ROUGH CUTS| This anti-illegal drugs campaign strategy

THIS one is for the books.

And we mean this supposedly good news for some 276 workers who won their case against a construction company who did not pay them their holiday pay, 13th month pay, and at the same time did not remit their contributions to the Social Security System (SSS), the Home Mutual Development Fund or Pag-IBIG, and Philippine Health Insurance or PhilHealth. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI’s regional director lawyer Raymundo G. Agravante proudly banded around the amount of P19,971 that each of the complaining workers will receive as compensation for the damage done against by their employer.

Unfortunately, the DOLE regional chief was somehow very gracious to the owners of the construction company that he’d rather not mention its name to the media. And he was quick to explain that the agency’s action that resulted to the financial award “is just one of the many examples of the efforts extended by the Department in settling cases and coming up with mutual agreements for both the employees and the employer.”

Well, that indeed was a compromise. But we cannot imagine DOLE short of exonerating or even tolerating the illegal acts of certain companies by including in the compromise hiding the name of the involved company from the media and the public in general!

What will prevent other firms from following the illegal act of that unmentioned company by not paying the benefits that have been accepted as the cause of action in that particular labor suit?

Of course it is no secret that some companies using their money and influence can even delay resolution of labor cases that are clearly favorable to the complaining workers. Or, in certain instances, they can even “buy” decisions to their favor.

In fact several years back we even heard of reports of some decided labor cases lodged in an agency under the DOLE with the decision prepared by the respondent firm’s lawyers.

We are hoping that it is not any more prevalent in that particular government department these days. Otherwise, the Duterte government’s supposedly no-nonsense campaign against graft and corruption will just go to naught.


And this is another one for Ripley!

In the on-going investigation of the brutal killing of a 14-year old Reynaldo de Guzman who was the last person seen with equally brutally-slain Carl Arnaiz in Caloocan City allegedly by the police, all agencies conducting the probe did its own autopsy on the body. The teenager’s cadaver was found dumped in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija last September 7, 2017. He was last seen alive with Arnaiz on the night of August 17.

The autopsy, according to news reports from the national capital region with live interviews of the doctors conducting the examination of the body, is to “determine the cause of death.”

What? After finding 31 stab wounds on the victim’s frail body the authorities are still at a loss as to what might have caused De Guzman’s death?

Does knowing which stab wound out of 31 inflicted snapped the life out of De Guzman still matter?

For us it is one exercise in futility that should not have been done at all, if only for that simple reason. The police and all other investigating agencies must focus instead on finding who the most likely suspects are. After all, if indeed the slain youth were engaged in illegal drugs dealings there can only be two potential perpetrators – the police that are implementing the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, or their fellow drug personalities whom they might have absconded of their proceeds, or their turf competitors.

Meanwhile, maybe it’s worth reminding again the various law enforcement agencies implementing the administration’s war on illegal drugs that with what is happening now in the campaign, it is about time to consider this philosophical admonition: “Make your friends close, but make your enemies even closer.”

We would also surmise that the present strategy could have been patterned, with some minor innovations from actor Sean Connery’s line in an 80’s movie “The Untouchables” when as Jimmy Malone, a veteran policeman in Chicago, he kind of “mentored” rookie cop Eliot Ness how to get a world-known notorious gangster:

“You want to get Capone (Al)? Here is how you get him. He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way.”

Perhaps that strategy was successful in Chicago because eventually Capone was sent to the morgue. But from the way the present administration’s campaign is going, apparently using the here-in referred scheme, is not working

So with the “philosophical commandment” it might be of large help to the administration they (the drug personalities) who are considered enemies of the state, should, as much as possible, not be killed but instead given the opportunity to live and be made “friends.” In so doing there is possibility that they can lead the police and other law enforcement agencies to the real enemies, the drug manufacturers, the big suppliers, the leaders of the syndicates.

Posted in Opinion