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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Omar Acosta: From a crusading newsman to graft fighter in QC grassroots politics

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Veteran newsman Omar Acosta does it again.

Known for his strict adherence to the role of the journalist as watchdog of society for truth and honesty, he seeks to boost the fight against corruption as chairman of barangay Socorro in Quezon City.

Journalists are traditionally bound by the profession to question and criticize, to make accountable for their actions those in power, like politicians. By going into the political fray, Acosta said he will bring to local governance the crusading spirit that drives newsmen to correct perceived wrongs in society.

Interviewed over the weekend in the program Usapang Senado on radio station DWIZ, Acosta briefed program host Raul Esperas about the 9-point program of government he envisions.

Highlight of his agenda is a bid to curb corruption “that has resulted in a total breakdown in basic services.”

“Barangay Socorro has a budget of P75 million that is more than adequate to deliver the people’s basic needs. We are fortunate that we have a constant source of income from a lot of big business establishments located in the barangay,” Acosta said.

The community however “is mired in poverty because of corruption. It is the root of all the problems that afflict so many of us in the barangay,” he said.

Acosta sa he knows whereof he speaks, having served as barangay kagawad or councilman for five years and as secretary until three years ago, when he resigned in disgust over the corrupt transactions that he witnessed.

“My background as a newsman kicked in, and I felt that I had to do something and I had better chances of fighting the system by being out of it,” he said.

His envisioned anti-corruption drive involves promoting the return of morality and integrity in the barangay leadership. He will do away with personalities tainted with anomalies in their public service, billed by the community as Kamag-anak Inc., supporters of the current administration who treat the barangay as their personal domain, and the elitist system that dictates who among residents deserve welfare assistance from the government.

He also envisions having barangay personnel undergo skills upgrading training that will make them more effective community development workers and qualify them for higher salaries that he plans to implement once elected.

Acosta, however, is resolved to serve only for one term. “Five years is more than enough for a good leader to bring about positive change. There are a lot of brilliant minds in barangay Socorro who can serve well,” he explained.

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