A bittersweet week for Mindanao

Last week, I went to General Santos City, the hometown of Manny Pacquiao. I went there not because I’m his relative (though some would insist I’m a dead ringer of the champ). Pacquiao’s victory is good news for us Filipinos who have been to some bad experiences since March 26 (start of the two-day forest fire in Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the country.

When I stayed with my relatives’ house for more than a week, aside from experiencing the oven-like temperature of GenSan (with maximum index of 40 degrees Celsius average). I have all the time to watch news and entertainment in the television. There was an ugly incident with protesters who blocked a national highway in Kidapawan City. They were complaining about the insufficient support from the government to farmers suffering from drought because of El Niño. It turned into a bloody dispersal, leaving some protesters dead and plenty wounded with some cops in ICU because of mauling. Reports said that the farmers were mixed with communist propagandists with their own agenda. The leaders or the protest organizers needs to be held responsible. Of course, the PNP must be held accountable too of their failed “maximum tolerance”. Somehow, this is an indication of the indifference of ” some” public officials.

Good news here in the Kidapawan incident is that private sectors outpoured their support towards the plight of these poor farmers. Some peacekeepers negotiated between the police and the farmers, telling the latter not to block the highwamotivatese midst of incompetence in the part of public officials, many from the private sector and showing concern not for their own agenda but because they want to help the poor farmers who are affected by the dry spell. This should be a wake up call for aspiring candidates who will take the seats in the government. Their power must be their means go serve the people particularly the oppressed sector of our society such as the farmers.

This social problems motivate me to push through in working in the education sector. I must remember that I am responsible in molding the consciences of future politicians, farmers, policemen, and peacekeepers.

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