By Juan L. Mercado
“We give back to You who first gave them to us: our faithful dead, whose beauty and truth are even now in our hearts.” That line from Rufus Ellis resonated as the wife and I, like thousands of other families, spruced up the graves of our kin for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day rites this coming weekend.
Amid the controversies, left and right, regarding several public officials’ alleged unexplained wealth, we in Akbayan Partylist call on the House of Representatives to urgently pass the freedom of information (FOI) bill.
When I ran for the Senate in 2010, one of the things I discussed during the campaign period was the importance of the barangay (village) assembly, with emphasis on the imperative for the barangay council to report on its accomplished projects and on the barangay’s financial standing.
I am writing to you to share my experience at the US Embassy when I applied for a visa two weeks ago.
Each adult member of the Binay family is a millionaire several times over, and judging by their financial statements both Vice President Jejomar Binay and his wife are dramatically successful business investors, but apparently none of this means anything. For Binay, he is not rich, but someone who comes “from a poor family”; he does not own profitable businesses or million-peso properties, but is merely someone who “grew up poor.”