Monday, August 30, 2010

The mysterious caller and the deterioration of the hostage-taking negotiations

After pointing at the media as a cause of the agitation of Capt. Rolando Mendoza to shoot his hostages, fingers are now being pointed at the mysterious caller or callers of the hostage-taker. According to government officials, Mendoza's cellphone was busy that the negotiatiors could not anymore contact him after he fired his gun.

While it may be true that the mysterious caller is a cause, we can trace the original problem to the intelligence of the ground commander. Nung na-lowbat ang cellphone ni Mendoza, bakit di na lang siya binigyan ng cellphone na ang mga negosyador lang ang nakakaalam ng number? Tingin ni Tikboy, nagbibigay ng opening si Mendoza para sa resolution ng problema kasi kung gusto nga talaga niya mag-charge, puwede naman sa bus. Sabi nga ng mga nabuhay na biktima, wala namang plano si Mendoza na patayin sila (mga hostages). Kaso, masyado nga lang talagang matalino at matibay si Gen. Magtibay. Siyempre, dahil nagpatong-patong na ang problema tapos gutom pa, siyempre kukulo ang tiyan at iinit ang ulo.

Sabi nga ni Aling Toyang na labandera ni Mam Alice na asawa ng pulis, kumukulo ang tiyan niya pag gutom siya kasama na ang ulo at dugo. Kaya dapat daw, pinadalhan na lang ng pinadalhan ng masasarap na pagkain si Mendoza at ang mga hostages. Imposible naman daw gumastos ng P300 thousand sa pagkain lang kesa naman gumastos ng halos P3 million para sa mga kabaong. Kung hindi nagutom si Mendoza at ang mga hostages, baka nagkaroon pa ng maayos na ending at ang drama baka maging komedi pa. Sa sabihin ng mga taga-Hongkong, "Punta ako ng Pinas para magpa-hostage kasi masarap ang buhay-hostage dun. Busog." O di ba, dadami pa ang turista?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hostage-taker Mendoza and the HK racists: Is there a difference?

There are two touching and heart-warming incidents arising from the Manila hostage crisis: The tweets of Jackie Chan on Twitter, and the note of Hong Kong tourist Yik Siu Ling, a victim of the said hostage crisis.

But while Chan's and Yik's messages are products of intelligent thinking and open-mindedness, the case is otherwise with Hong Kong racists who detest Filipinos for the act of one man in the hostage-taking disaster last Monday, or mocks the Filipinos for being domestic helpers because of some 200 thousand workers in the former British colony. Or it could be that these racists are not aware that there is almost no difference between them and hostage takers? So it appears. Let us count the similarities:

  1. Racists and hostage-takers are both morons. To drive a point, they usually commit the fallacy of hasty generalization. They would easily think that the act of one is the act of all. Manila hostage taker Rolando Mendoza, for instance, thought that if he kills his hostages, he can get even with those he thinks have wronged him. Similarly, Hong Kong racists think that since Mendoza is a Filipino, and that he is a hostage taker, then Filipinos are all hostage takers. If that is the case, can we say that Lucio Tan, the Gokongweis and other Chinese-blooded Filipino citizens are also hostage takers? Or shall we say that since copyright piracy is frequent in China and that Hongkong is in China, we shall charge all Hong Kong nationals for violations of copyright laws?
  2. Racists and hostage-takers are short-sighted. They only look at the present and do not consider the implications of their actions. Hostage-taker Mendoza died. If there will be no domestic helpers in Hongkong, will the life of its citizens be convenient also? Well, we can excuse this short-sightedness. Racists and hostage-takers are both morons anyway. 
  3. Aside from intellectual (and/or logic) deficiency, they both suffer from psychological problems. If their fellows -- that is, the radical perfectionists and the puritan cults -- are to be consulted, these flukes of the civilized world (hostage-takers and racists) will be recommended for extermination. But of course, doing so is another act of barbaric act. 
  4. Racists and hostage-takers use other people to advance their cause. Hostage-taker Mendoza, for instance, used a bus-load of people to air his grievance while Hong Kong racists tried to trample on the dignity and even rights of the Filipinos just to show that they are a more superior race. 
  5. Racists and hostage-takers are both barbaric and uncivillized. They both think that they still live in the primitive era. They forgot that the world has changed and that there are rules to deal with everything.
  6. To some extent, they both use violence. Hostage-taker Mendoza's actions describes this best. On the part of the racists, these include the reports of house-help beating to the point of killing as what happened to the Jews during Hitler's era.
So, what is the difference between hostage-takers and racists? It's only the name, my friend.

