Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pork, the BIR and Justice in the Philippines

There's something awry in this picture. Former Chief Justice Renato Corona had said during his trial that he was subjecting himself to allowing the court to open his bank accounts as long as the other lawmakers were too. A year after his being ousted from the third highest position in the land, the same lawmakers that found him guilty are now embroiled in graft and corruption in what would be one of the biggest scandal in the use of the pork barrel funds allotted to the upper and lower houses of governance in the Philippines.

And that leaves a black eye in the President of the Philippines, where his passion to convict Corona seems to take a backlash at his own men who are now scrambling to deny or defend themselves in public because of Janet Napoles and her family's acquisition of illegal wealth at the expense of the Filipino people.

Hence, the million people march.

My niece is skeptical about the march. She told me that even if two million people charged to Malacanan Palace for this cause, the problem would not be solved. Over the weekend, I talked to some parents who are lawyers and they said that in this country, the truth is that justice is elusive among those who have the money to splurge for lawyers and connections in the military, police and other government officials. As Filipino citizens, we've been there, we've done that. I have friends who are more optimistic with PNoy. Seriously, with this latest scandal, my optimism has faded.

I was one of those that voted for PNoy because I believed in his parents crusade that the Filipino was worth fighting and dying for. But graft and corruption in Philippine Politics has become so entrenched in a web so complex that I just watch from the sidelines hoping that one day, some day, some ray of hope can come from the changes we so believe and fight for. Yet each election is the same. The trapos are still around. Their children and grandchildren have now become adults and run to take their places and entrench themselves in the complicated web of learning hands on how to keep their dynasties alive. And we can only have the Philippine electorate to blame.

Yes, the million people who will march tomorrow in Luneta will be mostly the taxpaying citizens of this country who are the most affected. While I am a doctor, I have retired from the academe and joined the pharmaceutical industry. And in my years in the academe and my current years in the pharmaceutical industry, I cringe at the amount of taxes I pay to the government. The chunk of hard-earned cash slips through my fingertips even before I enjoy the fruits of my toil. I always believed that while it was painful to part with the large chunk, at least it went to social programs of the government for reforms, education, and alleviating the poor.

When Kim Henares lambasts my colleagues on tax evasion charges, I cannot help but hate her. To those in government who have not committed a sin, they can cast the first stone. But even Madam Kim will agree with me that even her cohorts, those that work in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (Bureau of Internal Robbers as my friend would call them), and those affiliated with various government sectors have not brought changes to the various branches of government. Francis Tolentino, head of the MMDA for example had smoking bans in public places and jaywalking as initial initiatives of the government agency. Where is it now? The BIR is busy chasing the middle men who try to cheat the government from the taxes they are required to pay. Can you blame them if we don't want to pay because all the money that we make simply go to the coffers of people like Napoles and government officials and their families? What has she done to run after these lawmakers who apparently make oodles and caboodles of money from what we so painstakingly try to earn decently from our blood, sweat and tears? Where is her passion and conviction against people and government officials who steal from taxpayers hard earned money so that their children and family can afford luxurious lifestyles? If you asked me, these people and their family should be hanged in public. The temerity to spend what is rightfully not theirs from the get go.

Accountability, transparency and good governance are apparently not on the list of most of our public servants. They run for petty offices so that they can part with the largesse of funds that are appropriated for their constituents. As I would put it, "makapal talaga ang mga mukha nila", but they wouldn't care what words you choose to describe them. Even if you called them pigs or scums of the earth, as long as they financially gain from their positions in government, you can even call them the devil.

Many of my friends have migrated to other countries and for the very reason that they have found no hope in the Philippines. Those of us left behind are left with little choice - "maghanap na lang ng ibang raket" or join in an upheaval for change every time we elect a new president.

And believe me, it's not only tiring, but frustrating as well. The working class is left with little choice. You dance with the music or you just leave your family with no food on the table, no money for medicines, no roof over their heads, and yes, no education at all.

But I will make this message loud and clear to PNoy. My dear president, you have three years left to leave a legacy. I may not understand politics as much as you because you were born into a family of politicians. I have only this to say. You were not ready to take on the helm of president of the Republic of the Philippines. In all honesty, I seriously doubted your capability from the get go. But I took the chance. The chance that with your parents background for love of country who were willing to die for us, maybe, just maybe they passed the same passion and burning flame to you. At this point, doing what is right and not who your allies or friends or compatriots or family is what you were elected to do. You have nothing to lose by taking the right road or as you would call it, "ang daang matuwid". I don't buy the fucking claim of the NBI or other police officials that Napoles is hard to find. You are the most powerful man in this country and by all means, use your power and have some balls to go after the bitch and all her cohorts. If there is one legacy you can leave behind, it's earning respect not only for you, but for your family name.

