Wednesday, 25 February 2015 13:24
(BY: REV. BERLIE G. YAP) Close to 3.4 thousand tons of smuggled rice, 1 ship and three boats—as the carriers, and a number of arsenals inside the vessels were apprehended by the authorities in the waters of the Sulu Sea two days ago. The said busted stuffs, particularly, the tons of smuggled rice were turned-over yesterday, February 24, at the Bureau of Customs.
It really was such a big loss to the smugglers, because the costs of the grains could reach close to P2 million. However, the authorities must do it! Remember, smuggling is prohibited by law. It must be busted, and must be busted now. In fairness, such good job needs not be snubbed by the media for a good reportage.
But our wish though, particularly by Barangay eMedia, that such efforts won’t just be seasonal or only for yesterday but something which will already be consistent for the greater good of the Republic. Why not only for yesterday? Well, ain’t that obvious Sen. Cynthia Villar was in town, to lead the senate inquiry of the alleged rice smuggling in our City wharfs.
Pogi points can kill a real stand for reforms in our bureaucracy. Barangay eMedia hopes against hope that it wasn’t so, and by giving our officials the benefit of the doubt, the apprehension and the coming of Sen. Villar were only a coincidence. Though, it is always probable that all kinds of smuggling ply every day in the waters of the Sulu Sea and as well dock in our different wharfs in the City.
How about showing more apprehensions, as a manifestation of good faith, now and in the coming days? If our authorities can do it, the entire City, and the country even, can be convinced 100% to the authorities’ sincerity! But again, the turn-over of the busted smuggled rice yesterday is too much to be denied as a “job well done” by our public officials. Sirs! Just keep it up!
Sen. Cynthia Villar has already been to Zamboanga for several times. Nonetheless, her official visit yesterday was in response to the request of the City Council to the Senate to conduct its own investigation, in aid of legislation, of the alleged rice smuggling. But it was a little embarrassing though that a number of our councilors showed up late!
Sen. Villar arrived in a morning commercial flight. She might have slept very short, the night prior, only to be able to catch her dawn flight to Zamboanga. Then, when she sat at the inquiry right on time, those who invited her were not yet there. But, we also must praise those local legislators who as well went to the session quite earlier. They made us also proud, at least.
Included in the round of table were our two solons—Cong. Celso and Cong. Lilia, Mayor Beng, and Vice-Mayor Iturralde. With all the headaches our country is facing today, the Zamboangueño people are thankful to our leaders that they indeed could still give time to address one of our City’s problems.
Yet, the real score is, if not the total stop, the reduction at least of the entry of smuggled goods in Zamboanga. The other face of this criminality is the direct effect to our country’s economy. Instead of patronizing our own products, we buy in unbelievable bulks of goods to Malaysia. Hence, the latter’s economy is boosted, not ours.
Let’s talk a little bit on the day-to-day routine of the average Zamboangueños. Many of us buy the smuggled rice for our family’s staples, smuggled oil for our fries, of course the garlic, toothpaste, soap, and the endless etc. If smuggling can be totally prevented, which probably is impossible, by our authorities, what do think shall be the imbalances it definitely can create in our daily lives locally? It’s not what it seems!
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezek. 36:26, NIV)
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