May festivals on, but…
Yesterday, the May flower festival, started but it also was marked by a lot of troublesome issues – the controversial wage hike, the China-PH tiff over the issue of Scarborough Shoal and the Spratlys, and several others, including the crossing of party lines by several political bigwigs.
Still, whether we like it or not, local parishes started their month-long catechism lessons for children. These are intended to indoctrinate the young tots on the rudiment the Catholic faith.
And it was a glorious sight to see so many youngsters filling up parish churches listening to cathehetical instructors tutor them on the faith.
In some areas, May started off with the festival of parades which focused on the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.
But all that, to a certain extent, seem to distract from the primary focus on the month for festivities and flowers. The weather, too, does not augur well for flowers although nothing can stop the blooms dotting gardens to delight most of us.
But the most troublesome issue is the claim by workers that the government has not heeded their call for the adjustment of wages to their desired demand.
The most grievous denunciations of the Aquino administration was the claim that while the salaries of government workers had been raised repeatedly, those of the private sector have barely inched upward.
But, as already pointed out earlier, this is a matter that cannot be arbitrarily reached. On the one hand, there is truth to the fact that wages must be increased if workers daily earnings must be able to reach the level of the inflated prices of basic commodities and the fuel.
There is also the other side to the affair. The killing of a radio broadcaster of Bombo Radyo-Koronadal, by two men riding tandem on a motorcycle.
That’s another mediaman fallen victim to guns wielded with impunity. But police Inspector Rey Igos, Koronadal intelligence division chief, said they have witnesses who can identify the two gunmen who shot Palma four times while he was sitting at the driver’s set of the Bombo Radyo station mobile patrol in front of the South Cotabato provincial hospital Monday.
Palma had earlier reported to the police that suspicious persons were conducting surveillance on his residence April 22.
The two men harassed the Palma residence in Barangay Concepcion and have identified them as Hagibig Codcuk and Bobit Cabrido.
The Palma killing, now being investigated by the police, focuses the light on the alleged failure by Task Force Usig set up by President Aquino to protect members of media from attack and vowing to go after and prosecute those involved in the killing.
As pointed out by media establishments, despite Task Force Usig and ongoing probes there have been no arrests and prosecution of suspected killers.
The tendency, it said, is for task force officials to dismiss the killings of media workers as isolated cases and not related to their work as journalists.
Well, as they say, a lot of promises and pledges, but not much to prove such vows are upheld and committed to by government investigators.
Finally, former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri has joined the Partido ng Masa Party of former president Joseph Estrada, a still popular political figure who landed second place to President Benigno Aquino.
I was myself taken aback recently when Zubiri was reportedly mentioned as one of those on the candidates’ slate with Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr.
But it was something that could not last long. Pimentel himself, later raised questions about Zubiri’s joining his party as an ally when the latter had undercut his senatorial term.
Yet, the same Zubiri had gallantly resigned from the Senate to give way to Pimentel when former Maguindanao Comelec Supervisor Lentan Bedol admitted that there was massive fraud in Maguindanao.
Zubiri, however, stressed that he hopes and pray that he and Pimentel will be together in the same senatorial line up since they are both Bisaya and for the good of the country.
But Zubiri’s joining Erap’s party may lead to his inclusion in the roster of possible senatorial aspirants of the United Coalition Alliance of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
While he is actually from Bukidnon of Mindanao, Zubiri has been considered as a senator from Negros Occidental.
As I said, there are a lot of things to worry about this May. And the rest of the year the PH-China standoff, in the Scarborough Shoal and other weighty questions.
But perhaps, from the moment, we might as well concentrate on the more immediate problems, including whether we can still afford to pay our electric bills. This is one question that refuses to go away. And the chances are that majority of us, members of the Ceneco, may no longer be able to pay the increased bills that pushes through.*
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