Maawa ka naman sa mga Pilipino.

If you need to die for your country fighting this crusade, so be it.

Tama na ang babuyan sa mga buwis namin na pinaghihirapan ng bayan. Nakakasuka na ang kababuyan na ito!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why I will join the million people march

The Special Audit's Office report 2012-2013 is a 462 page report on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Various Infrastructures including Local Projects (VILP).

It has 5 parts:
Part I - Executive Summary
Part II - The PDAP and VILP
Part III - Audit Observations
Part IV - Recommendations
Part V - Annexes

There are 70 tables including the definition of a soft and hard project, transactions denied by suppliers, documents purportedly signed by legislators and their authorized representatives, list of beneficiaries, suppliers that cannot be located or non-existent with some submitting deficient documents, persons connected to different NGOs, salaries and administrative expenses charged by NGOs, suppliers that did not reply but submitted questionable receipts, NGOs with legislators and/or their relatives as incorporators, legislators who denied signatures on documents submitted by NGOs, beneficiaries who attended the same or similar seminars/trainings and received multiple number of kits, projects implemented in the same barangays by different NGOs, funds transferred to three municipalities, projects with deficiencies, projects constructed on private properties, projects with excessive indirect cost, projects with erroneous indirect cost, vehicles included in the contract, LGUs with questionable transactions, LGUs with suppliers who are not fully reporting their transactions, items procured by LGUs that cannot be presented or accounted, to name a few.

A "soft project" (PDAF) covers both non-infrastructure and small infrastructure projects defined in the GAA to be implemented out of PDAF appropriated in the GAA. The non-infrastructure projects are scholarship, purchase of IT equipment, medical equipment and medical assistance to indigent patients in government hospitals, livelihood support, purchase of firetruck, firefighter equipment and patrol vehicle, specific pro-poor program and those categorized under forest management and historical, arts and culture. On the other hand, small infrastructure projects are the likes of water system, irrigation facilities, barangay rural electrification, and construction/repair of police, jail and fire stations.

A "hard project" (VILP) covers small infrastructure public work projects, such as roads, bridges, flood control, school buildings, hospitals, health facilities, public market, multipurpose building and pavement. These projects are reflected in the GAA under the DPWH locally-funded nationwide lump sum appropriation with allocation for each district.

The total appropriations included from 2007-200 General Appropriations Act (GAA) for PDAF and VILP amounted to P79.878B. Of this amount, P29.004B went to soft projects (PDAF) while P50.874 went to hard projects (VILP).

The audit was conducted to determine:
1. the propriety of releases of PDAF and VILP by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and
2. the efficient utilization of funds and effective implementation of projects by the implementing agencies (IAs)
taking into consideration the menu of programs defined in the GAA and pertinent laws, rules and regulations.

What did the audit find?

The audit disclosed that PDAF and VILP were not properly released by the DBM and not appropriately, efficiently, and effectively utilized by the IAs. As reflected in the summary of releases from VILP provided to the team by the DBM, the P32.347B were released out of the allocation of 356 legislators and a certain LUIS ABALOS who is not, however, a member of the 13th and 14th congress received P20M for VILP.

As to the status of NGOs, a number of these NGOs are either unknown, or cannot be located at their given addresses, or have no traces of office existence, or addresses traced in a mere shanty or high-end residential areas without any NGO signage, or have given non-existent addresses, or while existing, have no apparent capability to implement projects of such magnitude, or were not issued business permits to operate during 2007-2009, or submitted questionable documents.

For example, the NGO SDPFFI received P581.359M with the address located in a garage of a residential unit in Laguna but certified by the Secretary of the Home Association to be unknown within the subdivision area. Or KKAMFI who received P526.679M gave three addresses: one is non-existent, the 2nd is a residential unit with the NGO unknown within the area; and the 3rd is a unit at Reliance Center Building in Pasig City. The NGO AFPI received P524.910M and the given address is a vacant lot storing various equipment. It was not issued business permit since 2004 to present but registered with SEC. The NGP MAMFI received P477.033M had a given address as a residential unit reportedly owned by the NGO president.

