Gordon’s knot


Jullie Y. Daza

That was lotsa fun watching and listening to Senator Dick “Red Cross” Gordon blow his top and challenging the guys on top of the red tape parade at LTO to resign! The only letdown was not being able to imagine the response.

Resign? Remember PhilHealth, Dick? You might as well try to cut the Gordian Knot. Only guys like contact tracing chief Mayor Benjamin Magalong of Baguio City know the meaning of the word. With LTO, it’s been three years since as Blue Ribbon chairman you heard them swear under oath that everything was being done to release millions of motorcycle plates to their owners.

From 2010 to the day the promise was aired in public and the last time another riding-in-tandem assassination was reported, there have been 9,000 fatalities, according to Senator Gordon. In January 2021 alone, 20 judges, prosecutors, and lawyers were killed in what looked like “public executions,” he said. As a crime committed on two wheels by two men, “riding in tandem” has become an English-language phrase used and understood by the least educated man-on-the-street.

On Jan. 28, the senator expressed “alarm” over the callousness of LTO and the inability of  policemen to make a single arrest. On Feb. 5, he was so disgusted at LTO he echoed “a famous man’s” P word (in Tagalog). Not that losing his temper and finding the appropriate bad words will give us 13 million motorcycle plates that are still stuck between delusion and production. Four factories are supposed to be making them -- are they making them disappear before they appear?

Long before the anti-terrorism bill became law, in-tandem predators were as good as urban terrorists who could not be identified (impossible, with their helmets on and now, they’re wearing masks also!). Their plates were unreadable, smeared with mud, or stolen property. They hit their targets with no one to provide a clue as to motive, identity, and guess why they’re allowed to get away with murder, like ghosts. They kill, snatch bags, laptops. No arrests? Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar is peeved.

How hard is it to produce a plate? Taken as a whole, the value of 13 million plates sleeping in a bank vault is a lot of squash.