Independent Senator Richard Gordon probably has too much time on his hands. This was the very first thing that came to my mind when this Mindanaoan blogger learned that Senator Dick Gordon filed a proposal before the Senate to add a ninth ray to the sun in the Philippine Flag.
Yes, you read that right. A ninth ray to the sun in the Philippine Flag.
According to him, the additional ray will symbolize his “advocacy to champion reforms in Mindanao.”
Now don’t ask me exactly how a 9th ray can make a whole lotta difference but if you ask the senator (who, I think, also has plans to run for president come May 2010), he says this move is part of his many advocacies for “peace and continuous growth and development not only for the Muslim people but also for the whole of Mindanao.”
The measure aims to recognize the contribution of Muslim Filipinos in the country’s fight against colonial rule. But more than that, the ninth ray would signal the start of new efforts for peace and development in Mindanao by fostering respect, understanding and acceptance between Muslim and non-Muslim Filipinos.
* photo courtesy of MLQ3
A statement from Senator Dick’s office sent to Mindanaoan also states:
We are a country that has had a conflict with our Muslim brothers for the last so many decades. It is time that we take the necessary steps to recognize the contribution of our Muslim brothers in our history.
Honestly, I can understand the senator’s objective. I mean, we here in Mindanao would definitely welcome any move or legislation or proposal that can contribute to the progress of this island. No doubt about that. Mindanaoans have longed for lasting peace and development and slowly but surely, we’re getting there. Yes, yes, yes.
What I’m concerned about, though, is the timing of Senator Gordon’s proposal.
At a time when there are just so many pressing matters to attend to, is a proposal for a 9th ray to be added to the sun on the Philippine flag something we all want to hear and discuss these days?
To quote Lea Salonga — the flag can wait! It really can!
On the other hand, this so-called proposal to “champion Mindanao reforms” may just be one of the senator’s way of attracting media attention. After all, the more odd a proposal sounds, the more attention it gets from the media…and publicity, whether good or bad, is still publicity. And publicity is always part of a politician’s priority list.
On another note – the senator from Olongapo also proposed an act creating the Mindanao Economic Development Authority or MEDA. This agency will reportedly be the implementing office for Mindanao-specific inter-regional and Mindanao-wide programs and projects, including Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects.
Question – how will MEDA be different from the existing councils and agencies that oversee ODA and other projects in Mindanao? Will there not be an overlap of duties and responsibilities? What will happen to the existing councils? More importantly — do we really need yet another government agency?
What are YOUR thoughts, fellow Mindanaoan?