Malacañang can no longer dismiss as “isolated cases” the mounting complaints from “tanim-bala” or “laglag-bala” extortion racket victims at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The personnel of the world’s worst airport had publicly admitted that the modus, similar to planting evidence such as illegal drugs by some policemen, had been going on for quite some time.
Despite this, Palace officials had the temerity to shrug off earlier reports of NAIA’s self-styled kotong.
This only showcases the insensitivity, arrogance and the ineptness of the government starting with the Office of the President.
Instead of addressing the urgent problem, Noynoy Aquino’s spokespersons belittled the grievance of the victims that include balikbayans, visiting foreigners and overseas Filipino workers (OFWS). They also include senior citizens with medical conditions.
Instead of using common sense, Noynoy and his fellow bright heads at the Palace would rather give alibis and coddle these criminals among the Office of Transport Security (OTS) personnel.
I mean, why not have the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) step in since the NBI is under the Department of Justice (DOJ) which has to investigate the cases, anyway.
PAGING ERAP, MPD & DILG
All the way down to the barangay level, the government has failed to uphold and serve justice for aggrieved people. Inutil talaga ang gobyernong ito.
One example is the case of a 70-year old woman who was given the runaround and even harassed by barangay officials in Sta. Cruz, Manila when she complained after being victimized by a budul-budol gang near the Central Market.
Consolacion Banaston and her family barely escaped a neighborhood fire caused by massive “jumpers” coursed through Madrigal Compound in Brgy 311, Zone 31 at Lope de Vega Street.
When Banaston bought P100 worth of tilapia from a vendor couple at Pedro Guevarra Street beside Central Market on Saturday, the woman vendor took her P1,000 bill and left purportedly to get change. The woman never returned.
When Banaston started to complain, the male vendor created a scene and menacingly intimidated the former, saying the suspect was not his companion.
When she sought help from the barangay officials, they just sat around laughing and saying, “Mababait yang mga vendors… Malaki naitutulong sa amin, sa pulis at kay Erap!”
By the way, that section of Pedro Guevarra Street from Fugoso St. to Lope de Vega St. has “disappeared” and has become impassable to vehicular traffic, including fire trucks.
Illegal vendors in this area alone shell out tens of thousands of pesos in weekly tong for some City Hall, Manila Police District (MPD) station 3 and Brgy. 311, Zone 31 officials, according to the grapevine.
Can you imagine how much tong is collected from illegal vendors on the sidewalks and streets and alleys, including Rizal Avenue, Carriedo, Palanca, Raon, Quezon Blvd., R. Hidalgo, Recto, not to mention other Manila districts?
Talagang ganyan na tayo sa Tuwad na Daan, wala nang wang-wang, tong-tong na lang!
We are calling on Interior Secretary Senen “Mel” Sarmiento, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ricardo Marquez and Manila Mayor Erap Estrada to enlighten us on this!
Anim na buwan na lang, sesentensiyahan na ang tamad, balasubas at inutil na gobyerno!
* * *
We welcome your reaction, comments, complaints or exposé.
Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or personally visit us at the TV5 Field Office at 2nd Floor, Quedsa Plaza, Quezon Ave. corner EDSA, Quezon City, between 9 am-4 pm Monday to Friday.