FROM MY WINDOW
By NENITA FUENTEBELLA-PEŇONES
I am already taking my grand vacation from writing. I have been with the Bikol Reporter since 1999 up to the present and that’s eleven years and nine months. The human body needs time to rest and recharge.
When I was invited to write in this newspaper, its publisher, Mr. Ruben F. Babar, said he wanted to print a woman’s view. I did give my views on matters that affect our country and of course, us in this province and city to help promote an informed and enlightened citizenry even in my small way.
My columns touched on international, national and local matters that were relevant to us. I wrote about women’s rights, existing laws, agrarian reform, rule of law, politics, religion, morality, environment, education, health informations, graft and corruption in government, social justice and other concerns and good news that deserve to be known.
It is said that writing in newspapers is like writing a brief history. The Bikol Reporter would indeed be a good source of historical information considering the knowledge shared by the different columnists and reporters here.
Well, I can say it was a pleasure and an honor to be a columnist of this newspaper that has received the St. Peter Baptist Catholic Mass Media Awards for five consecutive years as Outstanding Local Newspaper.
As my last column, let me comment on current news and issue.
Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly last week, President Benigno Aquino III reportedly called the United Nations to use Filipino-style people power for the development of the world’s poor countries.
EDSA I in 1986 was a people power revolution that catapulted his mother, President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino to the presidency. It was a mob rule that did not respect and follow the Constitution and our laws. Is this what President Noynoy Aquino want other countries to follow?
President Ferdinand Marcos did not use his military forces on those people power revolutionaries because he did not want bloodshed. If he followed the advice of his Chief of Staff, Gen. Fabian Ver, to bomb them on the very first day, he could not have been dethroned. Marcos should also be remembered for that. That was the opposite of the massacre at Tianamen’s Square in China of all those rallying against the government.
Was the Cory Aquino presidency able to improve the lives of the people? I have not seen that except to her allies and friends. In violation of the Civil Service Law, she dismissed five hundred thousand government employees and civil service eligibles without due process. What do you think happened to them and their families? Prices of food and prime commodities soared sky high. Foreign debt increased from Marcos $26B to Cory’s $1.3 trillion. Reports of the Commission on Audit revealed irregularities and anomalies. Same with Senate investigations. Of course this cannot be attributed to her person but to her administration but she was the one heading the government and her decision mattered.
Her loyalists and propagandists have pictured her and her administration in media as so perfectly good but that is only one side of her. The book “Greed and Betrayal” written by Cecilio Arillo shows her other opposite side.
We can also see her Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program which was the centerpiece of her administration. It covered immediately the lands of the poor and the middle class except the 6,000 hectares of Hacienda Luisita owned by her family. Until now, the farmers of Hacienda Luisita are asking the Supreme Court that the land be distributed to them according to the CARP Law of 1987.
Another People Power Revolution was EDSA 2 in 2001. It was also a mob rule and violated the Constitution. It dethroned a duly elected President Joseph Estrada and put Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Malacañang. I presume everybody knows the hardships and suffering many of our countrymen are undergoing except her cronies, allies and friends. SWS surveys say that there are fourteen million hungry people in the country. The price of almost everything is very high and there are millions of jobless people.
The World Bank described the Philippines as the second Most Corrupt Country in SouthEast Asia during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.The Philippines was also tagged by Risk International as the Most Dangerous country for journalists under GMA’s administration. This is the result of People Power (EDSA 2).
Member countries of the UN have ambassadors assigned in the Philippines and they know our history and condition. I don’t think they will follow President Aquino’s suggestion to use Filipino-style People Power. But don’t get me wrong. I want P-Noy to succeed for the sake of our country.
Regarding the controversial Reproductive Health Bill, my opinion as a practicing Catholic and as a citizen is this: I am a product of the Colegio de Sta. Isabel, Naga, where I studied Religion from the elementary grades to the high school. We were taught that a sin in thought, words and deeds becomes a sin if you do it knowingly and willfully.
If the Reproductive Health Bill is approved. It’s our free choice whether to comit sin or not. After all, God will judge us individually.