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The 20 Million Peso Question

The recent arrests of Mayor Pat Gutierrrez and the members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Tiwi for indirect contempt of court issued by Quezon City RTC Judge Lucio Bersamin for the failure of the said Municipal officials to pay Atty. Antonio Betito of some Php 21 Million in attorneys fee for his supposed role and service rendered in the release of the money from the taxes of NPC/PGI paid to Tiwi several years ago have stirred a hornet's nest, so to speak.

It revives the animosity and restores the mudslinging between the two camps of the main protagonists in Tiwi politics namely the camp of the incumbent Mayor Pat on one side against the camp of Vice-Mayor Ruth Corral on the other.

The trouble started when the Adorada was arrested together with the members of the Sangguniang Bayan. Suspicions of treachery on the part of the Labarot surfaced when she was nowhere in the vicinity of the Municipal building considering that it is the first working day of the week, being a Monday. There were insinuations that they were tipped off by Atty. Betito himself about the impending arrests which caught the Tiwi leadership flat-footed to spare her of the humiliation of being arrested right in front of her constituents and the fact that they were political allies and business partners.

The situation further came to a head when after the Vice-Mayor and one Kagawad Jesus Consulta presented themselves to the PNP provincial office signed a manifesto or papers to that effect supporting the payment of 21 million pesos to Atty. Betito and was subsequently released from the PNP Provincial Directo's custody and assuming the post of acting Mayor of Tiwi with Kagawad Consulta as her acting Vice-Mayor.

It's somewhat of a political coup for the camps and supporters of the Vice-Mayor and thus, putting one up over the heads of Mayor Pat and her allies. It is a classic case of political opportunism of the first degree though, if you ask me.

For a backgrounder, the issue of the supposed hiring of Atty. Betito occurred during the incumbency of the late Mayor Naomi Corral, who incidentally is just the mother of the present Vice-Mayor. When the new administration took over they refused to honor the supposedly contract by citing that it is disadvantageous to the welfare of the people of Tiwi and without a proof of the said contract on paper that Atty. Betito could produce and thus, ignored his demands which prompted him to sue the Municipal government. To make the long story short, Atty. Betito won the case and the refusal of the incumbent officials of Tiwi to come up with the payment led to the issuance of the warrants of arrest for indirect contempt of court. The case is however on appeal to the Court of Appeals while Pat and company continued to languish in jail while waiting for the resolution of their motion to quash and certiorari that their lawyers filed on their behalf. Tiwi, without a functioning Sangguniang Bayan continues to suffer a political vacuum.

The 21 million peso-question that continues to baffle the common Tiwinhons is on why did we had to hire the services of Atty. Betito for the release of the money coming from the taxes paid by the management of NPC-PGI for the operation of the geothermal fields that is due to Tiwi anyway as provided for in the Local Government Code? Or why did the Municipal officials then led by Mayor Corral did not pay Atty. Betito his fair (?) share?

The answer is quite obvious. The hiring of Atty. Antonio Betito by the administration of the late Mayor Corral in the guise of facilitating the release of the bulk of the money from Malacanang was a pact with the Devil. It is designed to bleed the Municipal coffers of the money that rightfully belongs to the people of Tiwi. It is a case of highway robbery to the nth degree.

Now, the camp of Labarot is passing the blame to the hands of Mayor Pat and her allies thereby washing their hands off from the real issue. They cited all the alleged sins of omissions and commissions of the incumbent mayor. They are using the blabber-mouth Ito Alarte as their mouthpiece in lambasting the present administrations on the family-controlled Radyo Natin bombarding the airwaves with vicious propaganda that would put Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi war machines to shame. All these efforts to hide the real score do not sit well to the people of Tiwi for they know better. They should at least call a spade a spade and tell the truth and let them stand on its merits, if any.

This is not the time to rock the boat and divide the house. We need to be united in this fight to expose a sham. The action of the Vice-mayor and Kagawad Consulta in forging an unholy alliance with Atty.Betito to further their own gains is quite Garapal! It is an action unbecoming of elected officials that is supposed to fight for the welfare of their constituents. It almost made me puke. It does not sit well with the people of Tiwi.

The charges of corruption against the present administration are not the issue in this case although I will not dispute the allegations. The issue here whether it is right or proper to pay Atty. Antonio Betito for the services that he claimed to have rendered to the people of Tiwi.

You be the judge.

