Mindanao barangay officials take ‘oath’ to support ‘Daang Matuwid’
MANILA, Philippines – Barangay (village) officials from Mindanao on Wednesday, September 2, took an oath “in support of the advocacies and principles” of President Benigno Aquino III and his anointed bet for 2016, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
The oath also said the country’s next leader should be “MARangal, MARunong, Malinis at May Puso para sa ating mga kabarangay (honorable, experienced, clean, and with an understanding of the needs of barangays)” – the emphasized letters an obvious play on Roxas’s nickname “Mar.”
Close to 300 barangay officials from different regions in Mindanao are in Manila to attend the Liga ng mga Barangay ng Pilipinas’ Mindanao Congress in Pasay City. Before league leaders and Roxas himself, barangay officials declared their “support” for the “advocacies and principles” of both Aquino and Roxas to “fight corruption and to ensure that public funds are reach our barangays.”
A copy of the one-page oath, which made mention of Aquino at least twice and Roxas 4 times, were given to attendees of the congress and members of the media.
While barangay officials took their oath, they wore shirts with the words “Huwag Kang Magnakaw (Thou Shall Not Steal)” printed on them. The shirts were distributed to the congress attendees upon registration.
“Nakikiisa kami bilang katuwang sa pagbabantay ng mga proyekto ng pamahalaan sa bawat barangay na isang programa ni Sec Mar upang palakasin ang pagkakaisa nga mga sektor sa pamamagitan ng Ugnayan ng mga Barangay at Simbahan (UBAS),” read part of the “Panata ng Barangay Laban sa Katiwalian para sa Daang Matuwid (The Barangay’s Oath Against Corruption and Towards Daang Matuwid).”
(We are one in guarding the government’s projects in each and every barangay, which is among Secretary Roxas’ projects, in order to strengthen the convergence of different sectors through the UBAS.)
The UBAS is a mechanism set up by the government where local church leaders and civil society organizations are given a list of projects being implemented in their locality – an alternative means to making sure the projects are done right.
The oath conitnued: “Naniniwala kami na ang sinumulan ng DILG sa pangunugna ni Sec Mar sa pakikipagkaisa sa iba’t-ibang sektor at sa hanay ng Liga ng mga Barangay ay magsusulong ng isang hayag at tapat na pamamahala na magiging daang para sa isang pag-unlad na dama ng nakakarami, dahil naniniwala tayo na walang iniiwan sa Daang Matuwid mula Luzon, Visayas, at Mindanao.”
(We believe that the programs of the DILG, under the leadership of Secretary Roxas, which unite different sectors and the League of Barangays will push for a transparent and honest means of governance which paves the way for progress because we believe that under Daang Matuwid, nobody is left behind – from Luzon, the Visayas, to Mindanao.)
“Daang Matuwid” is the Aquino administration’s catchphrase for its transparency, good governance, and anti-corruption platform. It is also the center of Roxas’ campaign, which hinges on the promise of continuity.
Roxas, speaking before barangay leaders, emphasized the “equality” of programs and projects under the Aquino administration, which he said paid no attention to political color or affiliation.
The “oath,” which Liga ng mga Barangay president said was prepared by members of its Mindanao chapter, also included a promise to “give support” to Aquino and Roxas in order to “expand and defend” the “Daang Matuwid.”
“Bunsod ng malasakit sa bayan, ibinibigay namin ang aming lubos na pagsusuporta kay Pangulong PNoy at Sec Mar upang sama-sama nating ituloy palawakin at ipaglaban ang Daang Matuwid sa ating mga barangay at titiyakin din ng aming hanay na mahigpit naming tutulan at lalaban ang mga pwersang nais bawiin ang mga inisyal na tagumpay na ating pinakikinabangan, dahil ang Lagi ng Barangay ay naninindigan upang tiyakin na ang sumunod na lidar ng bansa ay MARangal, MARunong, Malinis at May Puso para sa ating mga kabarangay,” it read.
(Because of our concern for our country, we will give our support for President Aquino and Secretary Roxas to that together, we continue to expand and defend the Daang Matuwid in our barangays and we will also make sure to fight the forces who want to undo the successes that we now enjoy because the League of Barangays want to ensure that the next leader of the country be honorable, experienced, clean, and with an understanding of the needs of the barangay.)
Asked if this was the league’s direct endorsement of Roxas, Abesamis said it wasn’t an endorsement of a person but of a program – the “Daang Matuwid.” Speaking to reporters, Abesamis said that, so far, it’s Roxas among presumptive presidential bets who have shown the ability to continue the current administration’s programs.
Only one other candidate has declared his plans for 2016, opposition leader and Vice President Jejomar Binay. But Binay, who used to lead early presidential preference surveys, placed second in the June surveys, as he continues to face allegations of corruption.
Were the shirts given out during the event a dig at Binay? Abesamis said they weren’t directed toward a specific person or group, but were merely a reminder of what government officials are not supposed to do.
Aside from Roxas and Binay, two other politicians are believed to be eyeing the presidency themselves: survey front runner Senator Grace Poe and Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. – Rappler.com
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