A blatant display of
animosity from the South Wing
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO,
It took me two days
assessing whether to put this bad experience or not into words.
Taking into account
how we reached our destination all the way from Malate up to the House
of Representatives in the afternoon of May 30, 2011 was really
strenuous. But the intention of the visit even without prior
appointments from our respective congressmen was to take advantage of
the situation while waiting for our flights back to our place of
The intricacy of
getting inside the house is the standard practice that everyone should
undertake. But since it was not a “first time visit”, the process of
submitting into a routinary check-up at the entrance of North and
South Wings was no longer an issue.
We passed through the
two buildings (North and South Wings) as the offices of the subject
interviewees were located separately.
In order to maximize
our time, Elad Perfecto (Catarman Tribune Publisher) and I decided to
go back to the South Wing Room 216 of An Waray Party List
Representative Florencio “Bem” Noel for the purpose of requesting for
an interview or to follow-up our pending request for medicines
(intended for adults) and to verify the status of the new scholars
admitted for the program. Though I already had prior information from
Jude Acidre in regard to the scholars’ checks, we believed it would be
more convincing and would add more impact if we get the side of Cong.
Noel or any of his staff in the house.
Upon reaching the room
of An Waray, we knocked twice and initiated opening the door. A person
of his 50’s immediately asked for our identity and we hurriedly
answered that we’re from Samar Island Press Club. I couldn’t remember
him asking us for a seat but I sat infront of him as he continued
asking about the purpose of our visit.
The very first concern
I conveyed was the pending request for medicines. He immediately
called Tacloban staff about it and right after his conversation on the
other line, he told me in vernacular and I quote “pirme man ngay-an
kamo nagrerequest, pirme kamo nareklamo”. I was stunned hearing his
statement but I calmed down by saying, “Yes there was a pending
request last time we received
Samar supplies in
Tacloban City.” Then
he followed up if we’re still conducting medical missions, which I
said… “We suspend doing it instead we continuously give medicines
through our respective media outlets like radio stations and the like.
I added that most of the people who came to us were adults and we
couldn’t give any medicine because what we could offer are for
children”. Though I felt the atmosphere of animosity from him and
other staff members were just staring at us, again I inquired about
the scholarship status specifically the release of checks. I told him
that we received complaints from the parents who are bothered that
their children could not be enrolled this semester; that Tacloban
coordinator in the person of Ms. Jean Padual seems so preoccupied that
she’s always out of coverage area causing us not to get exact
information. That moment we were already pacing towards the door and
my companions were already at the lobby sitting at the couch. He
called up again Jean Padual in Tacloban City to check on the
scholarship status. After their conversation he blatantly told me that
Ms. Padual was attending her classes and not out of coverage area.
That instant I was no longer interested to listen to his other
statements as I felt his antagonism. I could sense that even my
colleagues got awkward of the situation.
Feeling uninvited, I
rectified his impression by telling him that “we’re not complaining
but was just making follow-up on the programs and services of An Waray
Party List; and we didn’t drop by the office to ask for anything but
The fact that we are
visiting a government office, a friendly ambience is expected.
Just the two of us
arguing, he persisted that our presence and the manner of the visit
was to make a complaint. In as much as I would like to maintain my
composure, the feeling of animosity seemed so unacceptable.
As a member of the
fourth state, it is incumbent upon us to deliver the message to the
right person who happens to be an elective official of the land and in
his absence, any information, issues and concern can be passed on to
any of his authorized representative.
answered our queries in a manner where we could sense his enmity.
An Waray Party List
through its representative Florencio “Bem” Noel and the Samar Island
Press Club had a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) wherein all of the
programs and services of the party list shall be aired or published in
our respective stations and publications like broadcast, print and
In fact, the medical
missions initiated by the press club and the disposal of medicines as
well as the facilitation of applicant-scholasr in
Samar provinces are also part of the agreement.
Both parties have
commitments in the name of public service.
Coming to the office
of An Waray Party List was not the first time either. Our experience
in the previous visit was enfolded with warm reception.
In this last visit,
the swift change of mood was so surprising!
I don’t want to be
presumptuous but other members of the Samar Island Press Club, (SIPC)
Inc. feel, the club we’re no longer part of .An Waray’s agenda. The
club should realize that our role as partner or collaborator has been
terminated without palpably informing us.
and Non-career service or coterminous have diverse interests in terms
of “public service.”
There is a common
saying that “there is no permanent friend or ally in politics, only
If journalists are
guided with our code of ethics, coterminous like the “confidential
staff” is dependent on the whims of the appointing authority or
subject to the pleasure of said appointing authority which is limited
to the duration of a particular project for which purpose employment
The manifestation of
arrogance and hostility in his person is inherent in him and will
always reflect to the office he’s representing.
Compared to 2nd
District Representative Emil L. Ong and his staff, they received us
warmly. Just like in the previous visit either in his hometown at Brgy.
Rawis, Laoang, Northern Samar or in the House of Representatives, we
always end up conversing and doing good interviews.
In that visit, we
learned our lessons. Never to rely too much to the words of our local
leaders or any of his representatives for their display of sincerity
could be deceiving. No matter how good a person/leader is, if he is
blinded with power, it dominates the whole being. Failing to notice
the very fact that he is affiliated with an elected official of the
land whose duty is to serve his constituency; that in the absence of
his superior, he has to act with civility to everyone and even to the
lowest class of human being in this country.
According to Theodore
Roosevelt, the most practical kind of politics is the politics of