ROUGH CUTS| They’re taking advantage over us

UNDER President Rodrigo Duterte the country is manifesting quite clearly its pivot towards China in its declared independent foreign policy.

And while the President is showing his personal disgust over the United States, or at least to some of its top officials and their attitude towards the Philippines, it cannot be denied that Duterte still has certain level of respect towards the US, that country being a major trade partner and source of assistance for the development.

But even as the Philippine-China relation is getting into its best possible level ever, some of its citizens who are either already in the Philippines for some period of time, or are here on business exploration, are already taking advantage of the Filipinos as well as of the government’s seemingly relaxed treatment of Chinese nationals.

Look what happened in Davao lately. It was only last Tuesday that it was reported in local newspapers that six (6) Chinese nationals were arrested and charged for allegedly stocking and thereafter flooding the local market with fake cigarettes carrying a very popular international brand! The total estimated value of the alleged fake cigarettes is P18 million. Wow! That’s a lot of money for the government if the cigarettes are the original ones and sold to the city consumers with its distributors paying the correct taxes. But no, the cigarettes are fake, according to the apprehending police unit, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Now, the CIDG should not stop right after the confiscation and apprehension of the Chinese businessmen. It should dig deeper, like looking into the legality of the arrested Chinese’s stay in the city and in the country in general.

The CIDG must coordinate with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) to check on the records of the aqpprehended Chinese in Davao City. Do they have the necessary permit to do business in Davao City or the country? The BID must know if the six Chinese individuals are legitimate resident aliens or whether they have the necessary work permit.

If the BID will find out that the six do not have the requirements to remain in the country as mandated by law, then they must be immediately deported.

In fact it would be for the best interest of the CIDG and the BID to expand further the realm of their cooperation and coordination in carrying out their major mandate of monitoring the stay in the country of illegal aliens.

We suspect that there are a lot of Chinese nationals working in the Philippines, and more specifically in Davao City withouit the necessary working permit. They are those who are part of some packaged arrangements regarding purchases of machineries and other mechanical equipment supplied by China for industries in the Philippines, including those established in Davao City.

For example, a newly opened box factory somewhere northwest of the city is reported to have stay-in Chinese employees whose responsibility supposedly, is to trained Filipino employees to operate the machines and eventually do the operation by themselves.

But the bigger question is, how come these Chinese workers are almost like monks inside monasteries working to their deadly lonesomeness? Why are they housed inside the factory compound if they have nothing to hide about their identities?

May be the CIDG can coordinate also with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI to find out if these Chinese factory workers have the permit to work in any part of the country. And as to the Chinbese involved in the alleged storing and distribution of fake cigarettes, all the CIDG needs to do is to pry into the legitimacy of their stay in Davao City, and to look into the real purpose of their coming. Are they visiting relatives and friends, or are they here to do business which is not clear in the report.

Now, as to that American national who made a mistake of badmouthing Davao City councilor Al Ryan Alejandre merely on suspicion that the latter was photographing the former’s credit card, we believe that the local police authorities should not be soft on him. His being an American or a tourist, assuming that he is one, does not give him the right to badmouth any citizen in the country. And that foreigner had the guts to shove a Davaoeno within his very own territory? Perhaps this certain Gary Joseph Maraviglia still thinks that the American regime in the Philippines is not yet over.

And come to think of it; he bragged he cannot be legally arrested! Waaa! Is he a diplomat? But if that American would keep on doing his bragadoccio in Davao then, there might be some people who would think of “illegally” arresting him.

Perhaps he has a mission to do just that – spite some Filipinos to “illegally” arrest him so that the US government will have a national of its own to support claims that the Philippine government is indeed engaged in human rights violation activities. Somehow this makes sense to us.

Posted in Opinion