November 14, 2012
“Arbitrary shutdown of An Waray’s lone regional office by orders of Congressman Florencio ‘Bem’ Noel is not only childish, arrogant and unbecoming. It actually seeks to avert public attention from legitimate criticisms hurled against An Waray,after its poor legislative performance for the marginalized sectors was put in question by progressive groups in the region,” says Jun Berino, Secretary General of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Eastern Visayas (BAYAN-EV).
Berino adds that Noel’s obvious intention is to deflect questions on An Waray’s poor legislation for the marginalized sectors. He also accused Noel of putting words into other people’s mouth to justify his political rampage against fellow partylist group Bayan Muna he alleged to have initiated a campaign against them. BAYAN-EV rebuked the sensationalism of its temporary shutdown as a “deplorable tactic to deprive the public of an educated discourse on core issues.” He said Noel acted in such “a bad taste and without prudence expected of public servants.” They also criticized Noel and his “close cohorts”by doing a “desperate shame campaign” of broadcasting Berino’s contact info and prompting people to ask from him all sorts of benevolence, instead of responding, straightforward, to their critics’ claims.”
Meanwhile, BAYAN-EV stressed to the public that there is no amount of financial, medical and/or educational assistance from any partylist or district legislator could compensate the lack of government social services at present. Which is why, Berino explains, An Waray is questioned and branded “fake, reactionary anda fitting candidate” for expulsion from the Partylist roll due to failure to serve its mandate as Partylist group.
“Had there been a responsible government that attends well to the people’s right to life, secures job and their homes, provides ample basic social services in healthcare and education, there is no need even for special Partylist groups,” says Berino. BAYAN-EV responded to Noel that An Waray’s poor legislative performance and fancy for patronage politics have only contributed, in fact, to further marginalization of the poor and oppressed sectors. BAYAN-EV called An Waray’s palliative solutions as pandering on government to maintain this status quo.
By avoiding to attend to this neglect, the people consequently become vicious prey to patronage politics that serves more the interest of the benefactor, rendering him a good name to sustain victory in succeeding elections. According to BAYAN-EV, these poor beneficiaries – who were made to believe these politicians are saviors – are left at the mercy of dole-outs, that is why for BAYAN-EV, An Waray have always “wanted to bait people to their brand of politics.”
BAYAN-EV ends that the most fitting action for partylists reps is to legislate bills that could compensate, yet for a long-term, these poor medical services in public hospitals, sky-rocketing tuition and other fees in commercialized public schools, prevalent landlessness, low wages and the inaccessible cost of public utilities.
JUN BERINO, SECRETARY GENERAL
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – Eastern Visayas