I just visited the North, austensibly to assess the damage to lives and property there and I can confidently say that the situation is normal. Yet, the possibility of an administration defeat in this region looms in the horizon.
People, especially in Pangasinan faces twin calamities: their losses due to Typhoon Pepeng and high fuel prices. Gasoline and diesel prices in the province have shoot up, almost two to three pesos higher than in Metro Manila.
This higher fuel prices could impact on the province's inflation rates and could justify an increase in food and transportation prices. Imagine, you already lost your homes and you ran out of money and now, you face the bleak prospect of hunger and starvation because of inability to buy higher priced food items caused by an abnormal fuel hike. Talk about really forcing people to rebel against their government.
Government can still remedy the situation by:
1. Slapping Reyes and forcing him to tender his long overdue resignation. Is it not humiliating enough for someone to be rejected by the Commission on Appointments so many times over?
2. Not just opening the books of oil firms, but slapping them with criminal and civil charges and barring their executives from doing business in the country.
Who will prevent government from exercising its primary duty of protecting the public from unscrupulous profiteers of misery? None. Government has the power to penalize erring companies such as oil firms and even pharmaceutical companies who resort to terror tactics in the name of Profits.
IN times of calamity, people will appreciate it more if government implements its highly publicized slogan of a Stronger Republic.