By By Fernan A. Gianan
Promised assistance to Tria family unfulfilled
posted 3-Feb-2019  ·  
752 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

Shortly after the local police’s solemn remembrance of the sacrifice of SAF 44’s Chief Inspector Max Jim Tria at the Camp Camacho parade ground, acting police director Senior Superintendent Paul Abay invited the late hero’s father, retired Chief Insp. Guillermo Tria, to his office for snacks together with RTC Judge Lelu Contreras, Acting Gov. Shirley Abundo, PIA Infocen manager Edna Bagadiong, several members of the local media and key officers of the command.

There, as they partook of “ibos” and “latik,” the elder Tria revealed that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other agencies have yet to release their promised assistance to this day, more than four years after the Jan. 25, 2015 Mamasapano massacre.

“Pinapirma lang kami,” he told the small gathering, eliciting murmurs of disappointment and dismay.

He did not identify the other agencies whose promise remains unfulfilled.

It may be recalled that a week after the debacle, at least two agencies brought initial cash assistance to the Tria family, which also received benefits due the slain officer from the PNP as well as donations from non-government organizations and several politicians.

Officials from TESDA and DOLE also came visiting, with TESDA offering scholarships to Mac-Mac’s siblings but this offer was declined as only one brother was then studying in college. TESDA officials later offered a training in bread and pastry making to 25 Cabihian residents but at the time the training was completed, not one of the graduates had received starter kits from DOLE as they did not have time to finish the paperwork at TESDA Cabugao.

Tria also lamented the slow progress of the case filed against former Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino and other officials believed responsible for the Mamasapano massacre.

Regarding unconfirmed reports that his son sired a child with an older woman when he was assigned in Mindanao, the retired police officer said the family would just wait for the time the child, who would now be at least four years old, is finally brought here by the unidentified mother.

It may be recalled that during father-and-son’s last cellphone conversation on Jan. 19, 2015, Mac-Mac jokingly asked his father if he wanted a grandson and that they would talk about the matter in May of that year when the young SAF officer was scheduled to be best man at his brother’s wedding. He had hinted that the woman was older and was to give birth in April.

*****

The DILG memorandum directing the automatic revocation or recall of travel authorities and leaves of absence of local chief executives, key Sanggunian members and appropriate members of local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils in case of calamities and disasters is just proper.

It is extremely difficult for officers-in-charge as well as designated department heads to act on matters that would require the expenditure of public funds, especially before, during or after disasters. Local governments could be paralyzed by the absence of their leader or key officials and thus fail to act promptly or preemptively to stave off casualties or damage to properties.

Nowhere is this situation direr than in islands like Catanduanes where it would be difficult for an absent local official to come back to his post once typhoon signals are raised or the weather makes it impossible for commercial planes to land or ferries to navigate rough seas in the Maqueda channel.

The responsibility of alerting their bosses to the approaching storm therefore rests with their designated LDRRM officer, who should be monitoring the weather on a daily basis and in consultation with the local PAGASA weathermen advise the governor or mayor to return to his station as soon as possible.

*****

THE REPLACEMENT. An attorney phoned a governor after midnight, insisting that he must speak with him regarding a matter of extreme urgency. An aide eventually agreed to wake the governor.

    “So what is it?” the governor screamed into the phone.

    “Well, Governor,” said the attorney, “the legal counsel just died, and I want to take his place.”

    The governor responded immediately, “it’s all right with me if it’s all right with the funeral parlor.”


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