Local performing artists, as well as showbiz personalities, see as a positive development the criminal charges being pressed against Canadian citizen John Michael Roda, promoter of hip hop singer Chris Brown, who reneged on their contract to hold Brown’s concert at the Philippine Arena last December.
I learned that Filipino singers and even fashion models have had to endure unfair competition from foreign talents who come in droves without even securing work permit from the Bureau of Immigration.
I also heard that most foreign promoters like Roda do not even pay taxes despite making unbelievable fortune from their concerts in the country.
While Brown was allowed to leave after being held for two days, Roda was still in custody at the BI offices.
Local performers urged the authorities to enforce the law not just in Brown’s case.
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Meanwhile, Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison continues to be confronted by problems on abuses and corrupt practices, as the Bureau of Immigration prepares to celebrate its 75th founding anniversary.
After Mison recently ordered a renewed crackdown on the proliferation of illegal foreign workers, immigration agents have hauled groups of aliens from various job sites.
While a number of stage performers from the United States come to hold concert without work permits, countless Chinese workers are employed in the country without the necessary work visas.
Some unscrupulous immigration officials, who are reportedly on the take, allegedly protect them.
Just last week, nearly 200 suspected undocumented aliens were rounded up at an online gambling casino office and call center in Pasay City.
But some 150 remained in custody after some intelligence division and legal department officials released detainees in groups under “questionable” circumstances.
Mison has reportedly ordered an inquiry, directing BI intelligence chief Atty. Carlito Licos to explain why the Chinese workers were freed.
The BI chief said illegal alien workers should instead be subjected to deportation.
Well, it is said there’s no more “wangwang” but more Wang Bo’s roaming in the country.
Wasted five years and counting
Noynoy Aquino has made good the people’s expectation that in his Monday’s SONA he would resort to blaming Gloria Arroyo for the problems that continue to ail the country.
But, while the President bad-mouthed his predecessor again, he touted her legacy on the government’s conditional cash transfer or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program for “reducing” poverty.
Unfortunately for him, the people know firsthand about the massive irregularities in the CCT cash dole out program that hardly benefits the poorest of the poor.
Billions of pesos in DSWD funds are wasted as they end up with ghost beneficiaries and people who are not even qualified to receive them.
Noynoy’s two-hour speech did not make much impact because he skipped issues that would have given credence to his swan song.
There was no mention of the Freedom of Information bill as a legislative priority.
And, there was no mention of the heroism of the PNP Special Action Force commandos, particularly those 44 massacred in the suicidal mission in Mamasapano last January 25.
He could only promise three “Ballsy trains” for the dilapidated Metro Rail Transit, which best symbolizes the state of his administration.
Of course, he did not only notably omitted Vice President Jojo Binay in his “thank you” list but indirectly took a swipe on the VP in disclosing his support for the anti-dynasty bill.
Obviously, a two-hour speech would not make up for five years wasted on Noynoy’s vindictiveness and his own brand of cronyism.