Fencing lessons-A A +A
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
LAST Tuesday last a wanted housebreaker was shot and killed in a shootout with the police. The next day on the evening news we were shown the body sprawled on the concrete of a subdivision road. The guy was dressed in a tatty T-shirt and pants, a home-made revolver lay next to his hand. A later raid on his lodgings turned up a haul of stolen goods and pawnshop chits, the camera panning over an impressive collection of watches and jewelery - P200,000 worth - and pawnshop receipts of, we're told, nearly P800,000.
That took me back. Getting on for a million's-worth of pawn tickets, the proceeds of previous thievery and all presumably the same sort of bling we were shown on TV - expensive watches and ladies jewellery. The pawn tickets were from big-name downtown concerns and I wondered -- how on earth does a guy who dresses like a tramp manage to pawn P800, 000-worth of baubles obviously beyond his means? Don't pawnshops ask questions? Repeated offerings of expensive watches, fancy ear-rings, golden bracelets? It seems that you could turn up with a bagful of Imelda's choicest trinkets and no-one would turn a hair.
Isn't it about time that some sort of eye was cast over pawnshops? Oblige them to report on material obviously beyond the means of the pawner or if he turns up week after week with handfuls of watches? Or oblige pawnshops to turn over CCTV footage of unsavoury characters pawning expensive stuff - not after the guy's dead and sprawled in the road but automatically, the same day as the transaction? If the swag wasn't so easy to get rid of then maybe there's be less thievery going
on in the subdivisions.
Scream of the week was a headline on Wednesday - 'Liquor ban is SP's landmark ordinance. '
Let me remind you. Davao's previous licensing law 'prohibited the serving and selling of liquor and drinking of intoxicating drinks along city streets, parking areas and uninhabited places from 2 a.m. to
8 a.m. ' The new amended and 'landmark' ordinance changes those numbers to 'from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. ' That's 60 whole minutes which leaves drinkers only 17 hours instead of 18 to sink a skinful. Pretty 'landmark' eh? I'd call it whatever the opposite to landmark is. Weak-kneed? Pathetic? Laughable?
If our honourables had really clamped down and changed that 2 a.m. to 11 p.m. then we'd talk landmark. But 60 minutes? Makes you wonder about the other 33 ordinances passed in this council's first 100 days, don't it?
Moving on and I was vastly amused last week by the idea of Philpost - the Philippine Postal Office - organising a National Letter Writing Day. 'Hundreds of students' were expected to attend but I'll wager they weren't told that a letter posted at Davao's central post office takes five or six weeks to reach a destination of, say, Matina or Buhangin which are all of -- gosh -- five kilometers from the central post office.
Proof? Davao's post office makes the great mistake of rubber stamping letters when they arrive at Davao - the one in front of me now was checked in at the post office on August 27, delivered Buhangin October 11 and that's not unusual. The post office seems to save up mail until there's a bundle of five or six. A shortage of postmen? Gas allowance used up by the brass attending seminars and awards giving? National Writing Day aims to 'develop the writing skills of students and strengthen their passion for letter writing' but guys, don't hold your breath waiting on delivery.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 15, 2013.