Around P123.005M was used by the NGOs to pay salaries and other administrative expenses, contrary to rules and regulations. For example, the implementing agency Quezon City provided to NGOs MDSF and SPFI. The nature of the expenses for MDSF was operating expenses in the amount of P2.921M while SPFI charged P12.269M to furnitures, meals and other miscellaneous expenses.

A number of NGOs were incorporated or managed by the same persons with a number connected to as many as six NGOs! Benhur K. Luy is the incorporator/COB/President of 6 IAs - TRC/NLDC/ZREC/NABCOR and incorporator/Board of director/stockholder for TRC/NABCOR.

There were even cases where exactly the same list of beneficiaries were submitted by the same NGO to two different agencies and/or list of beneficiaries from the published list of board passers in various professions. In the CPA Board Exam in October 2007, there were 2,299 published list of passers and 1090 were listed as beneficiaries. In September 2007, there were 1,289 that passed the Bar Exams and 620 were listed as beneficiaries. In February 2008, 28,924 were published to pass the Nursing Board Exams and 905 were listed as beneficiaries.

Forty-one suppliers with purported transactions amounting to P352.136M with 17 NGOS out of funds transferred by 5 IAs denied their involvement and participation in the projects. For example the supplier B.B. Vergara Plant Nursery for implementing agency ZREC and NABCOR denied transacting P108.903M. The legislators linked to this were Juan Ponce Enrile, Danilo P. Lagbas, Franklin P. Bautista, Ma. Isabelle Climaco, Thomas L. Dumpit, Al Francis Bichara, Niel C. Tupaz, Jr., Roberto C. Cajes, Ignacio T. Arroyo, Nerissa Corazon Soon-Ruiz, Antonio V. Cuenco, Mariano U. Piamonte Jr, and Joseph A. Santiago.

Two hundred thirty other suppliers with transactions amounting to P689.818M could not be located at their given addresses, or have given insufficient or non-existent addresses. A number of these suppliers do not have permits to operate business, or have issued questionable receipts.

Items procured from C.C. Barredo Publishing House amounting to P541.742M consists of 4 to 5 volumes of manuals consisting of 100-104 pages costing P2000 to P3500 per kit written in English or in Filipino. These pertain to various types of livelihood programs such as raising livestock, farming, food processing, and the like which are already of common knowledge to an ordinary farmer. Validation conducted in Region V disclosed that a number of these manuals were even distributed to high school students who may not even be the right recipients of the kits.

Forty-six suppliers with transactions amounting to P787.161M that did not reply to the team have also submitted questionable documents. For example, Zynmil Agrisciences, Inc. for NGO BTLFI for the implementing agency BA-RFU III under Rozzano Rufino Biazon issued P5M. Zynmil has no business permit to operate.

Six legislators and/or their relatives are incorporators of recipient NGOs of fund transfers from their respective PDAF allocations. Amado Bagatsing is an incorporator/BOD/stockholder of KABAKA Foundation, Inc. and released P19.8M to DSWD-NCR and P1.94M to NABCOR. Edgardo Angara is an incorporator/BOD/Stockholder of Kalusugan ng Bata, Karunungan ng Bayan, Inc NGO and released P14.4M by the IA DSWD-CO.

These are but a few of the findings which are not published in the expose of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

You can download the full PDF report and it's an interesting read because it covers all the documents of the filth in the pork barrel.

I wanted to puke after reading the document.

And yes, I had to go through the 462 pages to understand what the clamor for better governance is.

Apparently, this is as transparent as it gets. And to just brush aside the issue for the sake of hope and optimism has got to be the joke of the year. Anything this deep, this entrenched, and this foul, can only be redeemed by rendering swift justice. Even the friends and family of PNoy should not be spared.

I could not help pity the people ravaged by the three days of rain and flooding in Luzon, and Metro Manila - had the money been put to better use on proper drainage and relocation of illegal settlers, we wouldn't be in such shit floating away because of pork chop being spent for personal gains.

I support the MILLION PEOPLE MARCH. And if PNoy cannot address this problem now, with all the glaring facts and figures, there is something very wrong in his battle cry. As I always say, "KUNG GUGUSTUHIN MAY PARAAN. KUNG TALAGANG AYAW MAY DAHILAN."

