Onion-skinned? Certainly not Castro or her Makabayan bloc colleagues | Inquirer Opinion

Onion-skinned? Certainly not Castro or her Makabayan bloc colleagues

/ 04:05 AM October 30, 2023

“… [P]ublic servants should not be onion-skinned and should not make use of this right as a tool to silence critics,” Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte said.

First, yes, a public servant must not be onion-skinned or thick-faced, like having no shame at all in their corruption, or entitlement for privilege while people are jobless, hungry, and rights defenders are persecuted.

Second, former president Rodrigo Duterte committed a grave threat: “But your first target there, using your intelligence funds, is you, France, you communists who I want to kill.” Duterte must be lucky that the National Bureau of Investigation did not hastily nab him the way they did to a teacher who offered P50 million to anyone who would kill Duterte. The teacher stated the amount of P50 million in his social media post to counter the P50 million offered by Duterte for any Filipino who can invent a vaccine for the coronavirus disease.

ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro and her colleagues in the Makabayan bloc are not onion-skinned. They are uncompromising in their principled position against confidential and intelligence funds that Vice President Sara Duterte sought amounting to P650 million.


That the halls of power in Congress have corrupt and arrogant lawmakers is not something new or surprising. We have been accustomed to that—the representatives of the people in the legislative do not actually manifest the desire of the people for meaningful change. A mother in an urban poor community once said, “Elections come, elections go but our lives remain miserable. After the elections, we are already forgotten. Nothing has changed. The prices of goods are increasing, the wages do not suffice our needs, and we still beg for resources when family members get sick.”

The recent budget hearing has brought to the fore who among the lawmakers have shown a genuine desire to serve the interest of the taxpayers and the people: the Makabayan bloc lawmakers Rep. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela party list), Rep. Raoul Manuel (Kabataan party list), and Castro. They are like the light that shines courageously as darkness tries to snuff out the flame of truth and righteousness.

We need more lawmakers who are nationalists, pro-poor, and pro-people. Those who have no interest other than to serve the people even if would mean being Red-tagged, or their microphone muted. They have exemplified what it takes to be representatives of the people. They knew that confidential funds must be questioned as the money could be best invested in social services with transparent accounting and reporting. Likewise, the confidentiality of the funds opens up more opportunities for corruption and abuse of power since accountability is not demanded.

It is hard to put our confidence in a system that supports and validates the power play of leaders. We wonder why they are not motivated to aid legislation that safeguards the lives of the activists, and of those who are vocal about exposing the truth.


May these three lawmakers continue to challenge and inspire other lawmakers. Truly if our lawmakers are rooted in the daily struggles and hopes of the people, they will remain representatives of their constituents.

It is not Castro or the Makabayan bloc who are overly sensitive, it is the former president who is pikon, obnoxiously macho, and arrogant.

Kapatirang Simbahan Para sa Bayan
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TAGS: France Castro, Letters to the Editor, Makabayan bloc, Rodrigo Duterte

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