On Being Exposed to Various Facets of Life

On Being Directly Exposed to Various Facets of Life

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

One can learn by browsing through the pages of books and at the present time, by viewing documentaries on TV channels. The knowledge gained out of those is “secondary”, unlike when one experiences first- hand occurrences in life which then, makes him or her some sort of “authority”. Among these instances are those that involve being in the midst of a depressed area, befriending hoodlums and other shady characters, travelling to interesting and unlikely destinations, eating extraordinary foods, going through grueling experience, etc.

 

In the same manner, sensitive posts such as those in the DILG, DSW, CHR, and many others should be occupied by people who have gained first-hand experience so that they can come up with ideas and decisions, based on “experience”….as much as possible. Unfortunately, various appointments in the government posts are based on “referrals” of friends, associates, or out of gratitude. Later, these appointees, as expected, are proved to be inadequate in carrying their job, and worse, are corrupt!

 

On the other hand, some may say that a doctor need not be sick of any malady to be able to prescribe a medicine. But then, prescribed medicines are not sure balls to cure as patients are asked to return after a certain period of time to check if what have been prescribed were effective. This situation is in contrast to the shared testimony of patients themselves, who got cured by certain herbs…but which medical “authorities” prohibit.  That is why despite the testimonies of those who have been relieved by herbal medicines, for instance, that go with an advertisement, what follows is a harsh precaution from the DOH that the “medication” has not been proved as effective!….so, why allow the inclusion of the testimonies, if that is the case?…or why allow the ad to be played at all, as it will just create confusion? Relative to this was the practice in the earliest civilized nations, such as those mentioned in the Bible. The practice involved exposure of the sick to the public to attract the attention of passers -by, hoping that among them, one or several who had similar disease and got cured would stop by to give advice.

 

Today, in the Philippines, some people who have not even stepped on the ground of a depressed area have the temerity to speak about poverty and life in slums despite the limitation of their “exposure” to TV screens and news gleaned from pages of newspapers. They are the detractors of Duterte in his drive against illegal drugs. All they know are just the words “death” and “extra-judicial killings” without even going any further as to the “who” and “why”. They read and view news that the killed guys are from depressed areas or slums. They never get to the depth of the story, especially, on what the drug-hooked criminals have done and could still do if left to roam the streets peddling drugs from their police protectors and evil suppliers, to their equally impoverished neighbors.

 

These detractors will never understand the situation that resulted from the negligence of the past presidents, because they, who speak about the EJK, only go as far as the air-conditioned malls and drive around the city in their airconditioned car. The furthest that they may have gone to are the touristic destinations where they spent their expensive jaunts. They have not even tried eating in sidewalk carinderias or have taken coffee in makeshift open-air “cafeterias” along side streets of slums.

 

WHAT I CANNOT UNDERSTAND IS THAT DESPITE THE FACT THAT MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION BENEFITS FROM THE DRIVE OF DUTERTE AGAINST DRUGS, THIS MINORITY MUDDLE HIS EFFORT INSTEAD OF JUST OBSERVING FROM THE SIDELINES AND GIVE HIM A CHANCE….THEN JUDGE HIM AT THE END OF HIS TERM. UNDERSTANDABLY, THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY ANYTHING, BUT THEY ARE NOT HELPING THE DEMOCRATIC EFFORT OF THE PRESIDENT FOR THE MAJORITY WHO, LIKE THEM HAS ALSO THE RIGHT TO BE PROTECTED BY THE SO-CALLED DEMOCRACY…ESPECIALLY, AGAINST THE CRIMINALS!

Advertisements

On Squatting…Again

ON SQUATTING…AGAIN

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS, PARTICULARLY, THE BARANGAYS SHOULD BE BLAMED FOR THE PROLIFERATION OF SQUATTERS AS ONLY THEY, ARE THE ONES IN DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE LATTER. INDIRECTLY, THE NEXT LEVEL OF LGU – TOWNS AND CITIES CAN BE BLAMED, TOO. PART OF THE REGULAR  REPORT OF BARANGAYS SHOULD BE THE PRESENCE OF SQUATTERS IN THEIR AREAS AND WHAT THEY ARE DOING ABOUT THEM. AND, THE MUNICIPAL AND CITY GOVERNMENTS SHOULD POUND THE BARANGAYS FOR THEIR INACTION.

 

THE BARANGAY SHOULD IMMEDIATELY PUT A STOP TO ANY ATTEMPT OF SQUATTING. UNFORTUNATELY, IT IS NOT BEING DONE SO THAT IN TIME, THE SMALL CLUSTER OF MAKESHIFT HOMES BECOMES ANOTHER BARANGAY BASED ON POPULATION.

 

WHAT IS THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (DILG) DOING ABOUT THE IRRESPONSIBLE LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS?….NOTHING!!!