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Plain filthy

Her name is Janet Lim-Napoles. She is the sleuth businesswoman embroiled in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), a.k.a, Pork Barrel fund of the Philippine government.

How does the PDAF work?

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) allocates P200M a year for each senator and P70M a year for each congressman in what is known as the "pork barrel fund". How did it get the name "pork barrel"? The process for requesting for the PDAF allocation to the congressman or senator is actually a matter of politics. The senator or congressman makes a request for the release of his/her allocation with a project list accompanying that request. The projects are based on a menu list from the annual budget given to the DBM before the start of the following fiscal year. The chair of the committee from either the Senate or the House of Representatives then endorses it to the Senate President or the Speaker of the House, and the request is forwarded to the DBM. As long as the budget is in the menu list of the budget law, the DBM then releases the funds to the implementing agency identified by the lawmaker. The latter is then given a copy of the release of funds document called the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO).

In reality, the lawmaker is not supposed to interfere in how the project is implemented. COA chief Grace Pulido-Tan reveals that unfortunately, that's not what happens. After the implementing agencies have received the PDAF money, these agencies just turn around and transfer the money released to the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) identified by the lawmakers. The transfer is presumably covered by a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by the lawmaker, the implementing agencies and the chosen NGOs. When the auditors conduct a post-project implementation audit, the funds have already been misused.

And so goes the story of how pork barrel funds have been widely criticized because the people whom the program was created initially for benefit had benefitted the largesse of the lawmakers' family and relatives instead. It is the reason why, in spite of the meager pay of a congressman or senator, they continuously run for office declaring to the Filipino their dedication in the name of public service. And we all wonder how, in the X number of years with that meager pay, they can afford to buy luxury cars, live in mansions and send their children to the most expensive schools in the world.

Who is Janet Lim-Napoles and how did she strike it rich? What was her connection in the the PDAF and her current amassed wealth? It is estimated that she had amassed P10B (approximately $250,000,000.00) in less than 10 years. She owns 28 houses (and the joke is that it includes the lower and upper houses of the Philippine government) and a fleet of luxury cars.

Embroiled in one of the largest money laundering schemes, is a woman who had skills at manipulating and conniving lawmakers into putting our hard earned taxes to enrich themselves.

According to, Napoles has properties worth over $10M in the United States - most of which are being spent on the lavish lifestyle of her daughter Jeane who is currently unemployed and is supposedly a fashion designer (in her dreams). The video of the 21st birthday of Jeane Napoles in a boutique hotel in Beverly Hills drew the ire of the Filipino people in the Philippines because the money apparently being used to sustain her rubbing elbows with the rich and famous are stolen money meant for the poor people in the Philippines.

In Jeane's blog, which she recently shut down after the Inquirer broke out with the news on how their family obtained the money she apparently spends in the United States, Jeane depicts her life as that of a princess whose families have oodles of cash to sustain her lavish choice of clothes and living. She lives in the Ritz Carlton in Los Angeles during her college years. Friends of Jeane also were not surprised on the recent revelation, noting that she began to flaunt opulence after 2005.

A nobody. That's who Janet Napoles is. Married to an ex-army Major Jaime Napoles, Janet's scheming ways began in the military. In 2001, Napoles and her husband, were among 18 personnel of the Navy Marine Corps and civilians, charged by the Office of Ombudsman in the Sandiganbayan with graft and malversation in connection with the acquisition of substandard Kevlar helmets worth P3.8 million. Not surprising is the fact that the Euro-Generals and comptroller Gen. Garcia were also linked to several financial indiscretions and criminal acts in the Philippines. You wonder how these military officials in our country are able to afford the lifestyles of the Sys and Gokongweis when they make only a pittance serving the government and the military. The complexity of how money is shuffled from one unit to another is amazingly dizzying and the audit trails remain cold. One cannot help but recognize the fact that the operations for these are deeply and intricately webbed with people in high places in the government.

In the Philippines, the Napoles "are known to reside in houses and condomiums in at least 7 posh locations. The National Bureau of Investigation has also released a list of 30 high-end vehicles registered under the Napoleses.

If we go by the official filings of her registered businesses, however, Napoles doesn’t have the means to acquire and maintain any of these.

The net profits they last reported (for 2011 and 2012) to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) totaled less than P1 million – P577,807.47 to be exact.

