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ROUGH CUTS| One lesson that must be learned

LATELY, a court in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, sentenced two persons behind an SEC-registered company but unauthorized to solicit or secure investments after being found guilty of large-scale syndicated estafa.

The two – the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and supposedly the auditor of Rigen Corporation – are sentenced to life in prison. From their looks in pictures shown on television, the two appear to be at the prime of their lives. But if their sentence will not be reversed by a higher court (which is unlikely), they will be spending the rest of their lives behind bars.

What happened to them should serve as a lesson to others who are doing the same shenanigans just to amass a huge amount of money in the fastest possible way. They are doing their open cheating at the expense of the hapless, equally money-hungry individuals – the victims of investment scammers. But will the scammers ever learn a lesson from the conviction?

And by the way, whatever happened to that other person masquerading as a pastor who also gypped millions of pesos from the unsuspecting clients of his who were enticed to put in their hard-earned and sometimes borrowed money hoping to get a 30 percent return each month?

He was arrested after months of hiding and bribing some law enforcers and lending his transportation, including a helicopter, to politicians. His case appears to be forgotten, and there is no update on the Pastor’s whereabouts. Is he still inside jail? What jail and where? Was he allowed to put up a bond for his temporary liberty? If he was, then the public could easily deduce his influence on the powers that be, including the courts.

We wonder if there will come a time that the courts will be made to render an accounting or status report of cases that are extremely important for the public to know. It may be an add-on responsibility, but if it is to satisfy the public desire to be informed of the goings-on of government agencies like the courts, then why not do it?


Drivers of passenger-ferrying single motorcycles, more popularly called “habal habals” that are usually serving the rural villages are agog with the report that soon the government will allow the single motorbike to be part of the public utility transportation in the country.

They believe that the time is rife that they are legalized to ferry passengers in certain designated routes as this would mean they will no anymore be continually evading traffic enforcers who are out to arrest them.

Even commuters are also elated with the development because they believe they can now have more options to take when they are confronted with heavy traffic on the roads while going to or coming from their workplace.

But personally, we think this plan to include the single motorcycle as among legally authorized public utility vehicles must be studied further. Let the authorities be reminded that the biggest percentage of road accidents all over the country involve motorbikes. Besides, most urban and still urbanizing areas in the Philippines tag vehicular traffic as their leading problem.

Will not allowing single motorbikes to ply the roads like taxis and TNVS make the traffic even worst?

We are not against this plan. But we believe that the routes to be serviced by single motorbikes be carefully designated and defined so that the new mode of public transport will not add to the present bedlam of most urban streets and highways.

In other words, when the guidelines will be crafted, if the plan will finally be implemented, it has to undergo extensive consultations with various stakeholders. Otherwise, it would be another solution that will breed more problems for the government.


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