COC- October 14, 2002



WHAT'S WRONG WITH US?

Most of us, our leaders and the people of Tiwi, are suffering from a serious case of myopia. Our self-proclaimed messiahs do not have the foresight or the vision of what is right and good for the people. Their only concern is on how to strike it big, realize their worldly ambitions and fill their pockets with lots of moolahs!

You will see a lot of projects that only benefited them but not the people. Most of them has the edifice mentality--a state of mind that have them obsessed of erecting buildings and infrastructures that will serve as their monuments for people to remember them by as well as to satisfy their bloated egos, no matter how useless to the welfare of their constituents their projects may be!

Thus, you no longer wonder when you see roads being inaugurated half-finished or ask why the relatives of the powers that be cornered the contracts for the bridge that was destroyed by the floods, etc. etc.!

You just shake your head in anger when the only people that are given employments albeit "casuals" are the supporters of the people in power resulting in overstaffing even though many of them are doing practically nothing except to scratch their butt while trying to look busy struggling to pass the day in the office and are not even qualified for the job in the first place. The end result of which is wasting precious taxpayers' money for the salaries of these political appointees that could have gone to other worthwhile endeavors of the government. Itís a classic case of-"Whom you know and not on what you know" and "it's payback time again" traditions rearing its ugly head!

You just shake your head in disbelief when the Morons in the Sanggunian Bayan approved the resolution granting the entire population free electricity regardless of their status in society (read Jess Lapid Cuadro or Catalino Cope vs. Bernardo Corral or Tomas Vera) resulting in the near-bankruptcy of the local government. Where is fairness and equality there, if you ask me?

You just shake your head in hopelessness when the elected officials and their ilk started flaunting their newly acquired wealth from SOP's and under the table deals that they have entered into without any feeling of guilt nor shame on the manner of how they've acquired them which only showed their lack of a sense of propriety and complete disrespect, utter disregard and contempt for the Tiwinhons!

We deplore the loss of honesty and integrity as well as the sense of decency and morality in government service yet WE DO NOTHING!

We continue to support them and elect them and turn a blind eye on the graft and corruptions that are being committed right in our very own backyard so long as they give us a token of their loot whenever we ask them for help in times of need.

These practices that are prevalent in our town encourages a Culture of Mendicancy!

You do not give fish to those in need because that will result in them depending on you forever but teach them how to fish and they will be independent and useful to the society.

Instead of wasting a fortune on projects that did not directly benefit the people, our local officials should have spent it wisely for the promotion of a sound and effective health, livelihood and educational programs in order to alleviate the people from poverty!

They should have spent good money on the education of the poor but deserving Tiwinhons by giving out scholarships and subsidies!

They should have asked the management of NPC-PGI regarding their needs on the manpower and technical sides and send some of the people to technical courses and trainings to gain skills so that they could gain employment and become competitive right in their hometown!

They should have invited investors to invest in Tiwi in order to generate more jobs by giving out say 30 percent subsidy on their electrical consumption on the condition that they should hire or give priority to Tiwinhons!

They should have built a non-stock, non-profit hospital with free medical services to everyone manned with competent and able personnel selected based not on political affiliations but on knowledge and skills!

They should have arrested the gambling operators and drug peddlers who are known to the people and authorities alike anyway in order to put a stop on the proliferations of gambling and drug trafficking that are destroying the moral fibers of our youth by going after these shenanigans!

I could go on and on and on rambling about anything and everything!

Is this some kind of a Utopian struggle and therefore unattainable?

Nah, the possibilities are endless if only our leaders have the vision and the political will to do what is right and proper for their constituents who voted them into office.

This is not to cast aspersions on the intentions and integrity as well as the capabilities of our local officials BUT it is something left to be desired!

I hope that idealism is not yet dead and a lost virtue on this side of the planet...

Or shall I Say?

SHOW ME THE MONEY!

COC- June 28, 2001

ORA PRO NOBIS

NATA TA DAE DAPAT MAGTUGOT ANG MGA TAGA-TIWI SA SOLID WASTE INJECTION SITE SA BIYONG?

