We seek the publication, broadcast or uploading in YouTube of the public declarations - as individuals & as well as groups of local & regional, appointed & elected public officials in Leyte and Samar - of their public pledges / declarations to stop & prevent corruption in their localities. In doing so, practically raising at least 20% more or at least 4 billion pesos (roughly near a hundred million US dollars) in additional funds out of a total budget of, say, 20 billion pesos. Shame on us Filipinos, again, if we allow one of the world's worst culture of severe corruption rear its ugly head to casually steal from the hopes of millions of poor victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), amid the downpour of billions of US dollars worth of aids and assistances (in cash, expert or skilled labor, logistics, materials and equipments) from the international community, many of them from countries already hosts to millions of Filipinos who abandoned a country ravaged by severe corruption, a country where big percentages of development funds that could have helped mitigate effects of natural disasters are casually stolen by entrenched politicians over their many decades of rule to these "impoverished kingdoms" as they made themselves fabulously wealthier
Ernest Barraquias Jr.
Public re-affirmations of commitments by local and regional officials to stop and prevent corruption will produce more compliance than letting them simply issue denial statements every after theft of rehabilitation funds and regular budget allocations, among other sources of funds intended to benefit the millions of poor victims suffering from the double-whammy of long-time corruption and Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)
Without any additional preventive measures beyond what public
officials routinely disregard or deftly circumvent, the hopes of millions of the poor victims, for decades victims of theft of developmental funds & public money intended to help them rise from poverty, just might give way to despair and weakened resilience - future revelations of corruption from future whistle-blowers become simply political noises.
The weak and subdued local civil society in the Philippines, in some regions unfortunately dominated by members of dynastic political clans, is too civil and polite to the elite-public officials who rule their localities or regions like their own private kingdoms. Organized crimes among public officials, private contractors and random others are entrenched in almost all parts of the Philippines.
Please kindly contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer, ABS-CBN, the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to aid us to press local government officials to publicly declare their intention to stop corruption and instead seek additional discounts from suppliers and contractors. And for its editors to prioritize news reports about possible corruption or questionable transactions in the awards of contracts for services and infrastructure projects now and at least in the next 3 years.
Ernest Barraquias and Rian Igos, who worked to complete design of a mobile Disaster-Preparation Management Aid (system) for donation to target local villages prone to natural calamities, were recently victimized by organized police criminals in the Philippines, for extortion and robbery. The police officers stole the tested systems too. The two deftly negotiated to be spared from several murder, execution plots after the police officers begun to realize who they victimized.
That jolted them of the reality about incorrigibly corrupt local public officials going about their routine illegal operations as usual as an international community of volunteers and contingents of expert disaster-response personnel from around the world were rushing to give aids and assistances to prevent an even greater tragedy in Central Philippines. Ernest, as a lone private volunteer, helped many families cope up with in the aftermath of Typhoon Reming in Luzon, an experience that opened his eyes to the severe corruption among public officials, prevalent even during months of response and rehabilitation efforts following major disasters. He witnessed that many local officials were shockingly impervious to the plight of their own constituents.
Let us not allow the healing of Samar-Leyte undermined by long-time entrenched corruption among local public officials who casually steal public funds, and the business-as-usual exploitation of the plight of the victims by likely theft of funds from the outpouring of support to help these poor families slowly rise from total devastations. Let's not totally allow their exceptional resilience give way to feelings of hopelessness in this country of corrupt officials, yet again.