Random Thoughts

ELDERS STILL CORRUPTING SK — The cat is out of the bag! Some Sangguniang Kabataan chairmen in Asingan were paid ₱5,000 each to favor a candidate for president of the SK Federation preferred by a town official.

This is a most shameful incident and a direct affront to the SK Reform Law enacted by Congress that aimed to insulate the youth organization from dirty politics.

True or not, this is another classic case of vote-buying reported in the just concluded Barangay and SK elections. Those who had the means and shelled out cash and goodies to the voters were readily elected to the posts, never mind if they were qualified or were involved in criminal activities in the past.

The case in Asingan might not be an isolated one. In all likelihood, similar cases may have happened in other places in Pangasinan (and in other parts of the country) because vote-buying has already become so rampant in the past.

But what happened in Asingan is different because this was a clear corruption of the youth whom Rizal referred to as the hopes of the Fatherland.

From what we gathered, some SK chairmen were fetched from their homes to see an official who gave them cash with a specific instruction who to vote for.

Of course, it was not the first time we heard of such an arrangement. In the past, SK chairmen were being ‘kidnapped’ and hosted as well as entertained in classy resorts till the day of their federation election whose results can no longer be doubted.

There is something at stake in the SK federation election because whoever is elected president will automatically become an ex-officio member of the municipal council.

As an ex-officio member of the municipal council, the SK federation president will be bestowed with the same rights and privileges like an elected member of that honorable body.

Which means that the ex-officio Councilor will have to be another ally of the executive in the council who will support his programs and projects “without thinking”.

Apparently, that did not happen in Asingan. The favored candidate of the town official appeared lost. This led to the security aide of the official, armed with a handgun tucked in his waist, intimidating one SK chairman for not voting for the official’s chosen bet. And as expected, the security personnel angrily demanded the return of the ₱5,000 given him.

Fortunately, the handgun of the security man was seized by the police but they failed to arrest him and identify him because the official immediately whisked him away.

Paging the DILG. – Leonardo Micua


BEWARE THE “NO. 1” HAND SIGN Are you one of the thousands of Pangasinenses who are already in the habit of flashing your raised index finger during photo-ops at the Capitol or with provincial officials? If so, please kindly read on.

The raised index finger, as many know, is the akin to thumbs up but raising the index finger popularized by a top Pangasinan official is meant to signal to the world that Pangasinan is “No. 1” in many ways.

It has become a sign synonymous with that official, to show unity with him and his vision. It also means you are with him, politically. So young and old, rich and poor, are either asked or requested to accompany their matching smiles with the popular “No .1” hand sign in photo ops.

Nothing wrong there.

But on May 27, while I was covering a Brigada Eskweka Division kick-off at Mangaldan National High School, one official shared a shocking revelation.

When Usec Tonito Umali, guest of honor and speaker, arrived, teachers lost no time rubbing elbows and taking photos with officials arriving one by one.

Click, click, click and click pa more.

Then one DepEd regional official arrived. Teachers again rushed to have their pictures taken with that official. Some of them readily gave the familiar “No.1” hand sign—the raised index finger sign.

The official stopped them.

She explained that when she was in Marawi to attend a seminar, she flashed the “No.1” finger sign by force of habit during the photo ops, and she was stopped by fellow educators from Marawi. They told her it is the hand sign of ISIS!

I was stunned. I did not expect that at all.

A fellow lady reporter said she knew about the ISIS sign but she simply did not give it any thought.

Curious, I browsed the internet to search for reading materials about the raised index finger sign and its meaning.

Here’s what I read from www.pri.org: “The Islamic State militants, known as ISIS, are now using a single, raised index finger as the symbol of their cause. It’s a well-known sign of power and victory around the world, but for ISIS, it has a more sinister meaning.

Nathaniel Zelinsky writes in Foreign Affairs journal that the gesture refers to the tawhid, “the belief in the oneness of God and a key component of the Muslim religion.” More specifically, though, it refers to their fundamentalist interpretation of the tawhid, which rejects any other view, including other Islamic interpretations, as idolatry. Zelinsky writes that when ISIS uses the gesture, it is affirming an ideology that demands the destruction of the West, as well as any form of pluralism. For potential recruits around the globe, it also shows their belief that they will dominate the world. “

I sourced other websites and they are saying the same thing. Ganun pala yon?

Now that the teachers are spreading the word, should Pangasinenses still use the “No. 1” hand sign during photo-ops?

I noticed that yung isang division na teachers usually mahilig ma-flash ng No.1 hand sign during their photo-ops with their superintendent, suddenly stopped using the hand sign. I saw their pictures few days before this piece was written.

Natakot kaya sila?

What about you? What’s your take on this? Eva Visperas

Share your Comments or Reactions


Powered by Facebook Comments