Primero, Dakulaon ang potensyal kaini na maapektaran an kabuhayan asin salud kan mga taga-Tiwi. Dae tabi kamo magtubod sa mga sabi-sabi kan mga alipores ni Mayora asin kan mga tuta kan NPC-PGI na si Sevilla asin Enalpe na safe ini! Dahil sa sakuyang pag research ang mga arog kaining klase nin pagtapok nin solid waste talagang delikado ta pwede kaining makontaminar ang satuyang pigkukuahan nin tubig. Bako ini safe dahil pag naglinog pwede ining mag bulos paluwas asin pasiring sa mga daga na mapasiring sa tubig na satuyang iinumon asin sa mga tinanom na satuyang kaka-kanon.Tubod-tubod kamong quake-proof iyan ta sa istorya kan kinaban wara ki edipisyo na safe sa linog! Maski ang pinakasuro-sekretong pigsasarayan kan mga nuclear weapons kan Kano asin Russia nagle-leak iyan pa daw na yaon dyan sa Biyong! Pig sabi ninda na safe ini na arog man daa kaini ang pig gigibo sa America, Australia, Italia asin iba pang nasyon. Alagad sa America pigpi phase-out na ini dahil delikado ngani. Ang masasabi ko mag cite sinda nin sarong specific na lugar sa mga nasyon na ini kung saen igwa man ki parehong modelo na arog kan pigtutugdok sa Biyong bakong puro sana General na kesyo arog kaini ang mga gibo sa mga nasyon na industrialisado ang mga simbag ninda. Ang aram ko pano iyo ini ang pinakamatipid na paagi nin pagtapok nin toxic waste! kaya nangunguripot man sana ang mga multinational company na arog kan PGI kaya arog kaini ang gibo

Panduwa, Delikado kita sa Kanser! Hilinga ang nangyari sa Subic asin Clark na luminuwas ang mga helang pakalihis kan pirang taon paghale kan mga Kano! Ang mga nagpaparatararam na Safe ini iyo ang mga bako man taga-Tiwi asin si Mayora! Nata sa hiling nindo rayaon pa daw ang mga ini pag abot kan panahon na may mga nagheherelang asin nagkakagaradan na dahil sa mga toxic waste na ini? Si Mayora may harong baga an sa Manila! Sigurado ako pakatapos kan turno kaini maging ang mga yaon dyan sa NPC-PGI tuturuwadan man sana kita kan mga ini! Kaya ang masapar kan mga epekto kan toxic waste na ini kita man sana hanggang sa panahon kan mga aki kan aki nindo!

Pantulo, maging vigilant kita asin dae basta-basta magparatubod kan mga nadadangog ta sa radio ta parte na ini kan media offensive kan NPC-PGI para maniwala kita sa mga propaganda ninda! Sabi ngani ni Joseph Goebbels na alalay ni HItler- Ang utik daang inulit-ulit nagiging totoo sa pagdangog kan mga tawo! Kaya kwidaw tabi kita sa mga banat lalo na ni Art Blanquisco asin iba pa ta iyo na baga ang mouthpiece kan NPC-PGI dyan! Pira man daw ang hinukip saimo padi para magpaliwanag asin mag depensa sa site na iyan na pag saimong hinapot puro man sana daa ang simbag! Mataram ka naman padi wara man na hukip alagad para dae ka pagsuspetsaran kan mga tawo itao mo ang mikropono sa mga tunay na representante kan NPC-PGI para sinda ang magpaliwanag bakong ika sa mga bagay na ini!Ho, ang highblood mo Padi baka banatan mo na naman ako sa Radio mo! Hihihihih (ulokon ni Matutina)

Pang-apat, ang pagbabalewala satuya kan Munisipyo asin manihamento kan NPC-PGI sa pagsisikreto asin dae pagkaka igwa nin proper forum para ipasabot sa mga tawo kung ano man nanggad ang injection site na iyan sa Biyong ay talagang nakakaduda! Nata ta kung bakong maraot asin nakakahudong ang dara kaiyan nata kaipuhan na isekreto pa iyan sa publiko! Dyan minaluwas na ang paghuna satuyang mga taga Tiwi iyo ang--PURO TANGA ASIN WARANG PAG-ISIP! DAE KITA MAGTUGOT NA BASTA-BASTA NA SANA ISALPAK SA NGANGAAN TA ANG MGA BAGAY NA PAGBABASULAN ASIN MAGDUDULOT NIN PERWISYO SA SATUYANG PAGKABUHAY SA MGA MAABOT NA PANAHON!