Rappler checked with the SEC businesses registered under the names of Napoles family members.

We found a total of 24 companies incorporated by one or all of the following: spouses Janet Lim-Napoles and Jaime Napoles, and their children Jo-Christine and James Christopher.

12 of these are still operational, at least on paper, and only 3 have complied with the SEC requirement of filing annual Financial Statements (FS):

RLG Solutions Corp, formed on Feb 15, 2012, and deals with “security systems and IT”
JCLN Global Properties Dev’t Corp, formed on June 3, 2005, and which is engaged in “real estate”
JLN Corp formed on April 27, 1999, and which deals with “marine supplies and equipment”
In its FS for 2012, RLG Solutions declared zero revenue and losses of P383,340.94.

JCLN Global Properties’ last FS was for 2012, when it declared a gross income of P4.3 million and a net income of P544,699.30.

From 2006 to 2012, it declared annual net incomes of between P69,839.99 and P544,699.30.

On the other hand, JLN Corp last filed an FS for 2011, where it declared a gross income of P4.03 million and net income of P33,108.17.

From 2004 to 2011, JLN Corp – supposedly the flagship company of the Napoleses – declared annual net incomes of between P21,085.82 and P100,395.48.

It is during these years when the Napoles family purchased expensive properties in California. They bought 3 properties worth P415.1 million between 2006 to 2007, and acquired an apartment worth P80 million sometime in 2010.

The 24 companies were formed over the last 16 years – from 1997 to as recent as June and July 2013. They are into restaurants, retail, advertising and public relations, printing, tours and travels, among others.

The Napoles and Revilla sons are business partners.

Among these companies, Wingold International Trading Corp was the first to be established in 1997, while Socal Holdings was the latest to be formed only in July 2013.

People who have worked for, or dealt with, Napoles over the years say she started as a vendor, selling food and school supplies on a pedicab in Laguna in the 1990s, before she became a “struggling supplier” in the military.

Based on Rappler’s interviews with sources, as well as other news reports, the improvement in the Napoleses’ lifestyle became very evident – drastic, some described it – around 2003.

Napoles explained this was made possible by their coal mining business in Indonesia.

Among the registered businesses in the Philippines, only two have something to do with mining and coal trading, but there is no way they could have made the family wealthy.

Asia Star Power Resources Corp, which is engaged in "coal import/export," was formed on April 8, 2011 but was one of the companies that filed an Affidavit of Nonoperation with SEC in 2012.

The other company, which should be directly engaged in "mine and quarry operations" – Sur Mine Corp – was formed less than two months ago, on June 20, 2013. This is the company where former Surigao del Sur congressman and House defense committee chair Prospero Pichay is a co-owner.

Some of the companies registered over the last 16 years share the same incorporators:

Magdalena Lim (Janet's mother) - 5 companies
Gertrudes Luy (former nanny of Jeane Napoles; mother of whistle blower Benhur Luy) - 5 companies
Jo-Christine Napoles (Janet's daughter) - 3 companies
Annabelle Luy (Gertrudes Luy's daughter) - 3 companies
James Christopher Napoles (Janet's son) - 2 companies
Marciano G. Delson (Prefect of Student Affairs, San Beda College of Law) - 3 companies
Nathaniel L. Tan (Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac councilor) - 3 companies
Anthony P. Dequina (former Cotabato representative) - 2 companies
Mia Legacion - 2 companies

A number of the companies have the same offices:

11 companies are registered at the 25th floor of Discovery Suite building in Ortigas, Pasig City
3 companies are registered at Suite 505 of Dona Generosa building in Pasay City
2 companies are registered at Unit 402 of L.V. Locsin building in Makati City."

The Catholic Church has also been the recipient of some of the largesse of pork barrel funds and this has made some secular societies cringe at the way the funds have been acquired. With the government officials and military deeply embroiled in the thick of this scandal, one cannot help but wonder what the government is doing to apprehend and provide justice to every Juan de la Cruz. While BIR chief Kim Henares is running after the doctors and lawyers who do not pay their taxes correctly, people like Janet Napoles are able to afford a battery of lawyers who can keep her from going to jail. Unlike the average Juan who is accused of beating the red light or pocketing some pieces of bread to feed their hungry children, people like Napoles are unfortunately more fortunate of getting their day in court. In the meantime, all that money flying around have been spread too thin for any of us to recover.

