General Admission

Corruption just won’t simply die

By Al S. Mendoza

 

IS the “pastillas” scheme true?

Is the one-TIN platform true?

Is the money-laundering operation true?

In these queries, the major players are the Chinese from Mainland China.

What is happening?

“Pastillas” is a sweet jelly-like candy (a bit similar to our bucayo delicacy given as dessert at Matutina’s) wrapped in a white, soft paper.

The “pastillas” is found only in Rizal-Laguna-Quezon.

It is the term to cover-up an alleged illegal trade at our international airports perpetrated allegedly by Immigration officials.

The racket involves ten thousand pesos in one-thousand bills wrapped in bond paper.  Thus, its “pastillas” moniker.

The “pastillas” comes from every arriving Chinese supposedly set to work in Pogos (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation).

It is given to an airport mule, whose daily collection is divided among alleged corrupt Immigration officials.

Each “pastillas” nets a visa for a Chinese upon arrival at the airport.

This system was instituted by Vitaliano Aguirre, the former Justice Secretary—minus the “pastillas” gravy.  But, of course!

After the “pastillas” operation was exposed, several Immigration officials had been sacked already.

Sadly, Aguirre’s name was being dragged into the scandal that is now being heard in the Senate.

Already, Mon Tulfo, my hard-nosed columnist-compadre writing now for the Manila Times (where Boss Ermin used to be the Publisher), named Aguirre as a top gun in the “pastillas” anomaly.

Aguirre had denied, rather vehemently, Tulfo’s accusations, saying he is ready to face the Senate to “clear my name.”

Said Aguirre while he awaits the invitation from the Senate:  “It’s all hearsay and Tulfo should better present evidence!”

Time for us again to sit back, relax and enjoy the show aka charade.

On the heels of the unfolding drama comes Sen. Richard “Flash” Gordon, saying that Pogo workers numbering almost “ten thousand” Chinese have but only one TIN (Tax Identification Number) each.

Unbelievable, indeed.  How can that be?

“There has been a technical glitch,” said the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue).

Can you believe that?

Hardly had the brouhaha died down when thousands of dollars was discovered spirited into the country through yet again our airports.  By Chinese traders yet again?

Gordon surmises the money, possibly laundered he said, might be used for criminal activities like human trafficking and crimes anchored on Chinese kidnapping their fellow Chinese themselves in exchange for ransom.

All of this could not have happened, would not prosper, without corruption.

Ah, the headaches for President Duterte just wouldn’t disappear that easily.

All the more that we need to implore for divine guidance.

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