BELOW THE LINE
By AMBASSADOR JOSÉ ABETO ZAIDE
Two major shipments of shabu recently managed to slip into the country. The first, about 500 kilograms (worth between P2 and P4 billion), was seized in Manila by Bureau of Customs officers on August 7. The drugs were discovered wrapped in foil and concealed in two magnetic scrap lifters. Magnetic scrap lifters were later discovered at a Cavite warehouse containing over one ton of shabu (worth more than P11 billion). The South China Morning Post reported that shabu is manufactured in China and smuggled into the Philippines by international criminal syndicates via transshipment points in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
KEEP ON KNOCKIN’ BUT CAN’T COME IN. Taiwan applied to attend as an observer in 2016 the 85th Interpol General Assembly and for Taipei to host in 2017 an Interpol major event support team (IMEST). But Interpol rejected both applications, citing the 1984 resolution it adopted when China attained membership and suggested that Taiwan contact the National Central Bureau in China.
With transnational crime on the rise, the world’s law enforcement agencies must join hands to fight the scourge, close gaps in the global security network, establish links and efficient cooperation, and cast the widest net for mutual assistance among all police authorities and create a safer world.
Taiwan authorities remain outsiders looking in. The delay in the exchange of critical information is a major gap in the global security and counter-terrorism network. Without timely access to key intelligence shared via the I-24/7 global police communications system and database concerning stolen and lost travel documents, our neighboring island is of out of sync implementing security checks.
Politics has excluded Taiwan from Interpol for 34 years, to the advantage of transnational criminals. The situation reminds us of a skinflint who gave his kid a dollar to skip supper, stole it while the kid slept, then scolded him next morning for losing it.
FOOTWORK AND THINKING ON HIS FEET. Last Monday, 5 November, Senator Manny Pacquiao addressed the Oxford Union, the debating club of Oxford, England. No Pinoy before had been invited to speak at the Oxford Union, which has an arm’s length long list of distinguished speakers, including Salman Rushdie, the Dalai Lama, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May, Mother Teresa, Richard Nixon , Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, Marine Le Pen, Albert Einstein, Orson Welles, Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, Diego Maradona, Burt Bacharach, John le Carré, Robert Kennedy, etc.
Pacquiao addressed the Cambridge Union the next day, 6 November.
Muhammad Ali blazed the trail as a boxer “who thinks on his feet” when he was commencement speaker at the 1975 Harvard graduating class. But Manny has a bigger challenge to use the King’s English at Oxford and Cambridge. He quit formal education and tried his luck in boxing. He went through the “School of Hard Knocks” before finishing high school in 2007 through the DepEd’s Alternative Learning System.
I can neither confirm nor deny that UP, the Ateneo, and De La Salle are tripping over each other to invite Senator Pacquiao to be guest speaker at their 2019 commencement exercise.
IMAGE-BULDING FLATFOOTS. Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel rejected as “unfair” the Philippine National Police (PNP) argument against hiring more female officers. The congressman wants to double the roster of female police officers (from 10% to 20% of the force); but PNP resists because female officers may go on a 105-day maternity leave.
Too much cost, even if good looking female officers lighten and brighten traffic woes?
POST HALLOWEEN HEAD TURNER. Maya Rodriguez Hwang, a two-year-old toddler from South Bay homes in Paranaque, is an international celebrity. Her headless torso costume – a mannequin holding a head (of the real walking and trick-or-treating Maya) – had over 22 million hits (and still counting) from four corners of the world. Proud mother Krystel Rodriguez Hwang stitched together the prize-winning costume which spooked this year’s South Bay residents.
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