“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Walt Disney
By Alex P. Vidal
WE know that Dracula loves to drink blood, thus we shouldn’t be shocked anymore why he wants to be employed in the blood bank.
We will only investigate, of course, if he was hired as security guard in the blood bank even if he didn’t conceal in his bio-data that he was Dracula, the bloodsucker.
Only hypocrites will claim they don’t know that gambling and other illegal activities exist.
The worst hypocrites are those who argue that no cop, public official and even media practitioner is in the payola of operators of illegal activities.
While we understand the knee-jerk reaction of Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) director, Senior Superintendent Cornelio Salinas, on the sweeping allegations made by former Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) administrator Oscar “Oca” Garin Sr. against some police chiefs and municipal mayors in the first district of Iloilo, we can’t help but quip, “Hello. You don’t know really, sir?”
Salinas wants to investigate Garin’s claims that some of the police chiefs in that district have been getting a regular payola or protection racket from illegal gambling operators.
“Worried” Salinas wants an immediate housecleaning so he can separate the chaffs from the grains under his command.
We support him. We believe in his sincerity.
But Salinas should first ask to investigate his superiors in Camp Delgado, Iloilo City and even those in Camp Crame, Quezon City or all the way up to the PNP hierarchy.
The first personnel in these headquarters who will claim they are unaware there are cops who receive payola from illegal gambling operators, should be sent to Mindanao to avenge the massacre recently of 44 PNP-Special Action Force troopers by Muslim separatists.
“Pa-imbestigahan naton ang ginhambal ni congressman (Oscar) Garin. I-find out naton kon paano naton ma-substantiate,” said Salinas.
He said police chiefs should come up with an operational review of what they have done in the illegal gambling campaign of the PNP.
Let’s call spade a spade.
Without police protection, gambling, as well as other illegal activities, won’t prosper.
Protection racket means some cops pretend they see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing about gambling activities taking place in their areas in exchange for regular or monthly payola.
Offers from gambling operators are too tempting to be ignored.
Sources say a provincial police director in Luzon gets a monthly payola of P500,000.
To be honest, we have no idea how much these illegal gambling operators dangle for regional police directors and the city and municipal police directors in the Visayas and Mindanao.
But a corrupt police officer assigned in a municipal and district sub-station will consider it peanuts to get only P10,000 a month.
We believe there are still honest police chiefs and rank-and-file cops; and they are still in the majority.
We also believe that Salinas is among those honest PNP officials, based on the words from our beat reporters when we were still with the other community newspapers in the 90’s.
We also find it incredible if all municipal mayors and even members of the municipal council will claim they are clean like Caesar’s wife in as far as illegal gambling is concerned.
We have the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the League of Municipalities to discipline local officials who are “on the take” and to police their ranks.
With or without Garin’s “expose”, it’s the duty and obligation of lawmen, local chief executives and members of media to stop and expose evil in society.
And illegal gambling activity is one of those evils because it further impoverishes the people and teaches them to be lazy.
It’s not anymore a question whether the problem exists.
The question is what have we done to expose it, solve and fight it, and nip it in the bud?