Panlima, Pondohon kan satuyang mga opisyales kan Banwa ang mga pagparasaragin-sagin asin pagmamaang-maangan na wara sindang aram sa mga bagay na inio! Bawal man ang maging neutral dahil saro iyan na paagi nin pag traydor sa kapakanan kan mga tawo! Kaipuhan ta ang MANINDOGAN SA BAGAY NA INI DAHIL ANG KATUKAL KAN SOLID WASTE INJECTION SITE DYAN SA BIYONG IYO ANG BUHAY KAN MGA TAG-TIWI!MANINDOGAN KITA MGA PADI ASIN MADI! 090601

SO THE PEOPLE MAY KNOW...

Ano ang mga dara kan Geothermal Plant sa Tiwi?

1. Air Pollution- Ang paros na pighahangos ta iyo ang diit-diit na pighuhudong kan mga lason na pigbubuga kan planta dahil sa kapabayaan asin pagkagahaman sa perak kan NPC-PGI na pig-totolerate kan mga politiko sa banwa. Ang garo lapang bonay na satuyang napaparong iyo ang parong kan Hydrogen sulfide o H2S na sarong klase nin nakakahudong na elemento na pigbubuga kan planta. Ang deficil kaini ang H2S dae na napaparong asin nakakagadan pag ini halangkaw na ang level sa paros. Kaya bakong makangalas kung basta na sana minaperilikpilik ang mga trabahador na kulang sa kagamitan dahil ini baga dae mo man mapaparong ta maaraman mo na lang tigbak ka na. Perang taon na kitang pigbubugahan kaini?

2. Water Pollution- Ang mga ati asin basura na hale sa planta na pigpapabulos sa mga salog pasiring sa dagat. Hilinga na daw ang nangyari sa salog sa Sogod ta garo na baga taklaon maski ang mga gapo sa gilid kaini na dati magayonon asin malinawon pa ini. Bako man na makangalas kung nata wara ng sira sa dagat lalo na sa parte kan sogod asin matalibong ta nagdurulag na baga ini dahil sa polusyon na pigtatapok kan NPC-PGI sa dagat.

3. Noise Pollution. Hilinga na ang mga nangyayari sa mga taga- Cale ta kadaklan baga digde medyo maluya na ang pandangog o kaya hararom na! Pirang taon na ang mga tinios kaining mga tawong ini sa ribok kan mga planta. Satuyang romdomon na ang long-term exposure sa ribok ay magre-resulta sa pagkabongog na dae niato basta-basta mamalisyahan!

Ngonian tatapukan pa kita kan basura hale sa Makiling -Banahaw na kontaminado asin toxic. Nata ta pigdara ninda satuya ang mga basurang ini? Takot sinda ki Sec. Lina kan Laguna?

Sabi kan Greenpeace na sarong organisasyon kan mga environmentalist sa kinaban igwa daa nin "22 out of 172 toxic injection wells in the US have leaked or suffered holes. In at least 2 states deep well injection of hazardous waste has been linked to multiple earthquakes caused by elevated pressure and reduced friction over large ares." Asin ang arog daa kaiyan na pigsi-sekreto kutang deep injection well sa Biyong iyo ang pig-aapod na -"A shot in the dark and any depth is unsafe" dahil talagang delikado asin pwede ining mag tagas buda bumulos asin ma-contaminate ang mga daga asin tubig na pig-iinuman kan mga tawo. Sa Amerika ang mga arog kaining paagi pigpopondo na. Nata ta digde satuya gigibuhon pa kan NPC-PGI?

Ang simbag dyan PERAK- ta makakatipid sinda nin milyon-milyon katukal kan sinsilyo o barya-barya na ibabayad kaini sa mga nakaka-garadan na mga tawo.

Dae ngani ini concern sa salud kan saindang mga trabahador, sa mga tawo kan Tiwi pa kaya? Dae ngani kaini natutukalan ang Asbestos na atop kan opisina ninda. Hoy mga Bok magre-reklamo na kamo asin patukalan iyan ta baka magka-Asbestosis pa kamo na sarong klase nin Kanser sa Baga na nakukua matapos ang long-term exposure sa Asbestos arog kan nangyari sa mga trabahador kaito sa Clark!

Hydrogen sulfide, Arsenic, Boron, Mercury asin Vanadium. Example lang iyan kan mga nakakahudong na elemento na makukua sa mga pigbubuga kan planta buda sa mga toxic waste na ilulubong dyan sa Biyong!

