Cynthia Sumagaysay of One Palawan Movement lambasted the Provincial Government of Palawan (PGP) for premature campaigning for the division of Palawan.
“Ang panahon dapat ng kampanya ay sa buwan pa ng Abril ayon sa Comelec pero nagsimula na ang grupo ng Pala3 no’ng nakaraang taon pa [ng] 2019,” Sumagaysay said through a chat message.
She based her comment on Comelec Resolution No. 10620, which states that the information and campaign period for May 11 plebiscite is scheduled from April 11, 2020 to May 9, 2020 only. During these dates, the conduct of barangay assemblies, fora or “Pulong-pulong” are likewise allowed.
“Bilang ordinaryong mamamayan na nagbabayad ng buwis, hindi nakakatuwa na makita na ang pondo ng bayan ay napupunta sa hindi magandang paraan. Ginagamit ang pera ng bayan sa panganganpanya na manalo ang ‘paghahati ng Palawan’ sa mga tao sa pamamagitan ng pamimigay ng bigas, de lata, instant noodles at pera,” she lamented.
She added that the people will become happier if the government spends the money instead for tangible projects that are truly beneficial to them and not only during this time or in the upcoming campaign period.
According to Sumagaysay, the Provincial Capitol went from barangay to barangay to campaign the division of the Province.
Republic Act No. 11259 was passed last year, paving the way for a conduct of plebiscite for the creation of the provinces of Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental and Palawan del Sur on May 11 this year.
As examples, she cited that those government employees brought presents like rice and grocery packed in green plastic bags. She said that recently, even in the Municipality Narra, dubbed as “Rice Granary” of Palawan, Capitol employees also gave rice to the residents.
Sumagaysay likewise criticized the leadership of Gov. Jose Alvarez not only because of spending the public’s coffer, but also for using unregistered vehicles and the government employees for certain personal causes.
“Hindi tama at makatarungan ang mga gawain nila. Mismong ang taumbayan na ang makakapagsabi kung tama ba ang ganyang sistema na tuwing panahon ng kampanya lamang [dapat] ginagawa,” she exclaimed.
“Kaya naman pala puntahan ang lahat ng kasulok-sulukan ng Palawan!” she quipped, as a criticism against the PGP for saying that one of the reasons in cutting Palawan is to bring the government closer to the people.
As of this writing, Palawan Daily News is trying to get the side of the Provincial Government but they have not yet replied although according to the posts of Provincial information Office on their social media page, those activities are part of information campaign and a regular project of the Capitol.