The NTC goes to Butuan with a declaration
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - November 14, 2014 - 12:00am

Didn't we tell you that we smelled something fishy with the sudden removal of Health Secretary Enrique Ona and his Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag? As we wrote earlier and warned you, the Acting Health Secretary is now Health Undersecretary Janette Garin. The reason why Sec. Ona is now in trouble is the alleged corruption wherein the National Bureau of Investigation is supposedly investigating his purchase of the drug Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV-10) instead of PCV-13. So what's the bottom line?

I cannot forget that the number one, most rabid promoter of the pro-Reproductive Health Bill, which is now a law, was Garin and it worries me a lot now that she is on top of the Health Department. Garin believes in reducing the population of the Philippines via artificial birth control methods. But for as long as Sec. Ona remains mum as to why he was given the boot, we cannot yet get into the bottom of this issue. But so far, one of my suspicions is right on the nail with the ascendancy of Acting Sec. Garin, who incidentally is also facing corruption charges before the Office of the Ombudsman. So clearly the issue here isn't about Ona's corruption…but something else!


Last Tuesday, Nov.11, it was Butuan City's turn to host the National Transformation Council the first NTC ever held in the island of Mindanao. Just looking at the Facebook photos of the event, one can immediately conclude that this event was very successful. The NTC was publicly introduced in Lipa, Batangas last Aug.27, and then it came to Cebu last Oct.1st then on to Butuan. I understand that come December, it will be the turn of Davao City to host the NTC, then it goes to Manila.

I have here the Butuan Declaration of the NTC, but since it is very lengthy, I will only reprint the ones that are of utmost importance to the people of Mindanao. As we all know, politicians always declare Mindanao to be the Island of Promise, but because our politicians lie with a straight face, their declaration sounds more like the Island of broken promises!

"We commend the initiatives of the two previous assemblies, express full and unequivocal support for the Lipa Declaration-"An urgent call for National Transformation"-of August 27,2014 and the Cebu Declaration-"Defining the first steps toward National Transformation"-of October 1,2014 and bind ourselves to undertake the necessary steps to help bring them to fruition." Then it goes on saying that the Butuan NTC was very close to the first anniversary of the super typhoon Yolanda and reminds the Aquino Regime of their own national disaster. 

The Butuan Declaration continues, "On the eve of the second anniversary of the floods that killed and injured hundreds of people, and displaced thousands particularly in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley on December 4, 2012, and sharing the suffering of the victims of these tragedies and their families who have waited in vain for adequate government support in their recovery and rehabilitation, we raise our voices in solidarity with the people of these communities to thank all those who came to their aid and comfort during their hour of greatest need, and to express grave disappointment with the way the Aquino administration has failed to respond adequately to this crisis."

Clearly what we are seeing here is a pattern of incompetence by the Aquino Regime in dealing with areas hit by natural disasters. If Tacloban cries out for help, it is very unfortunate that the cries of the people of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley who were also victims of natural disasters were never heard. The Butuan Declaration added;

"At this time of serious difficulties for the people of Mindanao, we express grave concern over the cavalier way the Aquino Administration has treated the "Mindanao Problem." We are determined to find a just and lasting solution to this problem, one that will bring about true and lasting peace, and a radical change for the better in the lives of all people. With great sadness, however, we must say that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law now pending in Congress, is not the fruit of honest and sincere consultations with our Muslim brothers and their Christian friends and neighbors.

This threatens to falsify our people's deepest longing for genuine self-management of their own affairs, and instead create new divisions, disunity and discontent, both among those who are part and those who are not part of the new entity to be created under the BBL. We therefore ask the National Transformation Council to intensify genuine consultations with all stakeholders in order to come up with a real solution coming from the people themselves rather than from outside sources."

There's really more to the Butuan Declaration especially its support for federalizing the Philippines, not just for the Bangsamoro entity. There is no doubt, the people supporting the NTC are growing by leaps and bounds and the National Transformation Council has finally become nationwide!

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