TIMESMAN| We, in the media are not happy

JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II announced that the Philippine government is now P40 billion richer, including surcharges, after Mighty Corp. owner Alexander Wongchoking has skirted criminal indictment after he entered into an out-of-court settlement with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) over the P38-billion tax evasion case filed against him and three other executives of the home-grown cigarette maker.

Aguirre did not include the P6-billion taipan Lucio Tan, owner of Philippine Airlines (PAL), agreed to pay the government within the year over an unpaid fees for the exclusive use of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminal since 1999.

Like the Mighty Corp. PAL was also given by President Duterte 10-day deadline to settle its debt. Both the cigarette manufacturer and airlines met the deadline in record time.

Congratulations, but we ask the President to monitor the flow of that new billion-peso collections and keep the public informed the moment the money is released by the debtors to the government.

We do not want a repeat of that P6.4 billion worth of smuggled illegal drugs shipment from China at the Bureau of Customs. After the discovery of the anomaly, the people suspected to be behind the smuggling are just allowed to resign, while others preferred to be jailed while the investigation is going on. And where is the money?

Kahit siguro ako, kung bilyun-bilyun piso na ang pag-uusapan, baka magpapakulong na rin ako.

The announcement of the Justice Secretary that the government is richer by P40-billion for convincing a tax evader to pay without any mention of another P6-billion a debtor agreed to pay the government, is worth watching.

Sa bagay, baka nalimutan lang ni Mr. Secretary isama sa magandang balita!

-oOo-

The law apprehending motorcycle riders not wearing helmets should be amended.

Older criminals are using young children to commit crimes for them knowing fully- well that the law is not harsh to people younger than 15 years old.

Motorcycle riders are also taking advantage of the law on non-wearing of helmets to cover their identities to commit crimes.

The recent incident of killings of Puerto Gallera, Oriental Mindoro councilor, Melchor Arago, and his 15-year-old son by unidentified motorcycle assassins wearing helmets should alarm government officials and necessitate the immediate amendment of that law.

No less than Senate President Koko Pimentel III made the observation expressing disappointment over the “incompetence” of the police in catching the criminals, many of them who can’t be identified because they were wearing helmets while committing crimes.

What does it take our lawmakers to amend the law when it seems the incidents of killings involving motorcycle riders hiding their faces with helmets are in alarming proportion?

Are they happy about it, meaning seeing innocent victims sprawled on the pavement covered with blood? We, in the media are not happy on what’s happening around.

-oOo-

Police Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said he would want drug suspects to be captured alive as he “valued life.”

I believe him, although many, especially critics and relatives of the victims, were not convinced of what he is saying. And this is where the good policeman should prove his worth. He may be called Bato, but behind that, pusong mamon parin siya.

-oOo-

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