Unethical politicos

SENATOR Miriam Santiago’s Senate Bill 1967 or the Anti-Epal bill is long overdue but nevertheless a very welcome development.

If passed, the bill, which is officially titled “An Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project” would stop the unethical practice of “pul-politicos” of projecting their faces in billboards concerning publicly funded infrastructure projects.

The bill imposes a jail term of between six months and one year on a public official who would have his or her name or image printed on a signage announcing a proposed or ongoing public works project.

“Epal” is slang for “mapapel,” a  Filipino term for attention grabbers, scene stealers, or people who crave a role (papel) in affairs that are not necessarily theirs to handle or decide.

This unethical practice became the norm for “pul-politicos” of all color and stripes after the downfall of the hated Marcos dictatorship.

“Nakasusuka ang mga mukha nila, parang sila ang namuhunan sa mga pro-yektong bayan, lalo na rito sa Kyusee,” one irate resident from Tatalon District told this writer.

Santiago noted, “It is a prevalent practice among public officers, whether elected or appointed, to append their names to public works projects which were either funded or facilitated through their office. This is unnecessary and highly unethical and promotes a culture of political patronage and corruption.”

Mabuhay ka, Senadora!

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The massive public outcry against the government’s cash giving to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front did not deter Marvic Leonen and Teresita Deles from handling dole outs this time to the rag tag Alex Boncayao Brigade, a faction of former communist assassins who broke from the Communist Party of the Philippines led New People’s Army following ideological disagreement.

Leonen and Deles obviously are oblivious of the public disapproval of the dole out. We just hope that they are right when they decided to buy off the enemies of the state.

Kailan naman kaya tayo bibigyan ng dole out ng dalawang ito?

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I thank Ms. Elaine Alvero Garchitorena for accommodating this writer and the other members of the press who trooped to the renowned Bato Springs Resort in San Pablo City last November 1.

Ma’am, salamat po for the warm welcome. The resort is really a sanctuary from the hassle and bustle of the metropolis.

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Does boredom wear you down or is there just a nagging feeling that you want to get away from the metropolis and be with mother-nature? Then go and visit Bato Springs in Brgy. San Cristobal, San Pablo City.

Located at the foot of the mystical Mt. Banahaw, Bato Springs is just one hour and 30 minute drive from Manila. You have a spacious parking space that could even accommodate tourist buses and first class amenities for all your business and pleasure needs.

For more information call Ms. Elaine Garchitorena at 0495620976.

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