Use of pantries to solicit 'funds', sow hatred vs. gov’t decried
By Gigie Arcilla / Philippine News Agency
MANILA – A Cavite solon on Thursday expressed his disgust with certain individuals, some of them politicians, who use community pantries to undermine and sow hatred against the government.
Rep. Jesus Crispin "Boying" C. Remulla of Cavite’s 7th District, in an interview with SMNI’s “Sukatan” news program hosted by Mike Abe, said he has nothing against community pantries which reflects the Filipino culture of bayanihan spirit by helping others who are in need.
“Ang issue ng community pantry ay lumaki kasi yung mga actors na na-involve ay may mga political inclinations na ginagamit para sumbatan ang gobyerno at masamain ang estado sa gobyerno (The issue of community pantries became controversial because of some actors with political inclinations that use community pantries to blame the government and undermine it),” Remulla said.
He admitted, though, that what he did not like is several of these critics are from within the government and even his colleagues in the Lower House of Representatives.
“Gusto nila sirain pa ang imahe ng gobyerno sa taumbayan. Sino ba naman ang may gusto ng pandemic? Sino ang may gusto na maghirap ang tao? Wala naman may gusto niyan. Pero kailangan pa nila isisi sa ibang tao (They want to destroy the image of the government to our fellow Filipinos. Nobody wants this pandemic to happen, neither for the people to suffer. But they blame the government),” said Remulla, who is also Congress Senior Majority Leader.
While the concept of community pantries is essentially extending voluntary help, he lamented how some people make a grandstanding by bragging about it and project a lame government.
“Pero bakit kailangan pa ipasikat sa mga tao na,‘Uy tumutulong ako diyan’ ano ba naman yan?’ Yung ginagawa nila, sinusumbatan nila ang gobyerno na ‘Kami tumutulong kami, ang gobyerno walang ginagawa (Why do they have to boast of the help they give through community pantries and criticize the government),” he added.
Remulla said community pantries have been used to solicit monetary donations abroad through videos showing how poor Filipinos are, and use these funds for political purposes.
“Sana nirereport nila yung mga nakukuha nilang donations. Pero inaangkin nila yan eh, ma pangtulong sa taumbayan kunwari. Ang masama niyan nanunumbat pa. Na parang sila lang ang magaling (They should report the money generated from donations but unfortunately proceeds do not go to the rightful recipients. What is worse is they criticize the government making appear that they are the better ones),” he added.
He said he will not allow these groups to reign with the ultimate goal of overthrow the government.
“Sumesweldo sila sa kongreso pero yung mga bitaw nila na salita para mapabagsak ang gobyerno, para mapasama sa mga tao (They receive salaries from Congress but their battle cry is to overthrow the government and cause sufferings on the people), Remulla added.
These critics, he said, are part of a broad coalition that oppresses the military and police, and businesses. They are the ones who disrupt development projects especially in remote areas.
“Sila na nga ang nagpapahirap, sila pa ang nanunumbat (They who are punitive are the ones who throw their weight around),” he said. Wag na sila mananakot, manghaharang, manghingi ng lagay, manghihingi ng proteksyon. Sila ang pinakamalaking balakid sa pag-unlad ng ating Republika (They should not harass, threaten, block, demand protection [money]. They are the biggest block to progress and development).”
He added that it is easy to let the people know how these politicians in Congress block the country’s development and vowed that no amount of opposition will defund projects intended for the Barangay Development Program (BDP).
“Hindi mawawala yan (BDP budget). Gagawin natin ang lahat para makarating ang tulong sa pinaka-liblib na lugar sa Republika ng Pilipinas (That BDP budget will stay. We will do everything we can to bring the needed help to remote areas in the Philippines),” he assured.
The BDP is a hallmark program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF -LCAC) with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.
It has identified 822 barangays nationwide that were former guerilla fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
Of the PHP19 billion total budget of the NTF-ELCAC, PHP16 .4 billion is allotted for the development of 822 barangays cleared of insurgency.
He dared groups not to challenge his political will because he is used to fighting anything especially when the welfare of the country is at stake.
“Wag nilang susubukan ang bansa. Marami tayong nagtutulong upang itulak ang pag-unlad ng Republika (They should not challenge the country. Many are united in pushing for the development of the Republic),” Remulla said. (PNA)