SENTINEL - Ramon T. Tulfo - The Philippine Star

The problem with religious sect leader Apollo Quiboloy brings to mind the extradition of controversial figure Mark Jimenez to the United States in 2002.

At the time, Jimenez was a Manila congressman. His high government position didn’t spare him from being arrested and held in custody under US laws.

The administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo couldn’t prevent his extradition.

Jimenez’s criminal offense was donating to election campaigns that benefitted then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton and other Democratic politicians. US law prohibits election campaign contributions from foreigners.

Jimenez, described by former president Joseph Estrada as a “corporate genius,” was indicted and convicted by a Florida court and received a 27-month jail term.

Compared to Jimenez’s offense, Quiboloy’s are heinous – alleged serious human rights violations, rape of girls as young as 11 years and other physical abuses committed for more than a decade.

If Quiboloy is extradited to the US – and more likely than not he will be – he faces life in prison if convicted.

President Bongbong Marcos can only prevent Quiboloy’s extradition at the risk of tarnishing relations between the Philippines and the US.

*      *      *

Lorraine Badoy, a former government anti-insurgency spokesperson, spoke out of turn when she defended Quiboloy from accusations hurled at the religious sect leader, which include alleged human rights violations, sex trafficking and rape of girls as young as 11 years old.

“I’m not surprised by it all. It’s the price that you pay. We’re all ready to pay that price just to end this 54-year scourge of the Communist Party of the Philippines or CPP, the terrorists,” Badoy said.

In other words, are the charges against the bombastic pastor – who claims to be the appointed “Son of God” – due to his being a leading figure in the fight against the communist rebellion?

The controversial lady is now an anchor at SMNI News Channel owned by Quiboloy; that figures.

By defending Quiboloy in a non sequitur way, Badoy has become even more controversial.

There is no connection between Quiboloy’s supposed aversion to communism and the charges of human trafficking and rape of minors against him in the US.

Being well-informed, Badoy should know that the United States is staunchly anti-communist.

*      *      *

Oscar Pawaran, former Department of Agriculture regional director for the Zamboanga peninsula, has been convicted by the Sandiganbayan of graft in connection with the fertilizer scam of 2004.

Poor guy! He’s just a scapegoat.

The bigwigs who masterminded the fertilizer scam have long since laughed all the way to the bank.

*      *      *

Our country’s farms are becoming empty and unproductive because the sons and daughters of farmers prefer to work in cities or other countries.

It’s a universal phenomenon. In Japan, for instance, old farmers complain that their offspring don’t want to work on the farms and instead choose to work in urban centers.

In the Philippines, farm work is looked down upon by young people, who prefer to pursue careers in urban areas or work abroad after college or high school.

They don’t want their hands soiled working on the farms. They prefer to work in offices where their nails are manicured.

Another probable reason why the youth scoff at farm work is because the lands their parents till are not as profitable as before. Consumers prefer to buy imported or smuggled agricultural products.

To increase their income, farmers should form cooperatives so that their small tracts of land, combined with others, can produce large harvests.

A small farm can only produce a small harvest.

But forming farm cooperatives is no longer possible, as agricultural lands are being converted into golf courses, subdivisions or commercial areas.

*      *      *

In Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one kilo of onions in the supermarket costs the equivalent of P100, according to a friend who’s in the UAE on business.

In the Philippines, a kilo of onions sells for P300!

Why are onions more expensive in this country than in Dubai, when the Philippines produces the root vegetable, while UAE imports it entirely?

It’s illogical for the Philippines, an agricultural country, to have much more expensive onions than the UAE, which is all desert.

*      *      *

Despite his noble intentions to make the country produce more food, President Bongbong Marcos may want to hand the helm of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to an agricultural expert.

Running the ship of state requires concentration.

His being a concurrent Agriculture secretary dissipates his focus on nation-building. And he didn’t even study agriculture in college.

Doesn’t the President have a person he can trust at the DA?

*      *      *

I feel the agony my brother Erwin is going through, with his appointment as Social Welfare and Development secretary twice rejected by the Commission on Appointments.

This is the same body that disapproved the appointment of Gina Lopez as Environment and Natural Resources secretary. She stepped on the toes of some legislators and even her colleagues in the Duterte administration due to her anti-mining campaign.

Many politicians and some Cabinet members own mining companies or are employed by them.

For Pete’s sake, Erwin, resign your position because those bas***** don’t appreciate the efforts you’ve put into helping the victims of typhoons and other calamities!

Put an end to your misery – resign, bro!

Daddy would probably have said this if he were alive today: “Goddammit, son, why stick to a place where you’re not appreciated?”

The poor people you’re serving know you are sincere in helping them during their times of need.

You can still serve the poor without having a government position.

I’m sorry, Erwin, but I just had to say my piece because as your eldest brother, I, too, suffer your agony.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with