Jinggoy on HK wrath: No big deal

At around 5 PM Thursday, Senator Jinggoy Estrada suffered China's wrath when his regular passport was thrown at him after it had been marked by a Hong Kong immigration officer. Jinggoy said the passport-throwing incident could have been triggered by the Manila hostage taking crisis last August 23 that killed eight Hong Kong nationals.

In a phone interview, however, the senator claimed that, “It was no big deal. I understand them.” The Inquirer added that Jinggoy also "opted not to make an issue out of the incident, acknowledging that the Chinese were still angered over the 11-hour hostage drama that had apparently exposed police inefficiency."

Tama naman si Jinggoy sa puntong huwag nang manggatong at huwag nang palakihin ang issue... pero teka. Di ba ang pagbabalita sa nangyari, lalo na sa media, ay pagpapalaki ng isyu? Ano ba talaga, Senator: Papalakihin ang isyu o hindi? Bakit niyo ibinalita? O baka na major major mistake din kayo sa di niyo alam na sinasabi ninyo?


Friday, August 27, 2010

Dirty Harry called the shots

According to Inquirer:

It was “Dirty Harry” who called the shots in Monday’s bungled hostage drama that left eight Chinese tourists dead, their captor riddled with bullets and the Philippine image overseas severely tarnished.

Chief Supt. Rodolfo Magtibay, who has been relieved as head of the Manila Police District, said Thursday during a nationally televised Senate hearing that Mayor Alfredo Lim led the crisis committee that handled Monday’s standoff.

Kaya pala mukhang wild, wild west ang resulta. If this is true, will he take responsibility? Kasama rin kaya siya sa sinasabi ni Pnoy na: May mananagot?


Thursday, August 26, 2010

The twist of fate, Noynoy Aquino and Gloria Arroyo

 The twist of fate is such an interesting subject matter.

A few years ago, it is the administration of Gloria Arroyo that is being battered by a hostage crisis in a bus. That was the 2007 Manila hostage drama perpetrated by Jun Ducat. Now, it is the administration of Noynoy Aquino with the hostage crisis perpetrated by Capt. Rolando Mendoza. But because the handling of the crisis failed, some supporters of Arroyo are taunting Noynoy Aquino and his supporters.

A few months ago and earlier, it is Noynoy Aquino and his group that throw stones at Gloria Arroyo. Now, and with the disaster in the Manila hostage crisis, it is Arroyo and her group that is throwing stones at Aquino. This time, it is the supporters of Aquino taunting Arroyo and her supporters. Ang sagot ng mga kasalukuyang nakaupo sa palasyo through Secretary Herminio Coloma, "We just inherited the state of the Philippine National Police ...The previous administration should also answer for what they did [for the police]. Did they provide enough funds for the modernization of the PNP or did it waste funds for cases like the euro-generals and other corruption cases?''

Earlier, it is Gloria Arroyo who is giving the blessing for the release of pork barrels. She excludes, however, the release of the pork barrel for her critics including Noynoy Aquino. Now, it's the latter's turn. Whether he will bless the release of pork for his critics, only time can tell. But one clear fact is that Arroyo will also be expecting for her share.

Earlier, Gloria Arroyo is being hurled with accusations of benefiting from kickbacks from government projects. These are still unsubstantiated though one can see an increase of her assets from the time she occupied the presidential seat in 2001 to the last time she filed her statement of assets and liabilities. Now, she will be forced to wait on her congressional pork barrel -- barya lang kumpara sa kanyag pork barrel noong siya'y presidente pa.

But the most interesting is whether or not Gloria Arroyo will take her congressional pork. Sabi ni Speaker Sonny Belmonte, bibigyan din daw si Gloria. But wouldn't it be demeaning kung kukunin niya ang pork barrel na hindi niya ibinigay sa mga kritiko niya while she was Gloria in the Palace.

Tikboy's bet: Kukunin niya. Well, she got the guts and the face and took all the humility to run for a lower post despite the fact that she is the highest official of the country. Besides, sabi nga sa Bibliya, "even the dogs under the table feed on the children's crumbs".

Lagman to PNoy: Ask Robredo ,others to resign or get axed

This morning at the GMA-7's Unang Hirit program, Albay Congressman Edcel Lagman calls on President Noynoy Aquino to axe DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo and other top ranking officials if they will not resign for the fiasco committed during the Manila Hostage Crisis staged by Capt. Rolando Mendoza.

