By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
Barely two weeks after the inauguration of Community Police Precinct No.8 at Brgy. Tapuac in Dagupan City, three criminal activities occurred just outside the periphery of the still unmanned precinct.
A source told me that a swindler spirited two containers of gasoline in his tricycle after a crew of the Shell Station filled them up. The following day, a customer who was riding with a friend on a motorbike paid a fake P500 bill. When the cashier asked the crew to return the bill, the duo denied that they owned it and threatened the staff with physical harm. People at the Shell Station were helpless to resist it because there was no police at the new precinct in front of their station.
Recently, Madeline Goyena”, 14, a daughter of Dr. Goyena of Luzon Medical Center and,a second year high school student of Dagupan City National High School was treacherously and fatally stabbed 17 times at her back by fellow students inside the DCNHS. As coup d' grace for her death her face was obliterated after it was smashed by stones. The School was just at the back of the unmanned police precinct.
Police incompetence at its highest was to be blamed for these series of criminalities.
The police station, a project of Congresswoman Gina de Venecia, was primordially constructed to put a plug to the spates of criminalities there.
A ‘guilt-stricken” contractor relished my various expose’ in this column how government officials pocket public funds.
“I read with interest how public monies are pocketed by public officials like those in DPWH, congressmen and mayors,” he told me.
“Tell me your story when you conspired with them so God could pardon your sins,” I ribbed him.
He told me that there was a P3 million fund for re-gravelling of road from the national government in a town in the 2nd Congressional District of Pangasinan.
The mayor asked him how much he would give him in case he (mayor) asks for his service.
“I give you P1 million.”
The grateful town executive shook his hand for the conclusion of the negotiation.
My contractor pal told me he got for himself the P1 million, while the remaining P1 million was deducted by P100 thousand for the municipal engineer who certified that the substandard project was above board, an average of P5 thousand to each of the barangay captains whose jurisdiction were beneficiaries of the project.
“Iyong re-gravelling ang contractor spends only less than 30 percent of the total amount (It means less than P900 thousand from the P3 million budget- MCO),” he whispered to me.
He said he has more ‘secrets” in his sleeves to tell me so you readers could enjoy this column as long as I would not divulge his name.
“No problem boss, even the court could not oblige me to tell your name to all and sundry because of Republic Act 147.
To the pedestrians like plumbers and tricycle drivers who painstakingly read this column R.A 147 provides that the publisher, editor, columnist, or duly accredited reporter of any newspaper, magazine, or periodical of general circulation cannot be compelled to reveal the source of any news report or information appearing in said publication which was related in confidence to such publisher, editor or reporter unless the Court or a House or Committee of Congress finds that such revelation is demanded by the security of the State.
Why do mayors in the Philippines have temerity to pocket public funds?
Just take a look at the circumstances surrounding my conversation with a mayor at his office the other day.
A tricycle driver, two teenagers, and two mothers have incessantly interrupted our conversation. Why? They asked for financial assistance from him.
The tricycle driver bumped and damaged a Toyota Fortuner SUV. The angry owner threatens to sue him unless he pays the repair of the car. The two teenagers mauled a person who they said provoked them to resort to hurt him. The victim wanted them to pay his hospital bill as a condition for him not to file charges against them. Mother A asked money to buy milk for her new born baby while Mother B has just given birth to her 12th child die.
She needs fund for dilatation and curettage (raspa).
The mayor instead chided her: “Bakit raspa ang kailangan mo dapat mag family planning na kayo ng mister mo!”
He angrily posed: “Why raspa and not family planning? So you can have maximum sexual satisfaction with your irresponsible husband?”
The hizzoner told her she and the hubby should avail tubal legation to stop the madness.
These sights are common at the house or office of elective officials in Pangasinan.
My poser here: Each of these mayors receive less than P30 thousand a month salary. Could they sustain these with the kinds of patronage just like above that ensue in front of them everyday? Would they take P20 thousand a day protection money from a jueteng operator? Or a P1 million kickback from a P 3 million re-gravelling of road project from a generous contractor?
(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com. You can send comments too at firstname.lastname@example.org).