The professional jealousy between the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is very obvious. No amount of cover-up can hide it. I have talked to a retired military officer and he told me that there is a popular impression in the AFP that the police is apparently pampered not only on the aspect of pay but benefits as well. My friend added that while the AFP soldiers who are exposed to the elements and danger of fired bullets from the enemy line in the field, the police field personnel comfortably commute to their posts on expensive motorcycles or stay in air-conditioned offices.
On the other hand, when I talked to a police friend, he told me that compared to the military, they are more “professional”, as they are degree holders, some even are lawyers, so they deserve appropriate compensation.
The Mamasapano massacre is one instance during which this animosity was manifested. Although, on papers, the two national security agencies are supposed to be “closely coordinating” with each other, in actual practice, there is much to be perceived. The two parties practically pointed accusing fingers at each other, for alleged negligence that led to the gruesome massacre of SAF44 at Tocanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao Province (Mindanao). Until the re-opened Mamasapano hearing in the Senate has finally wrapped up, late in the afternoon of 27 January, 2016, the AFP and PNP are viewed as far from being reconciled.
Malaking Sakripisyo ang Maging Chairman O Maging Iba Pang Opisyal
ng Maliit na Barangay Tulad ng Real Dos (Bacoor City)
ni Apolinario Villalobos
Hindi nakakapagpayaman ang maging opisyal ng isang maliit na Barangay, na ang pinaka-kunsuwelo ay kasiyahan namang nararamdaman dahil sa tulong na naibibigay sa mga ka-barangay.
Matapat na sinabi sa akin ni Barangay Chairman BJ Aganus (Real Dos, Bacoor City) na sa wala pang dose mil niyang suweldo, ang kabuuang sampung libo lamang ang kinukubra niya. Ang butal ay “iniiwan” niya sa pondo ng Barangay upang magamit na pandagdag sa mga gastusin tulad ng para sa kuryente at iba pa na wala sa regular payroll na binadyetan, subalit kailangan upang mapaganda ang operasyon nila. Ganoon din ang ginagawa ng mga Kagawad ng Barangay na kusang nag-aambagan din sa kabila ng kaliitan ng kanilang allowance. Hindi nila alintana ang sakripisyong nabanggit dahil nababawasan naman ng suportang binibigay ng kani-kanilang pamilya sa pamamagitan ng lubus-lubusang pag-unawa.
Ang nanay ni Kapitan BJ na si Aling Sofie ay umaming sa kabila ng katungkulan ng kanyang anak, silang mag-asawa ay tumutulong pa rin dito. Isang umagang napadaan ako sa bahay nina Kapitan BJ ay natiyempuhan ko si Aling Sofie na nagpaunlak sa request kong samahan ako sa kagagawa pa lang, pero kulang pa rin sa gamit, na Multi-Purpose Hall ng Real Dos. Bilang isang ina, natutuwa siya na nagkaroon ng bunga ang katututok ng kanyang anak sa City Hall, upang magkaroon ng Multi-purpose Hall ang Barangay, kaya kahit sabihin pang damay siya sa sakripisyo ng anak ay okey na rin sa kanya. Natiyempuhan din namin ang “volunteer” na si Aling Amparing na siyang naglilinis ng kapaligiran ng Multi-Purpose Hall, kasama na ang basketball court na nasa harap nito. Wala siya ni pisong kabayaran, subalit dahil nakita niya ang kabuluhan ng maliit na gusali ay hindi siya nagpatumpik-tumpik sa pagkusa ng tulong sa abot ng kanyang makakaya na paglilinis tuwing umaga.
Nadagdagan din ang mga street lights sa Barangay Real Dos dahil na rin sa “pangungulit” ni Kapitan BJ sa city government, kahit pa ang naging resulta ay dagdag-bayarin sa kuryente na maituturing na malaking kabawasan sa budget ng barangay. Subalit naalala ko noong nabanggit niya na mas mabuti daw na nakikita ng mga taong nagagastos sa maayos ang pera ng barangay, kaysa naman daw nakatabi lang. Ibig sabihin, hindi baleng sagad ang gastos basta napapakinabangan naman agad ng mga tao ang pinagkagastusan.
Ipinapakita ng Barangay Real Dos ang kahalagahan nito bilang matatag na pundasyon ng lunsod ng Bacoor sa pamamagitan ng maayos na pamamalakad. At, pinapakita ring lalo ng mga opisyal ng nasabing barangay na hindi totoong lahat ng nagsisilbi sa bayan o sa madaling salita ay mga opisyal ng gobyerno ay korap…dahil sila mismo ay abunado at naghihirap. At, alam ko ring marami pang Real Dos sa iba’t ibang panig ng Pilipinas na sumasagisag sa tunay na kahulugan ng “tamang paninilbihan sa bayan”.
A Call to De-politicize Government Agencies
And Dissolve Non-performing Ones
By Apolinario Villalobos
A monumental accomplishment of the Philippine government could be the de-politicizing of agencies and dissolving non-performing ones. There is a need to gauge the performance of all government agencies, to check their relevance and duplication of functions. But first, priority should be given to the de-politicizing of all agencies by putting a stop to Presidential appointments. What is the use of having civil service eligibilities and career service program if worthy government employees are bypassed by Presidential appointees?
The Career Service Officers who are spending the best years of their life in agencies deserve promotions when there are opportunities. They have the necessary expertise and knowledge of the jobs for the smooth operation of agencies, unlike the neophyte appointees whose credential for the job to which they are appointed is only the friendship with the President. To put it bluntly, I am referring to the agency “heads” with category of Secretary, and their assistants with the category of Undersecretary, as well as, the lesser agencies headed by Commissioners.
This traditional practice of “accommodating” Presidential friends in sensitive positions in the government gives nothing to the overall administration of the highest executive of the country but disaster. The latest glaring manifestation of this bad side of Filipino culture due to “gratitude” system, is the Benigno Aquino III administration. From the first day of his stay in Malacaῆan palace to the present, all that he gained for accommodating friends in his administration are headaches.
Worth mentioning in this regard is the Commission on Human Rights which others say deserves to be dissolved outright for not only being a non-performer but, contributes as well, in embarrassing the administration no end, with its out-of-tune pronouncements, the latest of which is its “report” about Mamasapano massacre. Aside from the non-performing Commission on Human Rights which most often is overshadowed by mere human rights NGOs, there are other agencies which have been created to accommodate “friends” despite their irrelevance and duplication of function of the already existing ones.
De-politicizing government agencies will free them from the influence of any political party, especially, the sitting President responsible for the appointment of their heads, aside from their being used as part of the machinery during campaign and election.
The only question now is what branch of the government has the mandate to take the initiative in making the move….shall it be the Executive, Legislative, or Judiciary? With the seemingly dysfunctional government of the Philippines, such that it cannot even resolve the issue on mayoralty in Makati City, can we expect something, at least….good enough?