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Rough Cuts | Kidnappings of BIR RDO: Fact or fiction?

We read with amusement and some degree of “suspicion” an item taken up in last Monday’s “Biz Buzz” column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s business section.

The item talks of the “kidnapping epidemic going strong” in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the victims of which, according to the item, are Revenue District Officers (RDOs). No less than Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has confirmed the abductions. He also disclosed to “Biz Buzz” that the kidnappers demand huge amount of ransom money with one recent victim reportedly coughing out P60 million from his own house vault.

Worst, the “Biz Buzz” quoted Finance Chief Dominguez as saying that none of the RDO victims reported their fate to the police. This despite the fact that the amounts they were paying as ransom are beyond the reach of any poor family’s imagination.

We say we were amused because the alleged abductors are so enamored with RDOs as their targets and not just any other officials of the Bureau. What is, or are, with the RDOs that make them favorite victims of the crime? Are the kidnappers so certain their would-be victims have the money to pay for the ransom they will demand?

And why are we saying that we took the issue with “some degree of suspicion”?

Come to think of these: All victims are RDOs; they did not report their kidnapping; they all were released after paying the ransom demand.

We could only suspect of two possible theories. One is that the kidnappings of RDOs are cases of “kidnap me.” This way it would appear that the supposed RDO victims are forced to pay ransom in exchange for their freedom. The ransom money? Well, a little will have to be deducted as “professional fee” to those who could have been contracted to execute the “kidnapping.” The rest still goes back to the “victims”.

If the abductions are for real, then these could have been possible cases of recovering the money that may have been extorted from the “suspects” by some of the BIR’s corrupt and money hungry RDOs through their subordinates who are willing tools in their bosses’ caprice.

May be these extortion victims believe that kidnapping their financial tormentors and recovering their money by collecting it as ransom is much self-rewarding and less risky to them than having the agency officials killed.

These equally scheming extortion victims of alleged corrupt BIR District Officers know that they will never be endangered of being reported to the police and hailed to court. They know that if the kidnap “victims” do so such act it may also expose them to possibilities of being probed by their own agency.

And if the “Biz Buzz” has correctly quoted Dominguez as saying the kidnappings have been reported to him by BIR Commissioner Cesar Dulay, then the victims’ identities are already known.

The Finance chief therefore, should by now, know what to do with the supposed victims other than expressing his wish to tax the “income” of the alleged kidnappers from the ransom money.

Here’s the catch: The kidnapped RDOs are all assigned in Luzon district offices. What does it insinuate?

Well, the RDOs in the south and central part of the country may not possibly be that “financially” worthy of abduction; that they have not been able to amass money from illegal activities using the powers of their office.

So, why bother to kidnap them to exact ransom or recover what the kidnappers might have thought legally belong to them?
Yes indeed, why? Should we be intrigued?

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We are strongly calling the attention of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Davao City.

How come the schedule of collection of household garbage at the various residential subdivisions in Catalunan Grande where we live has become very erratic these past few weeks.

For some time the garbage truck comes around every Tuesday to collect the garbage from the households at our subdivision, the First Davao Pag-ibig Homes. It was so regular that residents ready their trash early Tuesday morning and just wait for the sound of the truck’s horn for them to place their black trash bags on the side of the subdivision roads ready for pick up.

Then early this year, the schedule of garbage collection by the CENRO-hired truck was suddenly moved to a Thursday without making any announcement. Towards the start of the second quarter of this year the coming of the garbage truck became erratic again. And lately bags full of refuse are being hung on fences and ornamental trees waiting for the garbage men to collect. As we wrote this item last Tuesday, we haven’t seen even the shadow of the garbage truck, or heard its horn being blown. And the subdivision resident’s garbage of last week still remains uncollected but scattered by marauding cats and dogs looking for food.

What is happening ladies and gentlemen of the CENRO? Pray, tell the people.

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