Top 5 Trending Topics in Philippines: Drugs, Killings, Corruption and….Baby Boss?

After three days, Filipinos are still talking about the gruesome killing of Ozamis mayor Rey Parojinog, his wife and several others by PNP operatives. There are mixed reactions about the killing. Some thinks that Parojinog knew some involvement of several narcopoliticians, and was probably “silenced”. While most think that the raid was an appropriate response to a serious and dangerous threat. Even Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson who was once charged with killing several members of Parojinog’s men, the Kuratongs of the late eighties, agreed.

Several quarters think that what happened in Ozamis City is “just a taste” of what is going to happen in the coming days. PNP chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa says “more to come” as the PNP puts on hyperdrive their campaign against illegal drugs. Yesterday, the PNP CIDG filed criminal charges against Peter Co Lim, an associate of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte who denied ever dealing with drugs. Lim’s name is still in the President’s dreaded list of narco personalities, and his “Jaguar” monicker is not without basis–he moves with minimal noise, and evaded arrests for several years now. Just like Parojinog, Lim was able to operate his illegal activities without interference for decades, and under many administrations. It is only in this administration that Lim would probably meet the fate which befell Parojinog and his gang of misfits who all met their untimely end at the hands of their former police protectors.

On August 4, Lim has to submit himself before the Department of Justice otherwise, the hounds of Duterte will start looking for him with their guns drawn. Lim is a big fish, bigger than Parojinogs, the PNP says. Several other named drug lords are sure to fall very soon.

While cops are sacrificing their lives running after drug lords, here comes news about Customs officials allowing entry of a shipment with a shabu stash worth 6.5 billion.  After two House probes, the culprit was easily identified as Customs executive Atty. Larrybert Hilario who reportedly did not enter the details of the shipment unto the Customs Command Center database. Meaning, it went pass thru and it was even allowed thru the express lane! Customs officials only knew of this when the Chinese embassy called their attention on the arrival of three shipments. What Congressmen did not know was that there were three shipments, not just one. Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon led a recovery team and they did recover the shabu haul inside a warehouse in Valenzuela.

Senate blue ribbon Chief Richard Gordon was quick to tag Customs officials as incompetent and corrupt. Senator Ping Lacson made Faeldon agree that some Customs officials take as much as 27,000 per container every day, which amounts to about 270 million per day if these officials require brokers to give them “tara” in exchange for allowing 10,000 containers to pass Customs unimpeded.

At the Congressional probe, Congress. Robert Ace Barbers called on Faeldon to resign his post. The former Marine rebel refused, saying he reports to the President and only Duterte can make him resign. After an hour or so of talks with the Chief Executive together with his boss, Finance secretary Carlos Dominguez at Malacanan, Faeldon left the meeting with his head still unbowed and the precious tag of Commissioner still stuck to his name.

Faeldon is very stubborn–he intends to stay where he is.

I don’t know about you but it seems that these Magdalos attract anomalies and scandals like flies to a rotten apple. When former Magdalo men entered PDEA, one of them got caught meeting a Chinese drug lord. Faeldon recruited ex-military men and his colleagues from the Magdalo, and what happened? Again, their group met public outrage by bungling their jobs as Customs men, and again, drug-related.

Several months ago, Faeldon promised to rid the bureau of misfits and corrupt people. Now, a year into his job as Commissioner, and corruption remains unabated. Faeldon, a former Marine, threatened to shoot corrupt Customs men. As of this writing, no one got Faeldon’s bullet. Even men who guile the public with their adventurist dreams of power, can actually succumb to the desires of the flesh. ” They did not smell crystals, they recognized the scent of bills” as what a senator said. Nakakahiya!

While we agonize with the Parojinog’s family for their loss, residents of Marikina and Antipolo are still shocked when their cura parrocco got caught literally with his pants down inside a hotel, with a minor. The Monsignor is now free, thanks to the prosecutor who sees fit to charge him only with violation of the anti-trafficking law instead of statutory rape, a crime without bail. As we scratch our heads trying to figure out what came into the mind of this priest to “play with a girl”, Americans are also outraged by the sexcapades of a former priest whom his victims call a sodomist. Like that monsignor who is now free, the US court also freed the sodomist to the consternation of the victim’s family.

Who is Joanne and why is the world so enamored by her? Watch her perform at her first world tour and see if she’s as great as Madonna.

Of course, Filipinos are still talking about Marawi and how to interpret what Duterte told Senator Tito Sotto yesterday. Duterte again revealed that extremists are planning to attack three places in Mindanao. Like US president Donald Trump, Duterte seemed oblivious to the fact that this is intelligence information and it is not to be leaked to the public. Of course, Duterte has his reasons, like how he refused to fire Faeldon despite the former Marine rebel’s incompetency as Commissioner of Customs. Maybe these attacks are part of efforts to justify the extension of Martial law? Or maybe several quarters are thinking of expanding Martial law to include peaceful areas like Metro Manila?

You can’t stop yourself thinking this way after NCRPO chief Oscar Albayalde revealed that they are monitoring the activities of former members of the dreaded Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB) whose members have reportedly converted into Islam. Imagine, atheists like these ex-Maoist guerrillas embracing Islam? That’s a hard to explain phenomenon, which we need some answers from, say Professor Rommel Banlaoi or former PNP colonel Boogie Mendoza who now play as anti-terror experts. Albayalde likes to issue statements which have double meanings. There is no real threat, Albayalde assures us, yet, there is this group which they believe could pose a danger for the members of the ASEAN foreign ministers delegation. Is there a threat or no threat?

Just ask Charice Pempengco who now goes by the name ” Cyrus.”

 

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