The Department of the Interior Local Government (DILG), Manila City Hall and Manila Police District (MPD) have apparently chose to ignore the issue on “tong collection” from illegal vendors in downtown Manila.
Manila residents, businessmen and the general public have complained about “disappearing streets” that have been completely occupied by illegal vendors, exacerbating vehicular traffic.
Constituents have also complained that street obstructions prevent firefighters from getting their trucks close to burning houses.
There are thousands of illegal vendors in various Manila districts who each pay P100 to P200 daily, and the butaw or protection money collected by City Hall, MPD and barangay officials can easily reach an aggregate amount of P2 million per day or over P14 million per week.
If this is not corruption, I don’t know what is. It is sheer corruption.
We called the attention of DILG Secretary Senen Mel Sarmiento, Manila Mayor Erap Estrada, and MPD director Rolando Nana about the issue but none of these officials have addressed our concern.
Well-placed sources say that a hefty portion of the tong collection actually goes to the campaign fund of candidates in the coming May 2016 elections.
Ganyan din pala sa Maynila.!
Lazy cops mirror inept govt
No wonder many people choose not to waste time reporting to the police crimes committed against them. In many cases, policemen do not respond promptly.
A case in point is that of a young lady who travelled to Manila from Zamboanga Sibugay to spend Christmas with relatives.
While the Quiapo-bound jeepney she rode Sunday night from Manila City Hall was slowly descending Quezon Bridge, a man grabbed her shoulder bag and disappeared quickly into the dark tower of the bridge in the opposite direction.
My researcher, who saw the whole thing from an FX van, approached the victim in Quiapo and led her, along with two relatives, to the Barbosa Manila Police precinct for immediate assistance.
Unfortunately, the six policemen were so engrossed watching a basketball game on television that it took them some time to give their attention to the victim.
When the victim told them about the incident, the policemen repeatedly asked where the snatching actually took place, suggesting that she may have to go back to MPD Station 5 precinct in Liwasang Bonifacio.
It was only through my researcher’s insistence that the desk seargent, one “Rioja,” started jotting down notes on a scratch paper while five other cops slipped out of the door.
The young lady lost a few hundred pesos, an inexpensive cellphone and her plane ticket back to Zamboanga Sibugay.
Most likely, she also lost her trust and confidence in the police authorities due to the lethargic manner with which her grievance was entertained.
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Other areas where snatchers, pickpockets and holdup men operate with impunity in Manila are Plaza Lacson, Sta. Cruz; Rizal Ave. corner Recto Ave.; Recto Ave., Divisoria; Taft Ave. between Pedro Gil and Padre Faura; Taft Ave. near Quirino Ave.; and Taft Ave. and Ayala Street across Rizal Park.
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On another occasion, my staff also caught policemen inside the PCP at Plaza Sta. Cruz watching horse-racing events on cable TV with other bettors.
I do not expect policemen to be saintly like Pope Francis but they should be more discreet about their laziness, as they reflect the ineptness of both the local and national government they represent.
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More Etihad complaints
Hours after my horrible experience with ETIHAD came out in this corner last Monday, at least half a dozen overseas Filipino workers (OFW) sent me emails from the Middle East to complain about the poor service of the said airline.
They all claim that ETIHAD is really notorious in leaving or losing passengers’ luggage.
The OFWs claim this problem has been going on for quite sometime but nothing has been done by the airline.
They said they had had enough with ETIHAD!!!
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