Jose Rizal Monument and Chito Mandap’s Legacy
When PWD raised an issue, it is not against the person. It is against his acts or commissions; things committed which need clarification or justification. Those who did not understand what we do ended up sending us numerous letters expressing anger and disgust.
When PWD started to ask for some clarifications or questioned the validity of a show or a project, people immediately jumped into conclusion, blamed us and threw curses at all our staff members.
Simply stated, we expect the public to give us their patience. Remember your younger days when your mom will hit you with her “tsinelas?” Or your dad giving you “pingot” on your ear when you didn’t want to behave or listen? After that, you started to obey, and later on, justified what your mom and dad did to you. They did that to discipline you out of their wish and love for you to do things correctly.
Sometimes, we questioned a person and emphasized what the public wanted to know so that he will have the chance to answer publicly the doubts of the people.
We were not against Chito Mandap when he led the Jose Rizal Monument Movement. I joined the Filipino-Americans and dignitaries when they gave their applause to Chito. We saluted him for his perseverance in handling the project. Ditto for his wife Blessie Mandap who must have inspired Chito like Josephine Bracken did to Rizal. May your tribe increase.
But Chito raised funds which under the law are public money. And considering this was a continuing fund-raising years ago, he must have prepared annual financial statements to that effect. If he did, well and good. If there was an oversight, please consult your accountants and tax preparer.
We do not want to destroy the success of the monument nor the purpose for which it stands for. We can only say “The end does not justify the means.” Hence, the need for financial statements for transparency.
Mandap did not forget and had given publicly credits to the people and associations that backed him up. In fact, some of these groups became his breadbasket for funding.
In his unveiling speech, he was magnanimous in giving thanks to all those who helped the movement. By so doing, he stood up tall in the midst of the people giving their admiration to him for a job well done.
Let the Rizal monument be a symbol of a united overseas Filipino-Americans. Even the City of Carson took pride in having Rizal as the first national hero of a foreign country to be constructed in that historical park to be followed by other leaders. Mayor Jim Dear took pride in saying “we started it, and expected other nationalities to succeed in the fund-raising they started already for the construction of the heroes of their native land.” Councilman Elito Macapagal Santarina, a Novo Ecijano from the Philippines, a civic leader and educator, said “Rizal will always be a good example, not only for the Filipinos but to everybody, and his memories will always be alive like the presence of that statue which will be here in Carson forever.”
Let the records which the public need be available at once. We were informed that these will be done after the unveiling of the monument to clear all the doubts and suspicions about the whereabouts of the funds.
We expect the financial reports, once made public, will vindicate Chito from all the criticisms he received. If not, the herculean job he started years ago will be in vain. Failure to do so will not be fair for the monument and those who contributed for its construction; rather it will be a monument of shame. (By Sir Larry G. Pelayo, K of R LA Pursuivant)
End of Maguindanao Massacre Nowhere To Be Seen
The end of the trial of the November 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre involving 57 people, 32 among them media workers, is nowhere to be seen.
Witnesses went into hiding; some of them vanished without traces; nowhere to be found, or were presumed killed or silenced by the long arms of the assassins.
The snail-paced hearings, if ever these were formally started, showed no favorable results to believe that justice will be served to the victims; now joined by maggots seven feet below the ground.
We sympathized with the families of the victims who could not find the right approach in trying to seek punishment for the accused. At this point they can only curse heaven and sing “Whom can we turn to?”
During the first few months after the massacre, newspapers, radio, tv, the social media and every means of communications available, were filled with pictures and speeches of politicians trying to showcase their crusades for justice to the victims. Shades of “epal,” huh.
When the accused and their lawyers were able to slow down the proceedings by legal technicalities, our concerned lawmakers gadually lost their interest because of the seemingly hopeless display of attention by the higher authorities.
While the orphans left behind are languishing from the pains of losing their love ones, a confidential report said the accused, under the guise of physical sickness, are occupying special rooms in hospitals and converted them to suites like Club Med or furnished their prison cells with television sets, stereos and cell phones. We will not be surprised if female entertainers are even around at night with the accused and jail guards as the audience.
There was a study made before on what caused the growth of dissent, anti-government movements like the NPAs and the leftist groups on remote areas of the Philippines. The answer was plain and simple. Injustice. For every victim of injustice, an equivalent number joins the NPA or terrorist groups to get even.
The government should learn from its mistakes of the past. The peasant movement born out of the dissatisfaction of the Hukbalahap (Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon) from the treatment they received after fighting during the last war was a perfect example. More so when it involved the loved ones you lost.