PRRD’s ill-advised rant vs. Sen. Gordon

President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirade against Sen. Richard Gordon for allegedly using the Philippine Red Cross, of which he is chairman, as a milking cow is wildly off the mark.
His call for the Red Cross to be audited is also laughable and bared his ignorance of what the Red Cross is and how it operates.
Duterte’s misplaced accusation can be forgiven, especially since he is given to shooting his mouth off without a thought as to whether he is right or wrong.
But it should not be set aside as a mere rant.
For he is supposed to be familiar with the role of the Red Cross, having been mayor of Davao City for decades along with members of his family.
Surely, the Red Cross chapter there played a leading role in delivering aid to the city during disasters.
This writer has been a director of the local PRC chapter for 21 years now and was a chairman for two terms.
We, directors, from the chapter to the national office, do not receive any remuneration for our voluntary service.
The Tribune founder, the late Fred Gianan Sr., was also a director and past chairman, leading the chapter during those years when the Red Cross chapter was aligned with the politicians in power.
It had no choice as the chapter then was heavily dependent on assistance from the provincial government to partially fund its service delivery.
These days, the chapter generates a large part of its financial needs from fundraisers such as yearly raffles and sales of memberships with insurance benefits, although the annual financial assistance from barangays, municipalities and the provincial government remains considerable.
The worldwide Red Cross movement operates on the basis of seven fundamental principles: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.
Duterte and his cohorts should know that Red Cross makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.
In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Red Cross may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
And, while it serves as an auxiliary in the humanitarian services of their government and is subject to the laws of the country, the Red Cross is bound to always maintain its autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with its principles.
True, Sen. Gordon has been at the PRC for some time now, in the absence of a viable and strong enough challenge from elected directors.
There may have been instances in which the chairman made the wrong decisions, such as when he ran for president one time and then tried to use the chapters to distribute posters, but the local volunteers apparently left the posters in storage.
Considering his age, Gordon’s golden chance for the presidency, when he was at the peak of his fame for having successfully brought Subic back to life, has most likely passed him by.
He would probably serve out the rest of his useful life with the Red Cross where his tireless drive continues to energize volunteers.


September’s first weather disturbance, Jolina, is the first in recent years to rapidly intensify from a tropical storm to a typhoon so close to land.
The Climate Change Action Team (CCAT) said in its website last year that extreme weather like super typhoons will unfortunately become the norm, thanks to human-caused climate change


THE WILL. A lawyer was reading out the will of a rich man to the various people mentioned in the will.
“To you, my loving wife Mary, who stood by me throughout our marriage, I leave the house and two million.
To my daughter Jodie, who kept the business going, I leave the yacht, the business, and one million.
And to my brother Dan who hated me, argued with me constantly, and thought that I would never mention him in my will, well you are wrong. Hi, Dan!”

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