Bako ining karaw-karaw ta nakakagadan ang mga ini. Pwede ining mag-causa nin mga helang arog kan Cancer, Asthma, Helang sa pusos asin balat asin dakul pang iba!

Ano ang dapat niatong gibuhon bilang sarong taga-Tiwi?

KULKUGON ANG TALINGA NI ADORADA ASIN PAG-IRIBA NA DAE PAGTUGOTAN ANG MGA AROG KAINING MGA GIBO KAN NPC-PGI!

IPAHELING TA SA NPC- PGI NA BAKO KITANG MGA TANGA NA BASTA NA LANG KITA MAAKO KAN MGA BAGAY NA SATUYA MAN SANANG IKAKAPAHAMAK!

PONDOHON ANG PAGSASAMANTALA ASIN PAGKAKARAW-KARAW KAN KALUSUGAN KAN MGA TAGA TIWI!

Poon ngonian dapat na i-monitor kan Municipal government gabos na helang kan mga taga-Tiwi lalung-lalo na ang mga helang sa Baga arog kan Asthma, TB asin iba pa. Mga helang sa Balat, Puso, Stroke, Cancer, pati na ang bilang kan mga aking may diperensiya asin nakagaradan pag-akia maging ang insidente nin Pagka-bungog asin Katarata ta nganing igwa kitang mga data pag-abot kan panahon na kaipuhan ta. Iyan kung talagang sincero sinda sa saindang sinumpaan na pangatamanan ang karahayan kan mga taga-Tiwi!

Iyan ay dahil sa dae ta baga aram ang mga maabot na mangyayari asin epekto sa satuyang banwa asin sa mga maabot na Henerasyon kan mga toxic wastes na itatapok asin itatambak kan NPC-PGI na may bendisyon kan lokal na administarsyon sa satuyang banwa!

ORA PRO NOBIS...

GLOBE CELL SITE HAZARDS

Sarong aldaw, sakuya na lang na nagimatahan na igwa na palan nin Tower kan Globe diyan sa Likod kan Munisipyo!

Garo baga minadyik na bigla na lang ining tuminubo diyan na dae lamang uminagi na konsultasyon sa mga namamanwaan na iyo ang maa-apektaran!

Garo baga hinokus-pokus na naman ini kan mga opisyales kan banwaan!

Kung ako nasasala, nata ta ang nakakua kan kontrata iyo si Etan?

Nata ta garo baga dae ninda aram na ang mga arog kaining cell-site antennas dae dapat ipag-bugtak sa mga lugar na ma-Tawo dahil sa posibilidad na ang radiation na hali digde pwedeng mag causa nin Cancer asin iba pang helang?

Nagdarangag-dangagan o talagang warang paki-aram sa salud kan mga namamanwaan?

Basta magka-perak maski ipabakal ang kalag kan mga tawo?

Siyempre sasabihon ninda na sinabi sainda kan mga taga-Globe na wara man nin peligro dahil wara pa man na documented na kaso nin helang na hale sa radiation kan mga cell-site towers~!

Nata, nuarin pa kita mahiro kung igwa na nin peligro?

Nuarin pa kita mahiro kung nag-herelang na ang mga tawo?

Nuarin pa kita mahiro kung may gadan nang mga tawo?

Baka dae ninda aram na "An ounce of prevention is better than the cure?"

Ang mga bagay na arog kaini ang makamoromondo por dahil sa ang mga tawong tiniwalaan na maprotektar sa mga namamanwaan, iyo pa ang enot na mapabakal digde dahil sa PERAK!! (Shades of Judas & 30 pieces of silver?, Huh!)

Para sa Kaaraman kan gabos ang koneksiyon kan Radio-Frequency Radiation (RFR) levels na hale sa mga cell-site antennas asin Kanser iyo an padagos na pig-aadalan kan mga Scientists sa Kinaban!

Kaya dae pa kita nakakasiguro na safe na kita sa RFR na hale diyan sa Tower kan Globe!

Asin dae man nakakasiguro sa Adorada asin pag iriba na dae man magka-causa nin Kanser ang radiation na hale diyan sa Tower!

DAE DAPAT IPAG-SUGAL KAN LOKAL NA GOBYERNO ANG BUHAY KAN MGA TAGA-TIWI!

Dae dapat na padanayon ang mga arog kaining gibo-gibo!

Patunayan mo Mayora na ang saimong administrasyon iyo ang para sa Publiko bako sa Sadiring Tawo!

