Playing with Fire
Problems cropping up at PCA
By Gonzalo Duque
I’D like to thank President Duterte for appointing me as administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA). I’ve, in fact, already started my job before my oath-taking by visiting our building. The ambiance is not good because it looks like a tomb. And looking at my office, I suddenly became sick and wanted to vomit. The bacteria there seemed to have affected my sinus. The rats lurching in the dark there seemed to be laughing.
I entered the PCA auditorium and I had to get out immediately because of the stench inside. PCA has really become a mess just looking at the state of its building and facilities. Then, I understand that even the PCA board members are not in agreement with one another. Worse, I was informed that even Secretary Manny Piñol does not like them.
So, you see I am entering an office where there is trouble and maybe more troubles ahead. But I am happy because I was given the challenge to really put the house in order.
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Before I took my oath, I had a very intimate conversation with the President. He directed me to address the problems of our coconut workers and attend to their plight. But I wondered how that can be done when the database of PCA is not even complete. The information highway of PCA is wanting. To begin with, it has no automation. I hope we can still reinstall the database and retrieve some records. We’ll see what we can do.
But as I begin my work, more problems are cropping up. There is already the objection to my appointment as PCA administrator because of a pending plunder case filed before the Ombudsman. Ha, ha, ha, ha!
* * * *
The ones who filed the plunder case against me were the parents of the alleged Dengvaxia victims. Persida (Poorsida or Porsiguida) Acosta and her friend Erwin Erfue…Erfe were partnering to destroy my and the reputation of Secretary Pingcoy Duque. The two will not succeed because I know their intention, and because they have no case against us.
And my favorite friend, Mr. Ping Lacson, who we were informed is aspiring to be a candidate for the presidency, is again attacking me. Never mind my brother because I know he can defend himself. He’s been attacking me for supposedly having called him “tanga”. Nah! I asked, “Si honorable senator ang mukhang nagtanga-tangahan?” Hindi ba nadawit siya as murder ni Bubby Dacer at ang driver nya na si Corbeto but was eventually cleared, but the Dacer-Corbeto case has never been solved to this date.
But when he was acquitted he should have been the first person to initiate an investigation of the case in the Senate so the real culprits will be unraveled. But he did not do it. Hindi ba mahilig siya sa mga maliliit na bagay pero yong malalaking bagay kung sino talaga ang pumatay kina Dacer at Corbeto ay dapat tinutuka? Sad to say, he missed the opportunity to be grander. Then he wants to run for President of the Philippines.
I’d like to quote then President Diosdado Macapagal who said of another candidate wanting to run for president: “How can you support a murderer, a cold-blooded murderer who killed another person.” In that election, the candidate referred to was able to fool the people.
The famous line in one of Lincoln’s speeches could apply: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
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Meanwhile, I am proposing to the President to tap some of our PNPA and PMA graduates to undergo on-the-job training at the Bureau of Customs. Since cadets are molded to be honest, trustworthy and loyal to the flag, they are the best guys to introduce reforms in the BOC.
I’m proposing this after I heard President Duterte will remove 100 BOC officials and employees more. He understood what I meant, tapping the PMA and PNPA graduates to man the different ports for a while. If they do good, and the BOC collections increase from say P2 billion to P6 billion, we should reward them or promote them to captains, instead of only lieutenants. I hope this is in order.
Of course, they are already receiving P37,000 monthly allowances as government scholars. Ano naman yong bibigyan sila ng bonus kung maganda naman ang ipapakita nila to increase collections in taxes and duties as BOC OJTs.
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