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There is a pandemic of false information that is as deadly as the coronavirus disease 2019. As it is, fake news is a scourge in modern society. It destroys reputations, causes mental stress, disturbs psychological well-being, and in some cases, results in the injury and death of the affected individuals. False information in these times literally kills.
In times of panic and market free fall, in an era where corruption pervades and killings persist, a spark of light and a glimpse of new hope comes from our men and women in uniform, our police force. It is ironically one of the last offices in government where we, the citizenry, can expect change or pin our safety and well-being despite its long standing motto “to serve and to protect.”
In December 2016, or barely six months into an administration that is very strong on fighting corruption, two high ranking Deputy Commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration, Al Argosino and Michael Robles, were arrested based in an entrapment operation for demanding and receiving the grand sum of P50 million as extortion money from a Chinese gambling personality named Jack Lam.
Lately, we have been seeing more politicians, whether national or local, appearing on billboards and advertisements. The products and services that they push for may be straightforward but something doesn’t feel right. Are they supposed to do it? Is it legal or ethical for politicians to be endorsers?
In the era of tax reforms that are meant to simplify life for taxpayers, streamline tax collection effort. and enhance revenues for government, the Philippine travel tax that is imposed on departing Filipinos for abroad (with exemptions) in the amount of P1,620 per person is outdated at best and illegal at worst.
Now THAT we know that there is problem with our national power grid, it being run by state-owned company of China, and how to solve it (https://www.bworldonline.com/investigating-the-grid), we turn our attention to our problem with water.
It is a simple case to make. We are totally dependent on energy for our essential needs. Our stores and factories require electricity. Our airports, sea ports, and all sorts of transport terminals require power to operate. By any definition, legal or otherwise, any facility that provides such a service is a public utility, a vital installation of national interest for national security.
The problems in our prison systems are well-documented. These include severe congestion and extreme delays in courts. Another issue is the acute lack of care for their health.
It is the blame game at its finest, or rather, at its worst. The administration admits to the colossal failure of the war on drugs after three years of non-stop killings. To distract the public and prove its incompetence, the Office of the Vice-President is challenged to solve the drug problem.
I grew up on ninja films featuring those secretive, stealthy and skillful operatives that hide their faces. They are also killers and assassins. The Japanese characters actually mean the “one who perseveres,” probably because they train hard and long to be who they are. They honor a code unto themselves and to their principals.
First, POGO stands for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators. Regardless of any acronym or euphemism, it is into making money from a vice. The economic effects are easily seen in the higher rental rates, higher salaries, and higher fees for support service providers. These are to be expected from a business with high margins.
Another round of investment scams and household robbery syndicates plagues the land. Over the past weeks, friends from the south and central, colleagues in the capital tell of tales of unfulfilled promises and disappearing funds. Some with savings and retirement money, a few with excess and those who borrowed, but all united by the need for channels to make returns exponentially and the want for material riches beyond the usual lotto dreams. Is it the entrepreneurial spirit within us, the gambling culture that permeates our society, or the laziness or boredom of everyday work?
Eminent domain is the power of the State to take private property, without or against the owner’s consent, for public use with just compensation. The idea is that the public good overrides private rights. It is for the common interest and is a necessity in a functional society.