Christmas greetings!

>> Saturday, December 24, 2016


As the Yuletide Season starts, most of us are looking for signs this Christmas -- something that could calm our fears about what lies ahead, given the unsure situation the country is facing today.
We have seen the signs—thousands losing their homes, their jobs, shoppers cutting down their Christmas lists and people who just see the holiday season as a bleak one. Yes, probably at one point or another, a lot have asked if Christmas still exists.
But we would like to remain optimistic. It’s a reality we all have to face – times may be hard, but Christmas and its spirit of love, faith and hope will always endure, not only during the season, but the whole year round.
So as we look for answers, and as we try to search for Christmas and its true meaning in these troubled times, we must be reminded that our focus should not be on what we don’t have today. Christ was born in a manger, with hardly any possessions. And yet His birth is a symbol of hope for all Christians.
Christmas is also about sharing more than material things. It is embracing its true meaning, and knowing that it should always be in our hearts.
We wish all our readers a blessed Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. May this season be filled with love for one another, faith that we will be able to endure these trying times and hope that the next year will hold a better life for all of us.

Squealing for drug money 

The government’s “war” against illegal drugs may have spawned a breed of bounty hunters, including lawmen, who look for people involved in such activities and have them arrested (or even killed) for hefty sums of money. 
Thirteen civilian informants received over P7 million from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Monday as reward for providing information leading to recovery of over P1 billion worth of illegal drugs in separate incidents across the country this year.
PDEA’s Operation Private Eye rewards committee composed of members from the academe, non-government organizations, law enforcement, religious and the business sector approved a resolution granting the reward money to informants.
A PDEA report said a man identified only as Kalbo received P2 million for the seizure of 180,903.10 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu from an abandoned house in Barangay Culao, Claveria, Cagayan on June 3. 
Law enforcers reportedly found 180 ziplocked pouches, each containing a kilo of shabu with an estimated street value of P5 million per kilo.
A certain Master received P2 million for providing information that led to the seizure of 310.84 kilos of shabu and the arrest of two drug suspects during a raid in Las Piñas City on July 5.
A reward of P500,000 was given to Boy for the discovery of a shabu laboratory and arrest of seven drug suspects during  a raid on Purok 5, Barangay San Ildefonso in Magalang, Pampanga on Sept. 7. 
A certain June got P884,202.32  for the seizure of 11.695 kilos of shabu and the arrest of three drug suspects during a sting along the Sta. Maria bypass road in Sta. Maria, Bulacan on May 15.
Another informant identified only as Agi got P565,400 for the dismantling of a shabu laboratory, arrest of two suspected drug personalities as well as seizure of 842 pieces of Ecstasy tablets in Mandaluyong City on Aug. 25.
The other informants got a total of P1.15 million for the recovery of illegal drugs during raids in Cagayan de Oro, Muntinlupa, Mandaluyong, Parañaque and Manila in April, May, June and September.
Somehow, those in illegal drugs may now be discouraged from doing their illicit acts as their neighbors could squeal on them just to get reward money. What is disconcerting is the reported acts of lawmen who conduct operations and arrest people by “planting evidence” evidence on them and later asking their civilian accomplices to claim that they were the ones who tipped the lawmen.
In the end, these unscrupulous lawmen get most of the bounty while giving a measly amount to the so-called tipster. Investigations should be done to verify if these reports are true or not. But what if these unscrupulous lawmen are the ones investigating themselves? In this Banana Republic, anything is possible.       


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