Sabi ni Lagman, si Frisco Nilo nga sinibak sa kapalpakan sa PAG-ASA, bakit hindi rin sibakin sa puwesto si Robredo at iba pang mataas na opisyal sa PNP? Dagdag ni Lagman, andun naman si Robredo sa lugar kung saan nangyayari ang hostage-taking, bakit di niya pinigilan ang live video feed nang pag-aresto sa kapatid ni Mendoza. Kaya dapat sa kanya, mag-resign din.

Pero dapat nga bang mag-resign si Robredo? Si J.A. Carizo ng Biklish ay may sinulat na sagot at ito ay mga sumusunod:

But while Lagman is right that heads should fall, maybe we should also look into the extent of control of those he wished to resign or get axed. If we do not establish standards, then maybe we can include the members of the Congress especially the senior members like him for failure to pass the necessary budget for the gears and training of the members of the police force.

We should also impeach the Ombudsman for its pace on acting resolutions is one of the complaints of the hostage-taker. The impeachment is not anymore in the realm of the executive but on the legislative department and that means the Congress where he, Lagman, is a member.

We should also remove the members of the Congress, including him, as they failed to strictly ensure that laws with appropriate remedies are available to those who feel wronged like Mendoza. Add to this the lack of appropriate laws on social services like education as had been the subject of the 2007 Manila Hostage Drama perpetrated by Jun Ducat.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Common Sense, not Live Video, is mistake No. 1

Assistant Professor John Harrison, a homeland security analyst at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said that the Manila hostage crisis resulted into a tragedy because of the live video feed from media networks which was monitored by hostage-taker, Capt. Rolando Mendoza. “The fact that there was essentially live video was mistake No. 1,” Harrison said.

Frederic Gallois, former head of France's elite hostage rescue unit, the Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, also noted that the tragedy resulted from the lack of “adequate equipment and tactical competence".

Tikboy begs to disagree. While these variables (or the lack of it) are present during the hostage drama, the No. 1 factor that triggered the tragedy is the lack of common sense of the ground commander, Gen. Rodolfo Magtibay, and the members of the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics now reduced to Sorry Wala Akong Training) who headed the assault. If they did, or at least exercised their mental faculties, they would have first requested for the blueprint or the diagram containing the specs of the bus while the negotiation was on-going, determined the possible entry points, the ways to access these entry points, and the possible equipments needed. If they also exercised their logic, they would have cut the video feed to isolate the hostage-taker from having an access to information, implemented strict crowd control thereby eradicating the chances of stray bullets hitting a kibitzer, or simply computed the cost-benefit-analysis of the situation. The hostage-taker couldn't have also seen the arrest of his brother, he wouldn't have been agitated, and deaths could have been minimized.

But of course, everything is not negative for the Philippine National Police. If they have one trait that Filipinos should be proud of, it is their bravery. Despite the lack of training, and despite the fact that they do not live up to the name of their unit, they still dare to follow the lack of common sense orders of their commanding officers.

Jackie Chan and the Manila Hostage Crisis

The Philippines is now back in the limelight. This is courtesy of the Manila hostage drama and the "major major mistake" of Maria Venus Raj which are the top searches in the Internet.

To further increase the intensity of the Philippines popularity and/or infamy, action superstar Jackie Chan issued on twitter a statement on the disaster created by Capt. Rolando Mendoza in the Quirino Grandstand hostage-taking. According to the superstar, "I come back to hk & I hear terrible news about what happened in filippines (sic)."

Magsaya na lang tayo at kahit si Jackie Chan ay nakakaintindi. He added, "
this kind of things always happen around the world. It happened to hk's people, the whole hk is talking about it. Its really sad. HK is a nation built by a lot of different people..don't worry! We do not hate!"

Pero sana para di na magkaroon pa ng hatred at wala ng sumunod pang hostage taking, gumalaw naman sana nang maayos at mabilis ang hustisya. If a police could complain on the turtle-paced justice system, lalo na siguro ang mga ordinaryong tao.

The media, the major-major mistake, and the minor-minor detail

After the "Major Major" answer of Miss Philippines Maria Venus Raj in the Miss Universe beauty pageant held yesterday, the Philippine National Police also had their reply to the disaster on the Manila Hostage crisis last Monday. Their response: They may have committed mistakes but the media overdid their live reporting of the situation.

Seeing his brother arrested live in television, hostage-taker Rolando Mendoza was outraged leading him to kill some of his hostages. As the survivor, Mrs. Leung, said: [The gunman] did not want to kill us. He only shot us after the negotiation failed.

