Staring at his face

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    MY brother-in-law renewed his professional driver’s license two months ago at the LTO branch in Tagaytay City. He was asked for P250 for the use of a car in his driving exams.

    The supervisor took his money but told him he didn’t have to take the tests. He was then issued a new license. The LTO office in Marikina City is said to be among the most orderly and efficient in Metro Manila, but many could not stop to wonder why fixers still abound and prey on people on their way in.

    Immigration officers, earning dirty money on the side, took hundreds of thousands of pesos from incoming Chinese workers, the huge payola apparently lining the pockets of top officials of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

    Sen. Riza Hontiveros estimated that “about P10 billion in bribes had been collected by airport syndicates since 2016” when President Duterte assumed the presidency. Corruption at the airport terminals is so widespread that it has been practically staring BID Commissioner Jaime Morente in the face. It had to take the Senate committee hearings presided over by Hontiveros to wake Morente up and for him to relieve five senior officers at the NAIA and the BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU), along with 16 more immigration officers.

    The President should know by now that he can no longer stop rampant corruption in the government bureaucracy which, after his term, will gallop once again in all probability like a loosed and hungry herd. People in government know the police have been getting away for so long with the brutal killings in the streets because this President has openly condoned EJKs and assured the anti-drug operatives that he’s got their backs covered. There is no question that errant government employees have found refuge in the shameless presidential protectiveness and just became more discreet in their nefarious dealings.

    ***
    “No comment” was the response of AMLAC Chairman and BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno to Sen. Richard Gordon’s claims that the AMLC has failed to prevent the entry of about $160 million carried by Chinese citizens. Certainly, Diokno, who rarely sleeps on the job as a highly-regarded bureaucrat by three administrations, was well aware of the apparent money-laundering scheme but chose to look the other way. His covert marching orders from his Boss may be similar to those of Senators Ronald dela Rosa and Bong Go. De la Rosa has called for visas for the undeterred throngs of illegal Chinese workers virtually entering the country openly, while Go has lashed out at whining government employees who he said should be replaced by Chinese citizens.

    Gordon retorted, “For me, the AMLC must investigate right away. What is the AMLC doing?

    That’s where you can tell that there’s really tolerance.” The imperial edict is out with the presidential seal of declaration that we can be better off as a province of China!!!

    ***
    Celebrities and media personalities will get together in a song and poetry program, “Kape’t Ka Pete,” to raise funds for the immediate medical needs of poet/editor/screenwriter and former journalist Jose “Pete” Lacaba.

    Noel Cabangon, Cookie Chua and multi-awarded actor/director Ricky Davao will be among the performers on March 7 at 6 p.m. at the Kamuning Bakery Cafe, 43 Judge Jimenez St. corner K-1st St., Quezon City. Other guests will be singers Hazel Faith and Skarlet Brown, poets Gemino Abad, Butch Dalisay, Krip Yuson, Vim Nadera, Michael Coroza and Marne Kilates, and fictinionist Charlson Ong, among others.

    Lacaba is beset with an acute ailment of the nerves. He will also be included in the healing prayers by the Ministry of Healing and Deliverance of the Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF). Tickets cost P250 each. For more information please contact columnist Wilson Flores (0917- 8481818 and 0918-8077777) or Mela (0933-8604252).

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