• 2016 Bets dip into weekly ‘tong’


    Our public service plea to authorities regarding  “disappearing streets” in downtown Manila drew more intriguing information about invasion of the roads by illegal vendors and builders of seemingly permanent structures.

    Reports reaching me have it that a “hefty portion” of the tong collection from illegal vendors and stalls on local roads goes to the “campaign fund” of officials of the city running in the May 2016 elections.

    The “weekly tong” collections from the illegal vendors amount to millions of pesos, according to well-placed informants.

    Portions of the protection money go to barangay (village) men and policemen, who collect them every Thursday or Friday, particularly in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th districts of Manila.

    Rizal Avenue and Recto Avenue and Carriedo, Raon, P. Guevarra, Blumentritt and Pedro Gil Streets are but a few of the local roads heavily congested with hawkers.

    Legitimate businessmen have complained about slow sales because of unfair competition from hundreds of street vendors who block public access to their establishments.

    It cannot be denied that innumerable streets have become impassable to vehicles, including fire trucks of the Bureau of Fire Protection because of the illegal permanent structures. Criminal elements also operate among the vendors.

    Last week, we reported the case of a 72-year old woman duped and harassed by illegal vendors, who actually belonged to a  budul-budol gang  on P. Guevarra and Fugoso Streets in Manila’s Santa Cruz district.

    Her complaint was ignored by barangay and Philippine National Police (PNP) authorities.
    No action has been taken after we called the attention of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, PNP chief Director-General Ricardo Marquez and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

    No place for such evil deed

    We share the world community’s utmost pain and grief over the brutal and senseless suicide attacks on defenseless civilians by suspected Islamist extremists in Paris, France, last Saturday (Philippine time).

    At least 120 people, including children, reportedly perished, gunned down or killed by bombs during a concert. Scores were injured.

    Thus we join all peace-loving nations in strongest condemnation of this beastly crime against humanity, a dastardly and cowardly act.

    Such evil deed has no place in the civilized world.

    Our prayers go out to the bereaved families of the victims of the attacks.

    It’s been a while since our nation has had its share of most painful and most grievous tragedies, both natural and man-made.

    We beseech the Almighty God to allow civility, peace and order to prevail in the days to come, as Manila serves as host to global leaders who will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit starting this week.

    We faithfully pray for everyone’s safety, particularly our foreign visitors so that they may enjoy genuine Filipino hospitality.

    Also, we pray for the safe return of undisclosed number of hostages held by the kidnap-for-ransom group Abu Sayyaf in Mindanao.

    Caguioa’s got common sense

    Well, it is a welcome development that Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa finally thought of assigning a state prosecutor at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to take on cases of alleged illegal possession of ammunition.

    It shows good common sense on the part of Caguioa, amid mounting cases of complaints of tanim-bala (bullet-planting),” a Filipino modus operandi  of planting-evidence that has gained world notoriety.

    That way, victims do not have to be dragged to the Pasay City Hall for inquest, an additional torment.

    So kudos to Caguioa and the Prosecution Service agency under the DOJ!

    Good thing, too, that airlines staff now remind and caution passengers about tanim-bala.
    This extortion racket has destroyed lives and reputation of innocent people while the culprits at the worst airport ever have remained off the hook.

    Definitely, NAIA is not secure because of these criminal security personnel.

    These airport personnel should be strip-searched randomly every 30 minutes, and those found with any bullets must be penalized with putol-etits.

    We welcome your reaction, comments, complaints or exposé. Please email them to etulfo2011@yahoo.com or personally visit us at the TV5 Field Office at 2nd Floor, Quedsa Plaza, Quezon Ave. corner EDSA, Quezon City, between 9am-4pm Monday to Friday.


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    1. We also pray that the street urchins would not be returned to the streets and instead
      they would be provided with permanent accommodation by Dinky. She should make her statement serious when she said that DSWD is making it 24/7 not just for APEC.

    2. The most valuable and urgent measure is for President Aquino to direct the Secretary of Justice to review all cases relating to possession of bullets and to order all the prosecutors not to pursue such cases that have no probable cause. While the proposed legislation to decriminalize possession of bullets is not yet acted upon by Congress, this type of case shall be cleared by the Secretary of Justice before its filing for prosecution by city prosecutors. This will assure the international communities including the United Nations that this is being addressed seriously by the Philippine government . This will prevent airport employees and officers from committing any laglag bala activity.

    3. Dario BM, that is a noble way of instituting reforms in our midst. I just hope there are many like you in the country. Who knows, your time frame of 40 years could really be achievable.

    4. Keep on banging the drum loudly, Mr.Tulfo, for that poor 72-year old woman who was duped and harassed by illegal vendors. Sooner or later, the barangay, the Philippine National Police authorities, the Department of Interior and Local Government, Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, PNP chief Director-General Ricardo Marquez and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada will have to take some action concerning this matter. Repetition and negative publicity are the means or the prod to accomplish something in this kind of situation. These officials are derelict in performing their jobs or positions.

      As for the tong money and weekly collection, one way of eliminating this corrupt practice is to issue permits to these illegal vendors – permits for which these vendors have to pay. Since the city cannot or would not round them up, might as well make legal what is currently deemed to be illegal. This way the money ends up in the city’s coffers rather than in the pockets of the collectors and their bosses.

      By the way, does ERAP get a piece of the tong money? Is this another case of: “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.

      • The tong money and several other rackets of persons of authority in the City of Manila, if left unsolved for a long period of time, only means they have the blessings of the one at the top. Is this “huweteng payola” returning in other forms and with a vengeance? Remember, that was how ERAP was ousted.

    5. Sad to say, the current situation in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and some other places will not stop immigration of their people towards Europe. Among them are ISIS terrorists who will not have much problem coordinating with home-grown ones. The good news is, the French are experts in this matter. They will able and will do all to contain this problem. They may not find a solution but with all of us, a resolve is not impossible.

      Lots of people will not agree with me but an option is to help Putin put back Assad in control in Syria. He will surely kill thousands of people but probably a lot less than the current war casualties. Once he controls his country again, there should be less problem. Lots of countries on this planet need strong men to as rulers. Democracy, sorry to say, doesn’t do good to everybody under lots of circumstances. And there is a very good example of one democratic but absolutely corrupt country that we know a lot ….. Yes, ours, the Philippines. We always hope that one day, the situation will change. Will it without a change in the mind of the people? I know it is too easy to say but we can always begin by shaking that damn corruption and cheating from our minds, ways and means.

      • Ops,,,, by eliminating cheating (and thereby corruption) from our thoughts, words and deeds. Let us begin from our homes with our family and teach the young ones, especially those who are to be born yet. Maybe in 40 years, we will have leaders worthy of being, then the country will start really to change for good.

        God help us all…

      • Indeed, we need another martial law if only to summarily jail all the behind the laglagbala; those behind the MRT/LRT mess; those behind the rigging of electricity prices; smugglers; kidnappers; drug lords; military generals behind those military hardware purchases mess and corrupt politicians and inefficient bureaucrats. I hope one strong guy takes charge now and need not wait for elections to make the changes.