Neophyte Congressman Gabriel Luis Quisumbing of Cebu shared the sentiments of the PNP to the point that he filed House Bill No. 2737 stating that “media coverage should be contained as not to hinder or obstruct efforts to resolve the situation.” Situations, according to him, may include hostage taking, bomb threats, coup d’ etat, and kidnapping.

Pero teka. Wala namang ico-cover ang media kung wala namang news. Kung hindi naman ganun ang klase ng pag-aresto sa kapatid ng hostage-taker, di naman siguro yung maco-cover.

Ikalawa, tama naman si Mrs. Leung. The police should not have waited so long before taking action. So the police themselves are the ones making news.

Ikatlo, palpak naman talaga ang hostage-taking handling. Ni hindi nga inalam ng mga pulis ano ang features ng tourist bus, kung may TV ba, saan ang mga exit at entry points, at ang pinaka-"major major" sa lahat, ni hindi nga humingi ang pulis sa may-ari ng bus o kaya sa manufacturer ano ang specs nito. So kung ang mga pulis na "expert" hindi nga alam ang mga ganitong simpleng detalye, why would they expect the media to be knowledgeable sa ganitong aspeto?

The PNP, including Quisumbing, expect the media to be responsible. Tama naman yun. Pero paano naman magiging responsible kung wala ngang sinabi ang mga pulis na "Hoy! Bawal yan. Nakikita tayo sa loob ni Mendoza dahil sa live broadcast niyo at nako-compromise ang mga ginagawa natin."? At paano naman sila makakapagsabi ng ganun kung hindi nga nila kino-konsidera ang mga simpleng detalye like pag-alam kung me TV nga sa loob ng bus? And, lastly, paano naman sila makakapagsabi eh hindi nga nila alam paano ang tamang proseso sa "pag-imbita" sa kapatid ng hostage-taker?

Ang sabi ni Mohammad na kaibigan ni Banoy, ang mabuti pa ay panoorin na lang ng mga pulis at media ang pelikulang "Newsmakers". Ito ang kuwento ng live broadcast ng hostage-taking sa Russia. Baka sakaling may matutunan na sila, kumita pa. Ayusin lang nila ng konti ang sistema hindi tulad ng original na inisip ni Katya (Mariya Mashcova), ang female lead sa pelikula. Marami daw na kopya niyan sa Quipo.


Ang lessons dito:

  1. Wala po sanang ping-pongan sa mga kasalanan. Kung mali, mali. Kung" big mistake", big mistake dapat at hindi "major, major problem". Period.
  2. Sometimes, ang "major, major mistake" ay resulta ng hindi pag-pansin sa "minor, minor problem". Sabi nga ni Rolando Mendoza na nakapaskil sa bus: Big Mistake to Correct Big Wrong Decision.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

From Captain to "Major Major"

The Manila hostage crisis that Captain Rolando Mendoza created is the first disaster that the P-Noy Aquino Administration encountered. But there is also a consolation. From the "captain-created disaster" comes the "major major glory and pride" to the Philippines -- the winning of Ms. Philippines Maria Venus Raj in the 2010 Miss Universe Pageant.

An interesting major major article is published by MyKiru Isyusero reproduced as follows:

Venus Raj "Major Major" answer in the Ms Universe 2010 Q&A Portion is trending on Twitter

Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner Up Maria Venus Raj has been trending for hours already on Twitter along with Miss Mexico Jimena Navarrete, the new Ms Universe titleholder.

But also trending is Venus Raj's "Major Major" answer during the Top 5 Q&A portion of the Miss Universe 2010 pageant.

"Major Major" has been trending there as some people making fun of Venus Raj's answer in the said pageant.

According to some, Venus made a major major mistake in answering the question: "What is one big mistake you've made and what did you do to make it right?" She could have been the Philippines' 3rd Miss Universe if she answered it right, they say.

Others suggest that Venus should have answered her mistake in not fixing the details on her birth certificate which brought major major problems to her.

Oh well, whatever they say, Venus Raj has definitely brought major major glory and pride to the Philippines 12 hours after the Manila hostage crisis that put the country into big shame.

It was just unfortunate that the 4 other ladies in Top 5 answered better but how do we know? 2 of them used translators and their answers sounded so good when translated.

And remember we were only hoping for a semifinal placement for Venus to end the 10-year drought of the Philippines in Miss Universe. Thus a 4th Runner Up honor is already a major major bonus. Let's just all be proud of her.

Link to the article, which copyrights are acknowledged to MyKiru, is found here.

So, let us be major major proud of Venus Raj. Her winning is a major major ad lib in this troubled times.


