Who likes Cactus? From afar, no doubt Cacti are beautiful ornamental plants especially when in bloom, but Noli Mi Tangere- Dont’ Touch Me, or Stay Away From Me- is the clear message of this thorny succulent plant that we find everywhere in Bulan. Hence, for security purposes, Cacti are often used by homeowners as fences around their houses to prevent intruding animals or persona non grata (unwelcome or unauthorized person) from entering private properties.
Now, since February 2009 we have a new species of cactus in Bulan called the Fabricae Cactaceae, Fabrican Cactus, for the failure of Mayor Helen de Castro and her PIO-chief Tony Boy Gilana to officially inform the public about the alleged NPA attack on the property of the mayor in Fabrica is a clear message of Noli Me Tangere to the general public. The public is considered unauthorized to know more about the truth of the said NPA raid. However, the mayor cannot contend that it was purely a private affair for the quality and magnitude of that incident in her household warrants public interest and scrutiny- and being the mayor she is- also in such events- accountable to the people anytime and anywhere.
We can only hope that the sharp thorns of this Fabrican Cactus fence around the house of Mayor Helen De Castro will be enough to provide security, to deter and hurt only real intruding persona non grata in the future- but not the concerned and observing people of Bulan.
For all their efforts in evading public information regarding the NPA raid, Bulan Observer awards the Cactus Of The Week to Mayor Helen De Castro and Tony Boy Gilana.
Dondon De Castro
Submitted on 2009/03/20 at 7:25am
Good day to all, this is the first time I visited your website and this is also the first time I read this article of yours. The NPA raid that occurred in our home was not in Brgy. Fabrica, our home is currently located in Brgy. J.P. Laurel. It occurred on February 3, 2009. At that time, Mayor Helen de Castro and former Mayor Guiming de Castro was not at home. They were both in Manila at that time. I was the only person left in our home and I was the one who encountered the armed men. On that day itself, after the raid I immediately reported the incident to the proper authority and on the same day also some of the members of the media came to our home. This included the ABS-CBN, local radio stations from Sorsogon City, media men from Bulan Sorsogon and on the next day, Bombo radyo of Legaspi City also called and asked about the incident. As I also believe, that my interview on ABS-CBN was also aired on ABS-CBN Legaspi on Feb. 4, 2009.
Mayor Helen de Castro, arrived in Bulan on Feb 12. My parents Ex-Mayor Guiming as being the father of the house and Mayor Helen de Castro as a public official made a press con on February 15, 2009 to talk and react about the incident. Almost all of the media from the province of Sorsogon was there; you can verify it to them. A press release was also made by the NPA that they were responsible for the said raid. The incident was tackled and talked about in the media for almost a week not just here in Bulan but also in the whole province of Sorsogon and Legaspi City. The Bombo Radyo legaspi also published the incident in their website as well as the Philippine Star and the Manila Tonite.
The truth is, we did not hinder the public to be informed about the incident. We were open for interviews because we know that the whole town is concern about the incident. Although we may have short comings of not publishing it on the internet, rest assured that next time an issue should be informed to the public. We will try to ask for your help in informing our other kababayans from abroad knowing that your website is garnering more and more viewers and visitors from different countries each day. I am also willing to further enlighten you of the incident if you are interested.
DIOS mabalos sa ato.
Submitted on 2009/03/20 at 11:26pm
To Mr. Dondon De Castro
It’s good to have you here in Bulan Observer to address your Kabungtos a first-hand report of the NPA raid that happened in your household. I thank you for that and I know that your visit already generated much interest from our Kabungtos and other readers as well who are interested about our town Bulan for as you can see under the Ten Most Viewed Posts Today -which is a site statistics automatically generated (counted) by wordpress.com – this quick post Cactus Of the Week rose quickly to the top.
You know that we meet here in Bulan Observer for only one purpose, and that is to put our views and concerns for our town, there is really nothing personal in intention, though I cannot discount the possibility that people’s feelings are never touched just because I say nothing is personal. I cannot seek protection from this phrase “nothing is personal”for politics is always dealing primarily with people, not with non-living things. But I can only assure you and everybody else that- like you- my purpose is to help put our town forward. If we are aware of the fact that politics- as anything else that points to civilization- begins in the mind, then Bulan Observer has also a role to play in the progress of our town for here one will find the thoughts and emotions of our Kabungtos- as reflected in their views and concerns they post.
Information is extremely important and we all know that distance has been made virtually non-existent with today’s technology. I can be first informed about- let’s say a house fire in Bulan if a friend from there would send me right away an sms (text)- than the neighbor (or even dweller) of that burning house who is watching television, for instance. At the same time I could be instantly mis-informed also by the same technology. What I am driving at is the importance of using this technology to the fullest to one’s advantage.
The LGU-Bulan should use this technology to its advantage now. It’s no more an excuse for today’s young leaders who grew up with this technology to be the last to be informed about what is going on in his constituents’ mind or how the nation or the world is watching his town. Obama’s extensive use of this technology has helped him a lot to become the first black president. Senator Escudero and Senator Legarda are active in Internet beside their full agendas. They even visited Bulan Observer.
For the errors in this post Cactus Of The Week, I take the Cactus back- however only the half of it, the other half should remain by Mayor Helen de Castro and Tony Boy Gilana. For as you said you have informed several media agencies after that NPA raid. This is true for I have read them all. But about that press conference and interviews called by Mr. and Mrs. Mayor De Castro, there was no record of it. All the printed news related to this event were just normal news, written in concise form and addressed to an unknown public. What I was expecting was a clarifying official report of our Mayor addressed specifically and directly to the people of Bulan- for it was no ordinary event, it was a state of emergency for our little town- and for you being held at gun-point. But she might have done this over the local radio station as she used to do in the past- usually Radio Fm1, and Mr. Imbing Asuncion of Radio Patrol may not have uploaded the recordings of this report or maybe he is no longer working as a radio man. But this can be verified easily.
To recapitulate, it was a case of not using actively today’s technology to the advantage of Bulan. I used the technology immediately to condemn that raid (see We Condemn Violence in Bulan) even while at work right after I have read about it. I asked other people about it, some knew about what happened, some didn’t know. It is for this “some didn’t know “- group of people who heard about it only later but who wanted to catch up and know more about the details that we could draw our advantage from today’s technology by using it in time to place any audio or visual (video or printed) documentation that would help this group. In politics, you can secure your position only by helping your people.
Bulan Observer is there to help and support publicly any argument that puts our town forward. Feel free to make use of this platform for future messages.
I thank you for your post – and for your works for our town. For A Brighter Bulan!