Filipino Catholics should not kid themselvesBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Filipino Catholics should not kid themselves that the next Pope will be their countryman in the person of Luis Cardinal Tagle.
The next Pope will most likely be an Italian as Italians dominated the papacy for 445 years before the election of Polish-born John Paul in 1978.
The election in 2005 of Pope Benedict, a German who resigned recently, was also a fluke like that of John Paul’s.
Italian cardinals outnumber their fellow cardinals from other countries and naturally will want an Italian to get back the throne.
Although only two Italian cardinals have been mentioned as candidates to the papacy—Angelo Scola and Gianfranco Ravasi—there are more Italians who are eyeing the position of the top honcho in the Catholic world.
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Filipino bishops and priests, who are more popish than the Pope, have been responsible for blocking the passage of a law on divorce.
The Philippines is the only country in the world that forbids a married couple to divorce each other even if they no longer love each other.
But the local Catholic Church allows an annulment which amounts to divorce. The only difference is the name.
If that’s not hypocrisy, I don’t know what is.
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Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon’s complaint that he was not informed that one of his subordinates was going to be arrested for extortion raises eyebrows.
Renato Palagan, field director of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) assigned at the Manila International Container Port (MICP), was arrested in a sting operation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Palagan allegedly demanded P40,000 from a licensed broker for the release of a certain shipment.
Biazon said he should have been told about the sting operation inside the customs zone.
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The customs chief said he would write a letter to NBI Director Caesar Nonnatus Rojas to complain about the sting operation.
“I support anticorruption operations and activities by government agencies, especially law enforcement units. In fact, I encourage the public to report and file complaints against erring BOC personnel,” said Biazon.
If the NBI had informed Biazon before setting the trap for Palagan, chances are he wouldn’t have been caught red-
Palagan works in an office directly under Biazon.
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In effect, Biazon is saying that if there is a complaint against a corrupt subordinate he should make the arrest.
But since when have customs authorities set a trap for corrupt officials or employees that led to their apprehension?
What’s wrong with other law enforcement agencies—like the NBI and Philippine National Police (PNP)—apprehending extortionists inside the customs zone?
If Biazon and his customs police are having a hard time arresting corrupt customs personnel, shouldn’t they welcome help from the NBI and the PNP?
If the customs chief insists that he and he alone should arrest and punish his erring men, then he opens himself to accusations that he’s condoning their corrupt ways.
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By the way, a customs source says that the mother of a customs official has been seen talking to importers and brokers who are reportedly engaged in technical smuggling.
What’s her business talking to these people?
Unless, of course, she’s doing it for her son.
More from this Column:
- How easily voters forget
- Dead man biggest winner
- My fearless forecasts
- Jojo Binay’s juvenile tantrum
- Our twisted system of justice