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ROUGH CUTS | The Emperor Nero of our times

THE OTHER day we heard it from the so-called “horses’ mouth” themselves, the regional chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Southern Mindanao, and the PNP City Director of Davao City, warning individuals from posting in social media fake reports of the resurgence of crimes such as kidnapping in the city and the whole of Region XI. 

     According to the top PNP regional official and the city director nothing of that sort is happening in any of the Southern Mindanao areas, much more in Davao City. They said the proliferation of such social media posts is somehow causing undue panic to residents especially the students who are now back in their in-person classes.

     The Davao City Director of the PNP even mentioned a person who was identified to be the one who posted a supposed kidnapping incident which happened in a popular establishment. The guy, he said eventually issued a public apology after the establishment strongly denied the crime to have happened. But according to the police official his posting of a fake kidnapping case is not the only one getting viral in the social media. There are others, the officials said. And while they are doing the best they could to trace the “news fakers” the police is strongly warning those doing this shenanigans in the cyber space that the authorities are studying what would be the proper cases to file against those who would later be caught.

     Yes, they’d better do their tracing much faster and effectively. This kind of activities in the social media is kind of destabilizing the peace and order condition in the city. It will also affect the level of confidence of the people not only in the police but also in the local civilian leadership. In the case of Davao City many might question the capability of Mayor Baste to handle any upsurge in criminality.

     Unfortunately, until the other day we have yet to hear from the young mayor as to his take on this seeming challenge in his leadership. Will he do a “Duterte the father” kind of thing to stop on the track these new kinds of destabilizers of the city’s peace and order? 

     We are certain that whatever the new mayor says on the purveyors of fake reports on the city’s crime situation will be one big assurance that the residents of Davao City can lean on in their desire to have peace of mind.

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     We were amused and at the same time aghast at hearing the statements of some leading personalities who were invited as resource persons during a Senate hearing on the controversial issue of sugar lack in the country. The resource persons came from the various stakeholders in the sugar industry like the group of sugar millers, sugar growers or planters, sugar traders as well as from the government’s sugar industry regulatory body.

     Of course the sugar traders were insistent in their position that there is acute shortage in sugar supply, reason why they have warned the government of the situation and urged for the immediate importation.

     Their inconsistency however was betrayed when the issue of hundreds of thousands of bags of raw and refined sugar were discovered piled up in bodegas or warehouses in different parts of the country. They were quick to tell the senators that the huge number of sugar inventory are already sold to this and that people or sugar businessmen but are just not withdrawn for the time being.

     Well, what is the difference between hoarding and stocking the sugar for quite some time in the midst of the disappearance of the commodity in the wholesale markets and other retail outlets? If these bigtime sugar businessmen are true to their words that the hundreds of thousands of bags of sugar inside warehouses were not hoarded by them how come they let the sugar consumer suffer for the high prices and scarcity of the merchandise to the point that some commercial and industrial users have to stop manufacturing their sugar-heavy products?

     We cannot help but compare them to Emperor Nero of the old Roman Empire who just played his flute while the City of Rome was burning. 

     Of course the sugar planters and millers groups were one in saying that the shortage is only temporary as it is the usual situation when the interregnum between planting the cane and harvesting up to milling occurs. Add to it the effect of calamities like typhoons and floods hitting the sugar producing provinces in the country, they say that surely result to the reduction in sugar harvest. But they insisted that a well-managed distribution of any existing produce can help prevent shortages.

      Unfortunately, in any business greed will always find opportunity to rare its ugly head. Thus, the country is now in its current messy situation insofar as the sugar commodity is concerned.

      Will the investigation and the various measures adopted by government to obviate a total disruption in the sugar supply in the country be enough?  May be another three to four months of waiting will give us the answer.

 

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