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EDITORIAL: Service Or Business?

That nine (originally 11) of the 35 town mayors of Camarines Sur appeared in a picture published by a known national daily together with presidential aspirant and former Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., Narvacan (Ilocos Norte) Mayor Luis Chavit Singson, president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines as well as Deputy Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, comes not surprising at all.

In the same vein, seeing members of the prominent Raval and Fariñas clans of Ilocos Norte aligning themselves with the opposition is no news at all given that as the political rivalries trickle down to the local posts at stake, absolute loyalties are unimaginable considering protracted intramurals, which normally involve self- preservation.

With six so far of the eleven who, for want of timely description are identified as the lost flock, quickly sounding contrite publicly, they deserve the benefit of the doubt. To reason out however that they joined the group because they thought they were just attending another meeting of the LMP is ridiculous or too naïve, to say the least.

It is only hoped that the town mayors who were presented to BBM and his uncle, did not fall prey into the schemes of Singson, with the latter’s very demeaning treatment.

News about the scene stealing style of Chavit in making fun of people surrounding Marcos’ loyalists by gifting them with money using the so-called money gun is too fresh to disregard. His sudden appearance on screen after every victory in the boxing world of Senator Manny Pacquiao cannot simply be ignored.

How come that they easily fell into the wily ways of Singson, who is known for his dastardly style? LMP is a government-recognized organization. Therefore, a formal invitation or notice of a meeting or conference outlining the agenda is a must. Absent of that, any gathering is suspect for being bogus.

The misguided 11 were not born yesterday, for sure. If the activity initiated by Singson and San Fernando town mayor Fermin Mabulo is official, how come that of the 35 Camarines Sur town mayors only 11 got invited?

Or are they actually feigning having been hoodwinked for fear of boomerang? The lesson is drawn from long standing sayings — “Huwag kang mamangka sa dalawang ilog” and “Naghangad ng kagitna isang salop ang nawala.” Riding on two horses simultaneously courts danger.

In order to fathom the political postures of the so-called lost flock 11 (only 6 now), a more thorough inquiry into their sources of living-- past and present is in the right direction. By doing so it will not be difficult to understand their attitude towards a public office which is mandated to be clothed with public trust.

For example, other than holding an elective government position, in what private concerns are they engaged? During the time that they conduct their private activities, have they religiously complied with the required prohibition against transacting business with the government by means of dummies?

Or at the time when they were not yet holding an elective public office, have they not engaged in the contracting business conniving with concerned members of Bids and Awards Committees and illegal mining? An inquiry about these sensitive points might yield interesting results and even explain their current predicament and eventually uncovering their attitude towards governance. Service or business?


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