Extortion and exaction?

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By Carlos Legaspi Jr.

Questions that Matter

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


“EXTORTION is a criminal offense of obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime groups. The actual obtainment of money or property is not required to commit the offense. Making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense.

Exaction refers not only to extortion or the unlawful demanding and obtaining of something through force,[1] but additionally, in its formal definition, means the infliction of something such as pain and suffering or making somebody endure something unpleasant.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extortion)

A very good friend of mine gave a very fearless evaluation of the PNoy administration. He said that this administration is an administration of extortion. This government is resorting to extortion. His comment immediately settled in the deep recesses of my sleeping mind. It was the best comment that I have heard after a good number of years that PNoy enjoyed the approval rating of his paid evaluators.

In fact, the one to be blamed for the extortion culture of our government offices is Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She started all this when she magically turned the savings of government offices to bonuses of her dobermans and crocodiles. It made the offices save more while the quality of services they render to the people became worse.

However, looking on the brighter side, this was to motivate the government men to work harder and better. Of course, those on top get the bigger part of the pie while much of the crumbles go to the least in the offices. What made this evil was that the amount given will be a percentage of the savings, so the more savings the higher the percentage (simple mathematics). Reports come in that the Gross National Product increased and the image of the country in the international community improved.

With this premise and practice, government offices have increased their savings and government had more money to spend for more basic services.

This was the principle of savings for government. In short, may kwarta na, everybody happy pa. PNoy did not destroy the practice but improved it more. In the past three years, he returned a percentage to the workers.

He told them to produce more and must be productive in their workplaces. He encouraged them to have more savings and less expenditure.

How could they have more? This is very simple. Collect and increase more taxes; government organizations should implement all monetary penalties; Activate task forces to run after people and establishments; do business with the private sector and NGOs, and let them spend for logistics; apply to its full extent the Private- Public Partnership Program (PPP); and increase everything.

This government will start and has even started to implement rules and laws that have been passed five to six decades ago. They will execute ordinances, decrees and other related juris just to get more from the Filipino people. The object of the oplan is not to improve basic services but this is to increase the savings of the coffers of the president. I hope the presidential funds will soon be uncovered and will be also the eye of the news. I do not believe that Napoles, her kind and her bosses, are only working in the legislative. She and her likes are also present in the executive branch of this government. By command responsibility, PNoy is also liable for what happened in the “PDAF scam.”

Before the Christmas season ended, many government offices were running after individuals and companies to pay their penalties and accounts with the offices concerned. They are running like wolves and foxes with “burned tails.” They are disguising under the title as “effective government offices in the “matuwid na daan” campaign of PNoy.

Actually, looking at them they are not doing it for the welfare of the nation but they are doing it for bonuses sake. Our government employees are just implementing what their bosses are telling them, although I know that some of them have also been enjoying the bonuses in the past.

The 2013 Christmas season was one where the government had slashed the benefits and bonuses of their employees while their bosses and administrators still continue to enjoy bigger and heftier benefits and bonuses. I hope that “matuwid na daan” is serious and not “matuwid na sandaan patungo sa bulsa ng mga politicians.”

Congratulations to NOPSSCEA athletes and contestants for bringing honor to Negros Occidental. Special mention to the basketball team of UNO-R for bringing the silver medal despite the protests and disqualifications. The UNO-R basketball team is really a champion.

St. Ezekiel Moreno; St. Pedro Calungsod; Blessed John Paul II; Monsignors John Liu and John Su; and Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 14, 2014.

Opinion

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