May 19, 2024

(Editors’ note: The Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on Feb. 5, 2017)

Two new years have gone by in quick succession, both celebrated in the month of January, and we are now only 11 months away from the next one.
But in between, it will still be wine and champagne for the rich and powerful, only gin and rum for the average Pinoy.
Strangely, beer is common to both – genders included.
To truly enjoy your drink, especially scotch, rid your heart of envy and greed, or could that be why you drink in the first place?

We are now in the month of February, a truly significant period for many Filipinos. Not only is February the month of hearts and love, we also commemorate another freedom in our lives, not from the clutches of a foreign power, but from one of our own.
But what is freedom without moral and economic recovery, what is liberty when only a privileged few with foreign roots are living off the fat of the land?

Bridging the gap between the rich and the poor should be a Duterte priority, and the only way to do that is not to enrich the lives of the poor (a pipe dream) but to bring down the rich to the level of the poor.
Tax them strictly as far as the law allows, then forfeit properties they make puslit.

Not too long ago, a sitting president, at the height of his popularity, once referred to some judges as “hoodlums in robes.” This caused quite a stir among legal circles, with the lawyers trying to guess or figure out if the judges, who play an influential role in their private practice, were on the president’s list, if indeed there was any.
Anyway, the said president was later ousted from office by a peoples revolt, that had his critics cursing and laughing, the accuser was now the accused, a crook and a common thief, a hoodlum in barong.

Today, the hoodlum is now attired in a different outfit, which is not to say that the hoodlums in barongs and robes are no longer part of the scene.
To a critical public, the uniform is now the symbol of criminality, if not evil itself.
Of course even in the bad, old days, the police were just around, keeping mostly to the shadows and surfacing only when “intelligensia” and “15-30” were being doled out by the usual patrons.

Now bolder and quite visible, their favorite targets are drug offenders and foreign nationals.
In the case of drug offenders, they are apprehended over and over, made to cough up each time, or be charged formally. At times he also needs to point to other drug offenders under the “palit-ulo” scheme, this usually happens when the hopeless victim has gone dry.

It is different with foreign nationals, particularly those doing business locally, legit or otherwise.
It is more a one shot deal. Pay big ASAP, and we won’t bother you again. However, things can go awry, like that policeman who strangled the Korean to death probably fearing identification eventually.
Best to shut him up for keeps, anyway, he has been wiped clean.
Dirty cops, criminal syndicates, oftentimes in cahoots, will be here to stay, but if Du30 is dead serious about cleansing the PNP, he and Ping Lacson should sit down in close door conference to assess the gravity of the problem, and then come up with quick solutions to resolve the matter.
Here’s a hint. There is no such thing as a few bad eggs who are staining the good image of the PNP. In truth, the PNP is one big fat, dirty egg.
Start out by firing all the cops involved in the slay of the Korean, also those caught on video planting evidence.
Mr. President, you are the law when it comes to erring policemen. What about the Rule of Law you ask. Let those you have dismissed run to the courts for redress if they believe themselves innocent.
Stop hiring policemen in the meantime. All PNPA, yes, even the PMA should take a lie detector test to determine their credibility, and for no other purpose.
The entire Crame staff, including the Chief PNP, must take time out to interview every potential policeman.
Siguradong walang lagay! Ang takot at hiya lang nila!