• ‘Laglag-Bala’ is media’s fault


    That’s what everyone and his shooting buddy may blurt upon reading that headline. Why in heaven’s name is media to blame for the Manila airport extortion from hapless travellers over planted bullets in their luggage?

    Answer: The press has encouraged the corrupt, brazen pepetrators of ‘laglag-bala’. How? By constantly letting President Benigno Aquino 3rd and his clique of classmates, allies and shooting buddies (KKK by their Filipino initials) off the hook in fiasco after fiasco since 2010, pro-Aquino media has abetted the excesses now done with impunity.

    From the Luneta hostage crisis and the 2,000-plus vanished cargo containers, to the Mamasapano massacre of 44 police commandos and the current laglag-bala extortion, Aquino and his cronies have repeatedly escaped full accountability and lasting opprobium for every anomaly — with the connivance of his backers in media.

    Aquino’s controversy-killing drill
    Malacañang’s controversy-killing drill is now honed to a T. First, defend the crony and downplay the anomaly, like Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda dismissing as “industry practice” the Macau family junket of top Aquino crony and casino czar Cristino Naguiat Jr. improperly paid for by a gambling license bidder (remember that?).

    If public pressure continues, Aquino orders investigations, and sometimes, lets his friends quit without charging them, like then Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Ernesto Diokno and, after three years of controversy, Land Transportation Office (LTO) head Virginia Torres (remember them?).

    After such public relations ploys, Aquino waits. For what? For new headlines to take the minds of media and masa off the scams. And co-opted or corrupted reporters, editors, and broadcasters make sure unflattering coverage disappear from the headlines.

    So the nation forgets the brouhahas. Aquino’s ratings rebound, and little else is heard or done about the controversies or the investigations Aquino orders but never follows up.

    Ask family and friends if they remember the following scandals, among many involving Aquino’s KKK: the Leviste hospital furloughs, the 2,000-plus vanished containers, the billion-peso rifle bidding scam, the Torres casino video, the Inekon extortion try, and the anomalous billion-peso chopper contract.

    It would be surprising if most Filipinos remember that presidential friend Diokno resigned over the unauthorized hospital stays by jailed murderer Jose Antonio Leviste, the first among many BuCor scandals, for which no chief has been charged. Ditto the brouhahas over then LTO chief Torres’s illicit gambling and corporate meddling, both caught on video, plus her recent involvement in alleged sugar smuggling.

    And there is nothing more said in the papers or on radio and TV about the $30 million demanded from Czech company Inekon to get the Metro Rail Transit train deal, or the P1.2-billion contract that Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin approved for the purchase of combat helicopters unable to fly.

    Fast fading too are public outrage over Mamasapano, which plunged Aquino’s ratings just six months ago. Plus the plight of Supertyphoon Yolanda’s victims, still languishing in temporary housing despite P15 billion in unspent calamity funds. Not to mention the killings and oppression of Lumads (remember? … never mind).

    So it will be with laglag-bala and more unsavory schemes under Aquino, especially this election fund-raising season, and often perpetrated with silent approval from administration stalwarts — notice former Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas’s silence on the airport scam.

    And fawning, forgetful media creates the nationwide amnesia which allows schemers to keep preying on the public without shame or fear.

    What negative media?
    Those with long memories of Aquino-era anomalies cannot but shake their heads at his temerity in admonishing the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines last week about the media’s supposed negativism. In fact, so many appalling truths about his regime are kept off the headlines by his minions in leading papers and networks.

    Again, ask at the dinner table, the office, or on Facebook who knows that crime, smuggling, and pork barrel all trebled under Aquino to all-time highs. Yes, his regime has seen the highest levels of crime, contraband, and congressional largesse ever.

    Crime incidence as reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority more than tripled, from 324,083 cases in 2010 to more than a million in the past two years, with another hefty rise in the first semester of 2015. Administration apologists blame better crime reporting. That’s BS. In fact, crime data enhancements were instituted in 2009, tallying ten times the figures in past years.

    In the International Monetary Fund’s Direction of Trade Statistics, the discrepancy between the value of goods shipped to the Philippines as reported by our trading partners, and the amount of imports recorded by the Bureau of Customs also tripled.

    That widely used estimate of smuggling leapt from $7.9 billion in 2009 to $26.6 billion last year — helped no doubt by the disappearance of more than 2,000 uninspected and untaxed containers in 2011, which Aquino never investigated. Total contraband under him tops P4 trillion, with lost value-added tax alone exceeding P760 billion. It’s not hard to guess who got a cut of that humungous pie of uncollected levies.

