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Babe in the woods

/ 02:11 AM January 09, 2014

Let’s set aside for a while the issue of overpricing in the construction of bunkhouses for the victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

Let’s talk about the calamity victims being made to live in subhuman conditions.

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Just because the Yolanda victims are poor, does it mean they should live in an area as big as a pig pen?

Imagine an average Filipino family of five occupying an 8.64-square meter space which is not even enough for one person.

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There is no privacy in a bunkhouse unit which is separated from another unit by ¼ inch plywood walls.

Couples indulging in intimate acts in one unit can be heard in the other unit.

The common toilet and bathroom could drive the male occupants of the bunkhouses into becoming Peeping Toms and, eventually, rapists because of exposure or easy access to temptations of the flesh.

And during summer, which is two months away, the place turns into a virtual oven as the roofs are galvanized iron sheets.

Did Public Works Secretary Rogelio “Babes” Singson take all these factors into consideration?

No wonder Singson has been given the moniker “Babe(s) in the woods” by his critics, in reference to a person who is innocent or clueless.

His subordinates at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are running circles around him.

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* *  *

It’s impossible for Customs Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla not to know the real identity of David Tan, allegedly the biggest rice smuggler in the country today.

David Tan is apparently not his real name as there are several persons in the Bureau of Customs’ list of smugglers with the same alias.

Sevilla said the customs bureau lacks information about Tan.

What’s the office of Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Jessie Dellosa doing about it?

The job of military intelligence, needless to say, is to know the identity of an enemy, his movement and his allies.

The job of customs intelligence is to identify smugglers and the goods they illegally bring into the country.

It’s Dellosa’s job as customs intelligence chief to inform Commissioner Sevilla about everything that’s happening in all the country’s ports when it comes to collecting duties on goods coming in.

It seems Dellosa, former Armed Forces chief of staff, is not up to his new job.

* * *

My Malacañang source said President Noy regrets having appointed a customs official to replace one of the officials who was reassigned to the Department of Finance, the customs bureau’s mother department.

P-Noy thought the customs official was honest, and pulled him out of his do-nothing job.

“It turned out the official became corrupt in his first few days in office. His subordinates were accepting bribes from smugglers left and right,” said the Palace source.

The payoffs by smugglers to the customs official’s subordinates took place in classy restaurants and hotel lobbies and even—of all places—inside the Antipolo Church!

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TAGS: Bunkhouses, Bureau of Customs, corrupt government officials, Customs Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla, David Tan, dpwh, Graft and Corruption, Jessie Dellosa, rice smuggler, Rogelio Singson, Supertyphoon Yolanda, Yolanda aid
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