 

THE DILG AND OTHER CONCERNED AGENCIES, ONE OF WHICH IS THE DSW, WAIT UNTIL THE SQUATTING PROBLEM HAS COME TO AN UNCONTROLLED LEVEL BEFORE THEY ACT BY DEMOLISHING HOMES AND RESETTLING INFORMAL SETTLERS TO RELOCATION SITES THAT ARE NOT FIT FOR HABITATION DUE TO THE ABSENCE OF BASIC FACILITIES AND SAFE ROADS THAT THE UPROOTED CITIZENS  AND THEIR CHILDREN COULD TAKE TO THEIR JOBS AND SCHOOLS  IN THE URBAN AREAS WHERE THEY CAME FROM.

 

THIS PROBLEM IS “HISTORIC” IN NATURE, AS IT HAS BEEN GIVING THE GOVERNMENT A HEADACHE SINCE THE COMMONWEALTH DAYS OF THE COUNTRY….BUT, OF COURSE, THE BLAME NATURALLY GOES TO THE IRRESPONSIBLE OFFICIALS, AS EARLY ON, CUDDLING OF SQUATTERS FOR THEIR RELEVANCE DURING ELECTION HAS BEEN A CORRUPT TRADITION.

 

TOTAL ELIMINATION OF SQUATTING SHOULD NOT FORM PART OF DUTERTE’S PROMISES TO THE FILIPINOS AS THIS CONCERN IS A WORLD-WIDE PHENOMENON THAT HINGES ON POVERTY, ESPECIALLY, IN THIRD-WORLD COUNTRIES LIKE THE PHILIPPINES. DUTERTE SHOULD PROMISE ONLY DOABLE PROJECTS TO MAKE HIM A “REALISTIC PRESIDENT”….NOT A QUIXOTIC OR A DREAMING ONE.

Crimes are not the Brainchild of the Impoverished…as what the “comfortables” insist

Crimes Are Not the Brainchild of the Impoverished

…as what the “comfortables” insist!

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

It is like the vicious cycle which has no clear answer, as to which came first, the egg or the chicken. There’s a popular belief that poverty creates crime, as the need of the impoverished to survive forces him to earn via crimes. But what has not been taken into consideration is the “second party” or the people who “use” the impoverished for their selfish motive. Simply put, drug lords organize “educated pushers” to explore the impoverished areas to recruit “uneducated runners”, as well as, entice the gullible residents – young and old to be hooked to illegal drug.

 

In my long years of association with those living in depressed areas, I learned and observed personally that they can go by with even just one meal a day. Committing crime is far from their mind as they are a contented lot. But when illegal drugs entered their life, and they became hooked to them, they were forced to find ways and means to “earn” so that they can go on with their newly-found habit. In this regard, some of them learned easy-to-earn trades such as snatching, sex peddling or hooking, shoplifting, killing for a fee, petty burglary and drug-running. When they came to Manila, they had no vices except occasional drinking. Foremost in their mind was to work hard with part of their earnings to be sent back home to their families. But, then, well-to-do and impressively educated newfound friends gave them ideas how to earn fast and live comfortably in the city.

 

It should also be noted that in far-flung provinces, life is very simple. Having vegetables and rice for meals is not considered a way of the impoverished. Students walk their way to school. Life is laid back. But when illegal drug is introduced into communities, some of which still have no street lights, a drastic change occurred in the life of the “probinsiyanos”. In this regard, some news heard over the radio and seen as broadcast on TV are about unknown barrios and towns with drug dens raided by authorities, and drug pushers cornered and caught red-handed with marked money!

 

Illegal drugs are residues of progress. For people to enjoy progress, heavy prices must be paid …with the future of the youth that goes puff with every sniff of the melted crystals… or, with the crumpled values and honour, long nurtured in the heart of the gullible squatting residents and “probinsiyanos”.

 

On the other hand, if one insists that poverty creates crime, he is like saying that there are drug laboratories in slums, or the poor can afford to buy and hoard high-powered guns, or they have immense garages for luxury cars used in delivering drugs to avoid detection, or they can afford to organize high-end concerts akin to “tiyangges” so that imported drugs can be sold easily at bargain prices, or they are so clever or well-financed enough as to negotiate for deliveries of kilo-tons of drugs from China, or that offices of illegal recruiters can be found in their midst!

 

Unfortunately, many Filipinos are so comfortably confined within the secured walls of their homes, hence, their knowledge of what are really happening “on the other side” of the country are derived from TV shows and pages of broadsheets. Despite that glaring reality, SOME, IF NOT MANY OF THEM, still have the gall to utter dismay and disbelief….of course, they cannot believe them, because they chose not to open their eyes to the realities of the big chunk of Filipino life!