution of the DSWD family relief packs would continue after the program.

As soon as the president left the venue, the hundreds of people who had been patiently waiting out in the heat on the capitol grounds rushed to the lobby to be first in line among would-be recipients. When it became apparent that a queueing system would be impossible, those in charge decided to announce that the goods would instead be distributed through barangay officials as soon as possible. Luckily, many in the hungry and thirsty crowd complied. Most had been there since 10 A.M. without food or water, surviving only on the hope that they would be able to bring something to eat for their families.

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After the president spoke and left his detested duty of ceremonial distribution of relief boxes to DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo and local officials led by Gov. Joseph Cua, Duterte was seen at a corner in a huddle with Cong, Cesar Sarmiento, agriculture chief Manny Piñol, energy chief Alfonso Cusi and trusted aide Bong Go, as former Virac Mayor Flerida Alberto and San Beda Law classmate Oliver Rodulfo observed from the back.

The presidential party then proceeded to the airport for their flight to Naga City, but it apparently held another meeting there for more than 30 minutes. With whom and on what matters the hush-hush meeting was held can only be disclosed by those in attendance.

*****

In a rare occurrence, Duterte’s 12-minute speech did not have a single curse, the “P-I” word or any obscene or unseemly reference.

He only advised Catandunganons to persevere and suffer the occasional typhoons thrown on its way by Mother Nature because they chose to live here in this corner of the Pacific that he says serves as the window of tropical storms.

Nevertheless he drew cheers and applause from the thick crowd bunched in a 50-meter wide cordoned area whenever he made reference to assistance and immediate relief. The clapping was loudest when he described the relief distribution ceremony as “style bulok” which he said he hated and would not do when he was still mayor of Davao City. Noticeably, Duterte was nursing a cold as he sounded to be not his old self.

*****

At the post-disaster PDRRM Council meeting presided over by Vice Gov. Shirley Abundo, Virac Mayor Samuel Laynes criticized the head of the BJMP Virac district jail for seemingly being unconcerned of the danger posed by the oncoming typhoon on the safety of 121 inmates and 30 jail guards at the facility just meters away from the shore.

According to the mayor, it was already very stormy when he directed the MDRRMO rescue team to assist the jail management in evacuating the inmates to the Virac Pilot Elementary School. Had the jail occupants stayed at the cramped facility and the storm hit at high tide, there could have been a number of casualties among the detainees and their guards.

At the same meeting, PDRRM Officer Jerry Beo appeared sporting bandages on his chin. He had difficulty speaking as he answered queries from the acting PDRRMC chair on why the local government units who were given pre-loaded satellite phones were not using the expensive gadgets in reporting their situation to the operation center.

*****

PLAY TIME. A young girl and a young boy were at nursery. She said: “Hey, Paul, do you want to play house?”

    “Sure. What do you want me to do?”

    “Ï want you to communicate.”

    “That word is too big. I have no idea what it means.”

    “Perfect,” she said. “You can be the husband.”

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