It is sad that the Filipinos will never learn their lessons. Marcos in the years of his reign practically stole from the coffers of the government. He had US President Ronald Reagan as an ally, plucking him from the bastion of Malacanan Palace to exile in Honolulu. People like Chad Osorio speaks his mind in defending Janet Napoles by saying:

"If you've got it, flaunt it.

Let’s start with a question: why can't Jeane Napoles take pictures of the stuff she owns? Just because some people are offended that they can't afford it? It's not her fault that poor people are poor. It may have been done in bad taste, but it was never a crime to be proud of what you have.

The social media networks are specifically designed so that people can connect, and yes, “sell” themselves to others so that their social value increases.

And how do we do that? By asserting the social influence, high level of attractiveness and material wealth that we have. That way, people will either love us, respect us or fear us. It's a tool for attaining social power, and Jeane did precisely that.

I initially address the issue of her social networking audience. The readers of Jeane’s blog, in the first place, are her friends from the A community. I've never heard of her and her luxurious ways (and I'm pretty sure neither have you) until this scandal blew up. I doubt that she intended poor people to read it in the first place. They don't even know who Lacroix or St Laurent is, and they do not understand the social value of a US$3,000 designer bag one uses for everyday wear.

These posts were specifically targeted towards her own clique, which she intends to rule over as Queen Bee. It's not an in-your-face, I-have-this-you-don't statement to the rest of Filipinos."

It's Filipinos like him who remain apathetic to the greater picture of graft and corruption in his native land that paint this whole picture as ugly. While the Napoles will still have to have their day in court, the judicial system in our country is slow to anger and the people, amnesic to the pain of corruption.

We see the filth in our own backyard and we don't even have the temerity to clean it up. Our neighbors see the filth and stink and they wonder, why in God's name do we just let it be?

It's not how the filthy rich spend their money that matters here. It's how we deal with this scandal as a nation that makes this filth really stink.



Monday, August 5, 2013

The enforcer, a.k.a. Pulis Patola

I have no compassion when it comes to traffic enforcers. To me, they are the scum of the earth. I don't care what Tolentino says about their jobs being an act of "heroism" or "self-less" giving. I don't believe in Tolentino when he says that. To me, they are the people whom the government provides jobs for. But they don't do their jobs well. As a matter of fact, these are the kind of people whose jobs make other peoples lives a living nightmare.

I apologize to my English readers that I will write this down in my native language. I am doing this because I am hoping to God that somewhere along the way, even the lowly traffic enforcer will be able to read this blog or someone will make him read it or some government official who does not know how to read the English language will be able to read this and understand the lament of the daily commuter.

Mas matalas pa sa ilong ng aso ang ilong ng traffic enforcer ng bawat siyudad ng Metro Manila pag dating sa paghuli sa mga pribadong sasakyan sa number coding. Parang ang mga mata nila eh nakatutok lamang sa plaka ng mga kotse. Lumagpas ka lang ng 15 minuto dahil na traffic ka sa SLEX dahil may bus na bumangga sa pader eh malas mo talaga. Walang lusot lusot kay traffic enforcer. Hindi naman niya kasalanan na may nagkarambulan sa SLEX. Wala siyang pakialam na gumising ka ng 4 ng madaling araw, umalis ka ng bahay ng 5 para lamang di maipit sa SLEX traffic at boom - may bus na bumangga sa container van at leche - isang lane lang ang puedeng dumaan. Galing ka ng Santa Rosa at hanggang ngayon, alas 7 na, nasa Alabang ka pa lamang. Buwisit talaga. Hindi lang yung traffic enforcer. Pati na ang number coding scheme na yan. Buwisit! Malas! Nung nagpasabog si satanas ng ganid sa mundo, bakit kaya gising ang mga local government officials at MMDA?