    As for pork barrel, Aquino more than doubled the Priority Development Assistance Fund from about P9 billion or less a year in the last years of the Arroyo administration, to more than P20 billion annually in his own budget proposals starting 2011. Add to PDAF the unconstitutional juggling of P157 billion in budgeted funds under his Disbursement Acceleration Program.

    Now, if Aquino isn’t hauled over embers for the nationwide explosion in crime, contraband and congressional sleaze under his watch, it’s no surprise that laglag-bala extortionists and other KKK schemers think they too can get away with murder. Over the weekend, Manila Airport chief and Aquino friend Jose Angel Honrado just denied involvement in the scam happening right under his nose, and offered no solution.

    What’s worse, Aquino and Roxas want to give Filipinos six more years of their rule. If voters somehow agree, that too would largely be media’s fault.


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    1. Meron pong conpiracy theory na may isang grupo ng isang KULTO ang may pakana ng TANIM BALA. Marami silang galamay sa lahat ng sangay ng gobyerno, pati mga PNP, NBI at iba pa kasabwat nila. Iniimbistigahin kasi sila sa mga kabulastugang pinaggagawa ng mga pinuno nila at sikat na sikat sila sa media TV man o radio, para maiwas ang atensyon sa kanila at para makaganti sa gobyerno yan ang mga pinaggagawa nila ngayon.
      NAGTATANIM NG BALA sa mga walang malay na OFW, sa labas palang ng airport dapat ingat po ang lahat ng OFW.
      Dapat ding tingnan kung kasapi sa KULTO ang nakitaan ng BALA, pwede rin kasing ginamit din sya ng TANIM BALA.

    2. Indeed, blame must really go to media. Like Mr. Ric for example, if he truly believes that everything has gone worse under the benigno administration, he should already be publicly calling for a regime change. By being passive without working for an active change, the media becomes a willing instrument in the perpetuation of incompetent, inefficiency and corruption.

      • Nakaka putang na on

        Why BS Aquino just make a temporary restriction not to prosecute laglag bala victims while this issue still under investigation.What he did nothing.
        Kase malapit na ang termino niya,kaya lahat ay magpasasa sa pagnanakaw, tutal ay kalaboso rin naman ang naghahantay sa kanya pag hindi nanalo si binay Mr palengke at Poe. Mr BS Aquino is only listen to his cohoots gabinets

    3. There are three kinds of “bala” in airports – tanim bala, dala bala and ba bala.Many passengers forget the third “bala”.

    4. Don’t we have a law that punishes media practitioners who are proven to be colluding with certain personalities to distort the truth or to hide the latter’s crimes from the public? Why can’t I recall anyone from the media being jailed for this heinous crime? I call it “heinous” because there can never be true democracy without a responsible, unbiased media. I completely agree with you, Mr. Saludo, and admire you very much for not being part of the “conscript media” and for your seething rage with regard to this matter. I, too, believe that the shameless impunity of Aquino and his minions is largely on account of the conscript media, which has kept the Filipinos in the dark regarding this administration’s crimes. I cannot thank Manila Times enough for being the “voice in the wilderness.” Believe me, if I were a billionaire, I’d bankroll Manila Times to make it the most widely read newspaper in the country. We’ll be all the better as a country if that happens!

      • Pres Noynoy is a weak president on a strong resurging Phil. Economy. Do not attribute this economy on Pinoy administration. I will attribute this economy as a result of Ex president Arroyo who is a great economist. Look Pinoy does not recognize inflation to change the tax rates since 1999. Is the 100 pesos in 1999same as100 pesos in 2015. As for Pinoy, it is the same. How stupid can anybody be.

      • With due respect, media is partly to be blame on this entire issue. Who controls media? Why are journalist encourage to make this as an issue. Why do they join the bandwagon to throw mud at any officials of the current government. Simple answer.. they get their salary from the company who may support the opposition. The issue on bullet found on bags will never get sensationalized in places like Dubai, China, Korea, etc. It’s also true based on records that bullets were found on bags of passengers in the past. Has this been reported? Nope. Is this balance reporting? Nope.
        There are many allegations you have mentioned here and I am sure most if not all are being investigated. I wanted to see response from the other side.

      • Nakaka putang na on

        Chrissie@ wake up 2010 Pnoy’s full of promises was already long gone, Now is 2015 .wake up to your tuwid na daan fairy tales.

    5. Shame on you Abnoy and utu-utong Roxas! Another six years of Tuwad na Daan? Pwe! Enough is enough. Go to hell all you yellow followers and corrupters, bring all your monies to your graves.

    6. Kasama sa susunugin dapat ang mga buildings at equipment ng mga TV and radio stations at ng mga newspapers na casabwat ni Aquino.ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss