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Bato, a clown in the staid Senate

July 11, 2019


DESPITE the series of exposés in this column and on social media, the human trafficking syndicate at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has not stopped operating.

Although the departure of undocumented Filipino workers bound for foreign lands has been reduced to the barest minimum because of the exposé, the entry of Chinese nationals who pay their way in continues to this day.

Some 1,500 Chinese pass through NAIA daily holding tourist visas but who eventually end up working in the country as online casino employees and construction workers.

“Deep Throat,” the name I have given to an immigration officer at NAIA who is my mole, says each Chinese pays the syndicate a minimum of P2,000.

Altogether these Chinese “tourists” earn P3 million for the syndicate each day, or P90 million a month.

The biggest earnings of the human trafficking syndicate before came from undocumented Filipino women, who ended up as domestics or prostitutes abroad.

The “fee” for each undocumented Filipino worker leaving for abroad was $1,000, or P50,000.

Before the syndicate was exposed in this column and on my Facebook page in April, between 600 and 700 undocumented Filipino workers passed through immigration unchecked, earning the syndicate at least P30 million daily.

Most of the lieutenants of the syndicate, who are ranking immigration officers, have either been transferred to other ports or to the Bureau of Immigration headquarters in Intramuros, Manila.

However, some of them still call their former subordinates at the NAIA to ask that their Chinese “clients” be accommodated, for a fee of course.

The syndicate was formed during the time of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre who allegedly acted as its protector.

Deep Throat said the blueprint for the syndicate was drawn up at a resort owned by Aguirre in Mulanay, Quezon.

Every weekend in late 2017, Maynardo Mariñas, Aguirre’s alleged hatchet man at the Immigration bureau, would fly to Mulanay aboard a rented helicopter with his son, Marc Red, then the Immigration’s port operations division chief, and other immigration officers to confer with Aguirre on the mechanics of the syndicate, according to Deep Throat.

Deep Throat said that in order for Aguirre to have complete control of the Immigration bureau, he issued a Department of Justice memorandum order giving him the sole power to assign and reassign immigration personnel.

Deep Throat said that up to now Aguirre, even if he’s no longer Justice secretary, still receives “royalty” from the syndicate.

* * *

“Shit happens.”

Former Philippine National Police chief and now Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa was quoted as saying when he was asked about the death of a three-year-old girl who was felled by a policeman’s bullet during a “buy-bust” operation.

The girl was shot dead along with her father, Renato Dolorfina, who reportedly used her as a human shield after policemen tried to arrest him for pushing drugs.

Dela Rosa could have used more soothing words to sympathize with the child’s relatives.

He could have said, “It’s very unfortunate that the incident happened. Our policemen were just doing their job of maintaining order in our society.”

But the public should forgive dela Rosa because he is very inarticulate in English.

Coupled with his ineloquence is dela Rosa’s thick Cebuano accent that gives the impression to the untrained ear that he’s mad when you’re talking to him.

His four-year stint at the Philippine Military Academy did nothing to polish his provinciano or baduy style of expressing himself.

Therefore, when his American affectation of saying “shit happens” to refer to an unfortunate incident involving a hapless girl, he sounds like a clown.

However, being a clown is not an affectation for De la Rosa. He is what his fellow Cebuanos refer to as a payaso or clown.

You’ll see, he will become a clownish figure along with actor Lito Lapid in the staid Senate.

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