Nakakainis talaga yang mga traffic enforcers na yan. Di ko nga alam kung bakit at paano sila natawag na traffic enforcers eh sila ang taga dulot naman ng traffic. Isama mo na yan sa listahan ng kung paano mababawasan ang traffic sa metro manila - bawasan o ibura ang mga traffic enforcers sa lansangan. Sa totoo lang eh mga glorified kotong boys ang mga iyan. Iyan ang bagay na tawag sa kanila. Bawat lugar na may bawal na sakayan at babaan ay meron traffic enforcer diyan - na nakatunganga lang. Di ko nga malaman kung pipi, bulag or bingi ang mga yan. Di ko naman puedeng sabihin na bulag sila, kasi pag may kotseng number coded, eh mas mabilis pa sa alas kuwatro ang mga hunghang na yan na manghuli. Lalo na sa Las Pinas, yung mga traffic enforcer nila eh nasa gitna ng kalsada. Kahit na yung katabi nilang jeep ay nagsasakay at nagbababa ng tao sa gitna din ng kalsada o kahit na may kuliglig na nag-counterflow ng sarili niyang sikap eh walang nakikita yung traffic enforcer. Parang sinabi ni Aguilar - "EYES ON THE PLATE NUMBER LANG MGA IHO! Diyan ang delihensiya ninyo.!"


Yan naman talaga ang pakay ng bawat traffic enforcer sa bansa. Wala naman akong pakialam kung meron umiiyak na traffic enforcer ngayon at ang tingin niya eh niyurakan ko ang kanilang trabaho. Pwe! Anong trabaho pinagsasabi ninyo? Wala pa akong nakikitang traffic enforcer na tinotoo niya ang kaniyang trabaho. Bakit pagdating sa paghuli ng mga pribadong sasakyan dahil nag-beat ng yellow light (ewan ko kung anong parte ng batas na meron beating the yellow light) eh ang siba ng mga traffic enforcer? Eh dito sa Pasong Tamo nga kaninang umaga, yung jeep na kasabay namin eh umarangkada na lang kahit naka-pula ang stop light! Sabi ko sa driver ko, kung tayo iyan, pustahan tayo yung dalawang pulis patola (my terms of endearment to traffic enforcers) na nasa kanto eh hahabulin tayo.

Wala kasing delihensiya pagdating sa mga yagit. Kakosa ng mga pulis patola yan. Mga kapwa mahirap. Isang kahig, isang tuka. Eh paano nga naman aangat ang mga buhay ng mga yan eh ang pinagkakaabalahan nila eh paano makapag-delihensiya. Di naman sila tapat sa trabaho nila. Pag pumapatak na ang ulan or kundi bumuhos bigla, parang mga Gremlins ang mga yan...nagtatago na at baka dumami, este, baka mabasa at baka magkapulmonya? Weh! Kaya pag tagulan, buhol buhol ang traffic sa Metro Manila. Busy masyado mag-text at candy crush yung iba diyan. Tatakbo na lang sa gitna ng langsangan pag buhol buhol na ang trapik. At parang wala silang coordination sa isa't isa? Makikita mo sa kabilang kanto eh may nagwawagayway na "STOP" pero yung nasa harap mo eh nagpapahiwatig na "GO". Ang gulo nila! Tinatanong pa ba kung bakit? Dahil wala na din ang mga pulis patola.

Ang daang matuwid na pinaglalandakan ng ating Pangulo ng Pilipinas ay walang saysay kung ang pinakamababang tao na taga-pamahalaan o pinapasuweldo ng pamahalan ay hindi sumusunod. At sa batas trapiko, ang mga traffic enforcers na ito ang pinakamababa sa kanila. Pera ng taong bayan, pera ng mga may kotse at pribadong sasakyan, pera ng mga nagbabayad ng buwis ang nagpapakain sa kanila tatlong beses isang araw! Walang kontribusyon ang mga jeepney drivers, kuliglig boys at bus drivers sa kanilang kabuhayan.

Bakit natatakot ang mga pulis patola humuli ng mga driver ng pampublikong sasakyan? Isa lamang ang dahilan. Lagay!

Pera pera lamang ang katapat ng mga pulis patola. Kay delihensiya siya sa pribadong sasakyan o lagay mula sa sasakyang pampubliko. No matter how you look at it, bribery pa din yan.

They are a waste of time and resources and seriously, they give the Philippines a very bad name. If the government is really bent on taking the painful narrow yet straight road to economic and moral recovery, it needs to clean up the people from the lowest ranks and not just the upper ranks.

These lowly ranked government workers are the multitude rather than the exception. And while they may be raking in peanuts compared to the "untouchables" up in the air, the amount of money that is being raked in is still in the billions.

However you look at it, a thief is still a thief. Media should not only center on the high profile criminals working in the government. It doesn't matter who the criminal is. A criminal from the ranks of the traffic enforcers projects a bad image to the Boss - because the buck stops up there.