Atienza: Believe it or not


WHEN I hear some of the outlandish stories told to me about corruption and dishonesty, I sometimes do not know whether I should laugh or cry. Some are so bizarre it is almost funny--if only it were not so sad.

Here are some of those tales. It’s up to you to believe it or not.

Take the tale of the “surplus to requirements” dextrose at a government hospital. They had bags and bags of it. They even had extra trucks of it. So much so that they had to truck it to the mountain barangay of Guba, where they used it to water the flowers!

No wonder the flowers from the mountain barangays are so healthy. So fragrant and so sweet smelling. Dextrose must have had something to do with it.

You must also have heard numerous accounts of how dishonest restaurant personnel wrap frozen cuts of meat and fish in used plastic bags. They throw out the filled bags with the other garbage from the eatery only to pick them up later on their way home. These food pilferers can easily get a tidy sum from reselling foodstuff, especially if it happens to be US Prime Rib, New Zealand Leg of Lamb or Chilean Sea Bass.

But frozen meat is a walk in the park compared to the brand-new x-ray machine found in the garbage bin of a hospital some years ago. An investigation into the “x-rayed” garbage bin showed no sign of malignancy other than the evil intentions of the perpetrators who wanted to resell it.

This next one is not comical; except there was something funny in the proposed deal. A big order for government textbooks was up for grabs. All P35 million of it. “The P 35 million contract is very open,” Client E said to the book printer. “Give me a receipt for P70 million and the job is all yours.“ Funny, don’t you think?

Even at barangay health clinics, strange incidents can happen as well. Apparently, barangays have a budget for some types of maintenance medicines to be distributed to those in need. The acquisition of these medicines goes through the normal process of bidding and these are eventually purchased for distribution.

But the problem is that the needy were never made aware that they are entitled to free maintenance medicines. The more informed constituents ask, ”Where did all the requisitioned medicines for the needy constituents in the barangay go?”

The medicines keep disappearing year in and year out, while the barangay keeps doling out money to buy the medicines year in and year out. Where did the medicines go? Barangay health clinics must be very haunted indeed, considering how many medicines have ghosted the place!

My final tale is of a lady who went to the Land Registration Authority (LRA) somewhere in Metro Manila to obtain a true copy of the Torrens Certificate of Title (TCT) of a piece of land she owned. To her consternation, the clerk at the LRA brought out a copy of her title with an unexpected annotation giving full power of attorney to complete strangers allowing them to sell her property!!!

Freaked out, the lady explained she signed no such power of attorney. The clerk calmly went to the boss who rubbed Snowpake on the annotation and signed it off as a typo-error! She almost fainted when a friend later informed her that it was part of a modus operandi that led to two people holding the same title.

Believe it or not. It is your choice.


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