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Opinion

Why investigate?

SENTINEL - Ramon T. Tulfo - The Philippine Star

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is investigating the “murder” of high-profile inmates, most of them drug convicts, at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

The NBI should leave well enough alone.

So, what if they didn’t die of COVID-19, but of foul play?

Most of these inmates were Chinese nationals who were running their drug syndicates from the safety of the four walls of the NBP.

They should have been put to death through lethal injection, which president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo abolished under pressure from the meddling Catholic Church.

One noteworthy dead inmate was Amin Imam Boratong, whose tiangge or flea market for shabu or crystal meth operated a few meters from the Pasig City Hall. He was exposed by Erwin Tulfo and this columnist in 2006.

Boratong made addicts of many people in Pasig and other places in Metro Manila.

When the shabu tiangge was raided by the police led by the late Director (now major general) Marcelo “Jun” Ele, many housewives were caught in the raid.

And you know what? The housewives had in tow their toddlers. When I asked some of them why they had their children with them, they said the kids were a good cover for not being exposed. They said they dropped by on their way to the public market to buy the day’s or week’s food.

The 2,000-square-meter compound was honeycombed with kubol (shack) structures, each with a bamboo bed inside and a stall outside.

All the shacks reeked of semen, obviously from drug pushers who copulated with addicted women who didn’t have money.

Boratong was given a life sentence but enjoyed his stay at the NBP, which he used as his base of operation for the syndicates outside.

Now, people cry over Boratong’s death and want his killers – if he was indeed killed and didn’t die of COVID-19 – to go to prison?

Why are people not crying for Boratong’s numerous victims, many of them students and housewives, who became addicted to shabu?

*     *      *

At the time, the Pasig City mayor was Vicente Eusebio. Who wouldn’t not have known of the existence of the shabu tiangge, which was a spitting distance from the back of the City Hall?

By “spitting distance,” I mean that the shabu tiangge was so close to the City Hall it could be reached with a spit – if one spat hard enough – from its upper floor.

Why was Eusebio not investigated? What happened to the police chief then who, I was told, was only relieved from his post?

For the singular feat of exposing the existence of the shabu tiangge, Erwin and I received the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the Philippine National Police (PNP) could give civilians.

Erwin and I should have been happy with the award, but we were not because the government officials who tolerated Boratong or financially benefited from him didn’t go to prison.

*            *            *

Many people, especially those in Bulacan, are hoping that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos would sign the bill making the proposed Bulacan international airport and adjacent places into a special economic and freeport zone.

The President would sign the vetoed bill if some “defects” in the proposed law are corrected, said Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles.

Ironically, one of the sponsors of the bill was presidential sister Sen. Imee Marcos, chair of the Senate committee on economic affairs.

Methinks Ms. Marcos supported the bill with the benefits to the economy in mind.

Ramon S. Ang, president and CEO of San Miguel Corp., the contractor of the Bulacan airport project, has spent so much for the proposed airport.

Ang is one of the country’s most patriotic taipans, if not the most patriotic.

Among the infrastructure projects that he built of utmost benefit to Ang’s compatriots is the Skyway 3, which cut down the trip from Quezon Avenue in Quezon City to the Manila International Airport (MIA) to 45 minutes. Before the Skyway, travel time between Quezon City to the international airport took two to three hours, depending on the condition of traffic.

*     *      *

There you have it: I said Manila International Airport (MIA) instead of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Millions of people, I’m sure, share my sentiment.

Manila International Airport was the official name of the airport until president Corazon Aquino’s bootlickers changed it to its present name.

Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, after whom the airport was named, was no hero to millions of Filipinos.

If not for Ninoy, Sabah would have reverted to the Philippines.

The country has (or had) all the rights to claim Sabah, then called North Borneo, because it was leased by the Sultan of Sulu to the British in 1878.

Ninoy exposed the country’s plan to take back Sabah from Malaysia.

Ninoy’s exposé on the Senate floor in the 1960’s had fatal consequences for our troops during the secessionist rebellion in Mindanao in the 1970s. Malaysia gave financial support and arms to the Muslim rebels.

*     *      *

Many consider a bill filed by Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves in the House to rename the international airport the Ferdinand E. Marcos International Airport frivolous or foolish.

Teves’ proposal reeks of bootlicking and obsequiousness. There’s a Filipino word for it: sipsip.

Illegal drugs, which he once proudly admitted having used at some point in his life, must have gone to his head.

*     *      *

Joke! Joke! Joke!

Married woman: I sleep with my husband three times a week.

Single woman: I only do so once a week.

Married woman: But you don’t have a husband!

Single woman: Oh, I thought we were talking about your husband.

NBI

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