A political bomb I cannot use

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

The other day was August 13. It was the only Friday the 13th of this year quite, unlike 2015 which had three, particularly in the months of February, March and November. By the way, my daughter Beatriz celebrates her birthday on November 13, and she was born on a Friday.

While many people don’t attach any meaning to Friday the 13th, it’s considered an unlucky day in western civilization. From the internet, I learned that an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day, making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights, or even getting out of bed.

I might not really be that superstitious still I couldn’t help but attach some meaning to an otherwise petty incident. While watching during that Friday the 13th afternoon my favorite TV newscasters Bobby Nalzaro, Alan Domingo, and Cecille Quibod Castro doing their routine Balitang Bisdak, our doorbell rang in great succession as if there was an emergency. I reacted agitatedly. I had to break away from Bobby’s report on Lapu-Lapu City being placed under MECQ because rushing to our gate. But, there was nobody. The bell ringer could be a ghost or he ran away as fast as Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics champion in the 100-meter dash, who ran the distance in 9.80 seconds.

Whoever rang our doorbell, he left an envelope. I knew that it was not an explosive device of the kind used by Timothy McVeigh, to destroy the Alfred Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, but after I examined its contents I realized that it was a political bomb.

Who brought the documents to me was my first question. I surmised the bell ringer was with BOPK because the photocopied papers evinced a corrupt practice of a City Hall official. Perhaps, the source of the documents thought I would be so incensed by this official’s callousness that I would initiate an anti-graft case against him. He had a point.

The sender of the possibly damning evidence could also be a City Hall insider and probably someone closely allied to Mayor Edgardo Labella, politically speaking as PDP, Partido Barug, Kusug, or Panaghiusa. He could have seen the mayor’s name was on the papers yet his signatures were missing and thought I would file an appropriate case against the official but not against the mayor.

It was not the first time I received documents that, after serious evaluation, would show graft and corruption in the city government. Actually, the same official figured in both instances and the documents carried millions of pesos of people’s money apparently stolen. There is a technical drawback though. All papers are photocopies and cannot be used in court, but while there are ways to overcome this obstacle, I have yet no reason to assume the role as a BOPK warrior. On the other hand, prosecuting the high official (excluding the mayor) could be a way to help him cleanse his name. But in spite of the nobility of the intention, I could get easily misunderstood enough as to be accused of treachery against the city chief executive. Being a traitor is anathema to a Tau Kappa Lambda fraternity brother.

At this point, let me speculate. Maybe the document sender felt his insignificance compared to the high official as to be easily bamboozled by the latter’s counter-attack or that he feared the Ombudsman as beneficiary of the high official’s illegal pot as to dismiss his charges. Any sense?


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