HALION ANG CELL-SITE TOWER KAN GLOBE SA LIKUDAN KAN MUNISIPYO!

Bago umabot sa puntong wara na kitang magiginibo!

COC- JUNE 21, 2001

   

 

A CALL TO ACTION

Now that the elections are over,

People of Tiwi--UNITE!

Let us stop the mudslingings and the politickling!

Let the bygones be bygones

Let us give the new leadership a chance to prove itself that they deserve the trust and confidence of the people who put them into office.

Let us work for a Peaceful and Prosperous Tiwi.

Yet, Let us be Vigilant against Graft & Corruption!

Let us help remind them that a Public Office is a Public Trust!

Let us not condone the wrongdoings committed by our municipal officials!

Let the new leadership show its political will by going after these erring public officials!

Let there be no sacred cows!

Let the axe fall to where it is due!

There can be No Reconciliation without Justice!

Absolve the innocents and Prosecute the guilty with the Full Force of the Law!

The Challenge is now on Mayor Pat et al!

Where to, Tiwi?

The last Elections showed the lack of maturity of the people of Tiwi, Albay.

Many of the deserving candidates lost while those candidates with dubious reputations and questionable characters won.



Many concerned Tiwinhons are perplexed and at a loss on why Ruth Corral whose only claim to fame is being the progeny of an influential family and nothing more won the Vice-mayoralty position over Architect Jaime Villanueva, a person with proven tract record during his short stint in the town council as president of the Association Of Barangay Captains (ABC) of Tiwi or the election for a second term of incumbent Kagawad Ulysses Pacis who is known to engage in illegal logging and dynamite fishing while incumbent Kagawad Bennett Templado, a no-nonsense fiscalizer in the Sanggunian Bayan lost.



These are just two of the cases that i consider as shocking to say the least!



Like in the past, Money flowed like water. Vote-buying, Intrigues and Character Assassinations were the orders of the day. The issues raised ranged from the usual charges of CORRUPTION to the absurd like the identity of Catalino Cope!



Many of the candidates who won were elected not because of credentials, integrity and performance but on how much money he or she can dole out to the people. Tiwi was awashed with money on election day that ranged from 250-300 pesos for Mayor, 100-200 pesos for the Vice-Mayor and 20-80 pesos for a Councilor.



Many old-timers lament the fact that because of the experience in this election wherein the color of money reared its ugly head and figured prominently rather than issues, future political exercises would never be the same again in Tiwi.It is really disheartening to realize that "WHEN MONEY TALKS, PEOPLE LISTEN!"



My heart bleeds for Tiwi and its people.



For what they don't realized was by electing leaders with poor credentials and tract records because of money and whose only aim and motivation is to recoup their expenses in the elections, this is where GRAFT and CORRUPTION sets in. Thus, self-interests will always be paramount on their agenda and the interest of the people will once again just be relegated to the backround and thrown by the wayside! And it is a vicious cycle and a hopeless case wherein the end is no longer in sight?!



And as the Great Philosopher George Santayana once said, and I quote, "THOSE WHO REFUSED TO REMEMBER THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT."



Quo vadis, Tiwi?
   

 

COC- MAY 21, 2001

BE NOT AFRAID

As I said before and I say it again if you have nothing to hide or have done nothing wrong against your fellowmen then you should not be afraid.

One need not be an expert to observe that the targets of my diatribes are people especially our elected local officials who in one way or another committed sins and excesses against his or her kahimanwas.

The moralist in us would say that, "Why wash dirty linen in public?" or "Let him who has no sin cast the first stone!"

Although we are human beings and thus subject to its frailties and imperfections yet are gifted by God or Nature with brains and intelligence which differentiates us from other lower life forms and species. We are expected therefore to act in accordance with the laws of God and Man.

It is on these tenets that our local officials, like Caesar's wife must be above suspicion. Being elected into office is not a right acquired by birth or whatever that is given to a person rather it is more of a privilege- a mandate to serve the people with all honesty and to the best of their abilities.

But this does not include enriching themselves while in office and engaging in graft and corruption and other illegal activities.

All is not lost though, for hope springs eternal as they say.

But only if our local officials set aside their personal ambitions and monetary considerations and work in favor of a genuine reform and service oriented government.

That is the greatest legacy that they can leave behind to their children and the people of Tiwi.

COC- January 31, 2001