Letter to the Editor
13 March 2013
This refers to Secretary Dinky Soliman’s letter to editor entitled: “Don’t manipulate people in need.”
We, in Barug Katawhan, the ‘manipulated’ people that Soliman shamelessly blasted about, could not remain silent over this glaring insult to our intellectual and practical capacities. Indeed, we can only find the words of someone who scammed the so-called peace bonds, as a perfect example of manipulation, deceit and corruption. For Dinky’s sin is by being Dinky herself.
To be called the “manipulated people,” especially by a cabinet secretary who boasts of an 18-year stint as a community organizer, is equally demoralizing as being hit by the typhoon Pablo. We are after all compelled by this great disaster to organize our ranks, rise up and present a humanitarian imperative. Nobody forced us, except for two–that bad typhoon called Pablo and that worse disaster that befell after: the neglect and injustice of Pres. Noynoy Aquino.
For a casual reader, Dinky Soliman started her letter in credible terms. As expected of a public official who is used to playing with figures and digits, the billions of pesos were well arranged and printed on paper to appear factual. To the secretary, that is how to gauge transparency and accountability in handling people’s funds.
However, for us victims and survivors of typhoon Pablo, the numbers did not reach our grumbling stomachs, hence, we barricaded and we secured what was due us. We never failed to remind them of their public duties. Mrs. Soliman called us criminals just because we took over what they failed to perform — distributing the goods intended for the hungry survivors. She said what we took were for the victims of typhoon Crising. But may we remind the secretary that we were also struck by Typhoons Crising and Quinta aside from typhoon Pablo.
Secretary Soliman is playing Pontius Pilate as she washed her hands over the issues of corruption enshrouding the relief and rehabilitation operations in her department and instead passed the blame to us victims who have long been deprived of such services.
It is sad that when we, legitimate survivors of Pablo, militantly assert our rights, we are branded hooligans and our acts considered unforgivable, chaotic and lawless. But, when government officials steal from the people in a quiet, orderly way, it is acceptable — like what Dinky and her gang of NGOs did to the peace bonds.
We wish to make this clear that we were never manipulated in any way. Long before typhoon Pablo, we have already organized ourselves as members of people’s organizations in our respective communities and we decided to unite under Barug Katawhan with the intention to collectively work for our recovery. If we were loud in our assertions, it was because we cannot tolerate any longer the continued insensitivity of the state to our woes and pleas. We only echoed what millions of Pablo victims would have shouted to the face of Pres. Aquino: We are in need, and your administration left us.
(Sgd) Karling Trangia
Compostela, Compostela Valley