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Who’s to blame Mindanao’s backward condition?

By Rommel Panero

A Davao-based newspaper columnist wrote why Mindanaoans support the current president and why Manilan’s cannot understand.

She stated correctly. It’s only President Rodrigo Duterte who made a difference to Mindanao’s road network obviously because he is a Mindanaoan himself. But the lady columnist failed to include why Mindanao is mired in poverty and misery which is actually the other reason aside from what she said.

Mindanao is backward in all aspects because the island’s local officials, from the so-called lawmakers to high-ranking officials down to the barangay levels are guilty of ineptness, unprofessionalism, feudal attitude and many others, big and small.

Look how many in all regions and provinces still thrived in old, insensitive and self-serving politics. Mediocre quarreling family affair leadership still rules and even disturbs the helpless feudal populace that feed on selling votes.

Do we still wonder why this supposedly bountiful island remains rotten poor? Look around, undisciplined , voiceless “masa” kowtow to the political lords while they corner haciendas and businesses while their wives, children, grand-children, even relatives hold power.

The result: abusive and low-brow leadership.

Maybe it’s also right not to fully blame any changing presidents in the republic. We should also be looking at ourselves-prostitute voters, scared and voiceless masa and middle class putting questionable, unqualified leaders.

We never learned our lessons. We elect the same politicians. But we have no choice. We are powerless. We just watch and allow them to seek wealth and greed for themselves before the welfare of the communities and the uplift of all.

Now that we are on name-calling, maybe for the good of all, we start the good, meaningful job not for ourselves but for the whole island. We start with being brave to change the traditional system and most of all, ourselves.

Calling all patriotic Mindanaoans.

Artwork courtesy of

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