Wednesday, February 3, 2010

If I were Melo...

I stumbled across a news report by Carmela Fonbuena posted in abs-cbnNEWS.com on October 2, 2009. The news report is all about premature campaigning. The COMELEC chair Jose Melo was quizzed by the honorable members of the House of Representatives during the commission's budget hearing. The latter were said to be concerned whether their printing of calendars, speaking in fiestas and/or giving away of groceries may be considered premature campaigning.
What caught my attention was the line from the Representative of the Lone District of Occidental Mindoro.
She asked the COMELEC Chair: "How about our projects from our Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Because hinahanap ng tao saan napunta ang PDAF. There's a billboard that says it's under the initiative of the candidate. We are not asking for votes. It's just information that the project was completed during their term. How would you treat that?"
Melo's answer to her was it was okey -- that is, it's not considered premature campaigning.
I would absolve Melo's innocent response. For one, he does not know Occidental Mindoro and the kind of governance that Mindorenos get from their leaders. Second, he was just answering the question -- which I suppose he considered to be sincere.
Sincere question?
This is precisely my point. That Villarosa gets and never accounts for -- as members of the House of Representatives are privileged to -- millions of pesos masquerade as PDAF is known by many Mindorenos. But, whether this amount goes really for the development of the province --- that is a one hell of a question!!!
It is a common site in Occidental Mindoro to see a billboard with the picture of supposedly-mother-like-looking Representative announcing a road upgrading, but which is found in a stretch of potholed-road. Or another billboard announcing her project to provide clean drinking water to the people, but which is found in a decrepit deep well.
Sincere question?
I think the sincere question of the people of Mindoro is this: Where does Villarosa's PDAF really go?

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