October 19, 2021

Bicol Express News

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CAMARINES SUR’S “POLITICS OF HUNGER”

Two UNCLAIMED STUBS for food aid packs beside an empty plate. No food on the table.

One Saturday morning, old couple Lolo Pidoy and Lola Enyang (not their real names) in Tigaon received two stubs to claim their food aid packs from a visiting convoy from the Camarines Sur Provincial Government.

They were told the food packs could be claimed in the afternoon by presenting the claim stubs to the delivery convoy at a designated area once it reached Tigaon.

For the old couple, the food packs would tide them over for a few days if the items consist of 3 kilos rice, 3 cans of sardines, coffee and sugar.

There were hundreds of them who were given claim stubs, like Lolo and Lola, who were instructed to wait for the food convoy that would arrive that Saturday afternoon.

These would spare them from buying their own food for a few days.

Suffering now for more than a year under global pandemic, many think poverty is much worse than Covid 19.

They waited until late afternoon. No food aid arrived.

Next morning, they waited again, but no news about the food packs.

Unknown to them, men of the “Municipio” had barred the food aid delivery convoy from entering the town.

Reasons were given, allegedly due to rising cases of Covid 19, and that the planned distribution of food packs would cause “mass assembly” that might violate social distancing, and health protocols.

Such violations would be prosecuted and penalized, according to the Municipio.

The reasons given were shallow, when in truth, it was old, dirty politics at play.

Everybody knew that the Municipio leaders are political enemies of the incumbent Governor.

Victims of this dirty politics are those with hungry stomachs who had become unwilling pawns in this “food aid” war.

This was practiced before, right after calamities when the Provincial Government sent relief goods to Sagñay and Tigaon, whose leaders are known opponents of the incumbent Governor, that they forbade the distribution of relief goods by the Provincial Government.

According to old timers, this has been a dirty gimmick that denied the calamity victims their rightful claim to Government food aid allocations, all because of dirty, unconscionable politics devoid of sense of humanity.