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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Malilong: Chinese, Russian drug mules

TWO Chinese and a Russian were caught carrying some 27 kilos of cocaine at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last Wednesday. They must have heard that we are now turning to China and Russia for trade and other relations.

All three denied knowing that they were bringing in banned substance, claiming that they were merely accommodating friends who asked them to carry their bags without telling them what these bags contained. As my Tagalog friend is wont to say, kumita na sa takilya yan.

Seriously now, the lack of knowledge (that they’re carrying drugs) is indeed a standard drug mules’ defense. The excuse did not work for our compatriots who were caught in China, convicted for violation of the country’s strict drug laws and subsequently executed. It did not work either for Mary Jane Veloso, who was caught in Indonesia, meted the death penalty and is awaiting execution.

It should not work for the three and for all other foreigners who bring drugs into the country. If only we had the death penalty.

Which reminds me, whatever happened to the cases of the Nigerian and the Chinese women who were arrested on separate occasions at the Mactan International Airport while trying to smuggle shabu into the country? The last time I read about the Nigerian’s case, she was arraigned in court. By this time, her trial should have already been terminated.

In the case of the Chinese, I was out of the country when she was caught and learned about the incident only when I read our Sun.Star online edition. Unfortunately, that was the last thing I’ve read about her case. I hope that she he has not been allowed to go home, meaning, deported.

Look, a number of Filipinos have died and are dying in the government’s war against drugs. I am not saying that offending aliens should be killed under the same circumstances but it would be a travesty if we go easier on them that we do our own compatriots. If they’re convicted, let them rot in jail.

***

Former Badian mayor Felino “Boy” Lucero went to the Cebu office of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) yesterday but was refused entry because what he was wearing did not satisfy the GSIS dress code. So he went home and changed clothes and footwear. No problem for him because he lives in the city and has no health issues other than those associated with being a senior citizen.

But Boy, a doctor, worries about other people who transact business with the GSIS especially senior citizens and those who come from the province. Aside from strictly enforcing a dress code, the agency has also removed the senior citizens’ lane, which is strange because the GSIS deals mostly with retirees.

Like Boy, I agree that it would be a beautiful sight to see only people who are spick and span in an office. But the GSIS should have also considered that with retirees as majority clients, they are likely to deal with people with swollen feet, for example. Wouldn’t it be unchristian to require them to wear shoes under this circumstance?

Moreover, the GSIS is a public office. Its reason for being is public service. Aesthetics should only be secondary.

***

Dear Globe Telecom: What happened to your service? People who call my mobile phone have to dial my number at least twice before they could get through. And usually, the conversation is garbled. I thought that the problem was with my unit so I replaced it but the service is the same.

Please do something, Globe. Please.

(frankotherside@gmail.com)
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