Issue of January 8, 2017
     
NEWS
Benguet
 
OPINION
 

66th Courier Anniversary Issue
 
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Traffic Officer SPO3 Alberto C. Tadeo was a "pain in the ass"

Many motorists of Baguio, and perhaps many more from out of town, must have encountered traffic officer, SPO3 Alberto C. Tadeo. He is a familiar sight, riding his motorcycle like a cowboy in his trademark knee-high boots,when he did his rounds checking on Baguio traffic. Many wayward drivers have met his ire and have been swiftly apprehended or reprimanded. He is a virtual and dreaded institution in Baguio’s busy streets.

But change has come. It is reported that Tadeo has been relieved from his Baguio duties and has been sent to Apayao. The transfer is not a promotion. It is a punishment.

It is said that he was transferred because he reminded (not apprehend) the driver of a high ranking regional police officer, that he had violated the city’s number coding scheme. This driver must be a special someone demanding special treatment not accorded to us ordinary Baguio mortals.

The truth is that to many drivers and motorists, Tadeo was a “pain in the ass.” That is because he did his duty without fear or favor, and without regard for rank or station. For him, if you violate a traffic rule, then you violate a traffic rule, no matter who you are. Some of my friends and even my daughters have fallen “victim” to his vigilance.

He was a “pain in the ass,” but he was not a “kotong cop.” He was a “pain in the ass” and would often times be an incovenience. At times, we “hated” him because we suffered from his dedication to duty. But that is what every police officer should be. He was strict but not pompous, spiteful nor arrogant.

He was a “pain in the ass” and how we wish many more officers would also be a “pain in the ass” like him. In the jungle that is Baguio’s traffic mess we need “pain in the asses” like him.

He was a “pain in the ass,” but he was our very own Baguio’s unique and exemplary “pain in the ass.” He should have been awarded a medal, not punished.

* * * * * * * * * *

In January 2016, then President Noy vetoed the proposed law granting a P2,000 increase in the monthly pension of Social Security System beneficiaries. He said that the proposal would compromise the stability of the SSS system, and would result in a deficit and reduce the reserved funds of the SSS to zero by the year 2029.

As it was then the campaign season, the Aquino veto came under political fire from the opposition. They said he was “heartless,” and due to the unfortunate timing may have cost many a lot of votes from the administration candidates.

Then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte quickly grabbed the issue and promised that if elected he would implement the pension increase within his first six months in office.

Many SSS member beneficiaries were eagerly awaiting the increase in time for the Christmas season. But Duterte now sings a different tune.

Pres. Duterte says: “I promised that it would come your way before the year ends. I’m very sorry, but that’s how it is. I do not own the money.”

Budget Secretary Ben Diokno has a nice way of explaining the situation. He says that “Candidate Duterte is different from President Duterte.” They are two different persons? Former solon Neri Colmenares, who was a principal author of the increase, now describes the economic managers of Duterte as “heartless.”

And this makes us wonder. How many other campaign promises of Candidate Duterte are we now suppose not to believe? Which are reliable and which are hyperbole or hyperbola?

* * * * * * * * * *

We will soon start the Chinese year of the Fire Rooster. Next February will also be unique because nothing like it will happen again in your lifetime.

This February, there will be four Sundays. There will also be four Mondays and four Tuesdays, four Wednesdays, four Thursdays, four Fridays and four Saturdays. This happens only once every 823 years. It is called money bags.

So let me greet all of you “Happy New Year of the Fire Rooster”! And if you will have extra money bags, please do not forget us. Aguray kami!

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