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Rough Cuts | This may be worth a try

A young woman was killed last Tuesday in Calinan, Davao City. According to initial police investigation the motive of the killing could be her continued operation of an illegal investment business promising exceedingly high interest rate to those who put in their hard-earned money.

Assuming that the motive as surmised by the police is true, the ill-fated woman had her tragedy coming.
First, she already knew her trade is illegal. And we have no doubt that she was very aware the police and other law enforcement agencies have been mandated by no less than the President of the country to run after those illegal investment schemes sucking the money of the gullible.

Second, it is already common knowledge that those who were gypped of their money by the sweet-talking investment agents and by very enticing testimonies of earlier investors, were already up in arms in their efforts to recover their paid-in cash.

Why then did the victim continue doing her trade?

Then there is this police theory that those who formed the investment business themselves including the woman were already at odds with each other possibly because of the money that has been accumulated after the investments came in.

True or not we can only have our assumption as of the moment. However, what is depressing is that despite the stern warning by government authorities there are still many greedy among us who continue to take advantage of the gullibility of some.

And like the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, the reason why the so-called Ponzi scheme of drawing investments has continued proliferating in even much bigger magnitude is because high public officials including those in the law enforcement groups are either among the organizers, top investors, or leading beneficiaries of largesse coming from the investment firms.

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Now there are reports of motorcycle-riding “Zorros” roaming around the streets in certain barangays in Davao City. According to testimonies of some people in the barangays – victims and witnesses alike — the motorbike riders simply whack young people they find outside their residence during curfew hours in the city which start from 10 o’clock p.m. until dawn. They have no way of knowing the identities of the whackers as they are wearing mask.

The difference of the modern “Zorros” is that they are using as whips plastic water hoses. The legendary one used a specially designed whip that identifies him with it. The Davao “Zorros” are also trying to differentiate themselves from the style of former Mayor and now President Rody Duterte. The former city chief executive used the dreaded dried and hardened “ikog sa pagi” that he himself had experienced during his youth days with his close kin, the late governor of Davao del Sur Noning Llanos.

The emergence of these masked “disciplinarians” is getting mixed reactions from the residents of the barangays where they have showed up during the dead of night. Some officials and parents welcome them as their young children, who hardly listen to their plea to stay inside their houses by curfew time, are now fearful of getting whipped.

Of course there are those who are strongly opposed of their sudden appearance. These village residents think the riding whackers are threats to the safety of their children and to others who have to be walking on the roads during the prohibited hours due to the nature of their work schedule.

As to the identities of the masked men many believe that they are either policemen or barangay police wanting to instill discipline among the growing number of juvenile delinquents in the city. The police are quick to deny the allegations of course. And the law enforcers strongly encourage the victims or their parents to have any such incidents reported to the police.

Well, things like these will always have its pros and cons in the same manner that it has its advantages and disadvantages.

But if the emergence of the “Zorros” is for good intention like preventing street riots of some young “pasaways” then it may be worth allowing some time to exist. Let the result of the wait be the basis in determining the acceptability of such truant youth disciplining strategy.

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