Manila Police: There are shortcomings in Manila hostage crisis handling

As expected, the Manila police defended the handling of yesterday's Manila hostage crisis. Inquirer reported that "Manila police commander Leocadio Santiago said his personnel had made the correct decision in allowing the stand-off to drag on for more than 10 hours before storming the bus on Monday."

Along with this, Santiago admitted "some obvious shortcomings in terms of capability and tactics used, or the procedure employed and we are now going to investigate this".

Pero nalimutan ni Santiago at ng ground commander na sa shortcomings, nakapusta ang buhay ng mga tao lalo na nang mga hostages. With their shortcomings, na-shorten din ang buhay ng mga nasa loob ng bus maliban sa ilang hostages na nakaligtas. The words of Santiago in an interview is very clear: "But when the driver escaped and reported that he (Rodolfo Mendoza, the hostage-taker) has started killing the hostages, that was the time that the ground commander decided to assault the bus." (Emphasis supplied.)

Malinaw. HE HAS STARTED KILLING THE HOSTAGES. Ibig sabihin, di pa patay lahat. Ibig ding sabihin, may mga buhay pa and storming the bus with bullets and flash bombs and teargas would certainly complicate the situation.

Ikalawa, magtatapon ng teargas eh wala nga silang gas mask? Siyempre di rin agad papasok ang assaulting team dahil aantayin nila na mawala muna ang bisa ng tear gas. Kung magkagayon, siyempre, makakarecover na rin si Mendoza.

Ikatlo, hindi ba nila tinanong muna o tinawagan ang may-ari ng tourist bus o kaya ang manufacturer nito para alamin ano ang mga features nito, saan mahina, saan ang mga bukasan, gaano kalakas ang salamin, at iba pa? Imagine, 10 hours tapos walang ganitong impormasyon? Well, di kataka-taka na palpak ang mga rumesponde lalo na ang ground commander na walang kontrol sa pangyayari. Kaya hayun, ang mga crude na gamit tulad ng maso at kable ay useless.

The PNP says na isa sa shortcomings ay ang kakulangan sa gamit. This may be hard to accept. Me pang-travel-travel nga ang mga Euro Generals sa Moscow at sa ibang bansa, at kasama pa ang kanilang mga pamilya courtesy of the PNP money, tapos walang pambili ng mga gamit kahit gas mask lang?

Sabi ni Von: Nakowww!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Mendoza hostage handling: Problems, lessons and things to watch

So, the Philippines is again making world news. Former Manila Police Rolando Mendoza held hostage a total of 25 individuals in a tourist bus today, August 23, 2010. But something went wrong courtesy of the Philippine National Police (PNP) that handled the operations. As of this time, it is expected that at least 10 are killed and a number of others are wounded.

Pero saan nga ba nagkamali?

  1. The arrest of Mendoza's brother, SPO2 Gregorio Mendoza, which was aired live on TV. The hostage-taker was shouting asking the release of his brother. Five minutes after the arrest, and with the continuous video footage, the hostage-taker panicked and sprayed bullets. Dati, everything was cool. May pa-cute pa ngang pagkaway-kaway ang mga negotiators at ang hostage taker at may goodwil "gifts" pa tulad ng pagre-release ng walo o siyam na hostages. At katunayan, pinapasok pa nga ang isang negotiator sa may paanan ng bus.
  2. The snipers' shooting of the tire of the bus. This also created panic. Siyempre, di na "cool".
  3. The lack of patience of the ground commanders. Nagmamadali eh. Haste makes waste, di ba? Ang problema, not just simple waste ang resulta kundi waste of life.
  4. Failure of the ground commander to take control of the situation by giving into the demands of Rolando Mendoza yet maximizing the gains. Mapagbigay naman si Mendoza. If he asked for the media, puwede naman sigurong ibigay na lang ang camera at microphones sa loob dahil ito naman talaga ang kailangan niya samantalang nasa ibaba ang mga media persons.
  5. Failure to maximize SPO2 Gregorio Mendoza. Puwede namang gamitin siyang negotiator and definitely, baka maging cool pa ang sitwasyon. They could have remove first Gregorio's gun, kung iyon ang ikinakatakot nila. There was a video footage with Gregorio saying to the hostage-taker over the phone "Wag mo munang gawin ang pinaplano mo. Ako na ang magsasabi sa media." But the police shut him off.
  6. Of course, the lack of sufficient training and gears of the responding policemen.
  7. We can add: The lack of efficient crowd control. What the heck was that? Filming of a movie?
Pero may mga dapat tayong abangan. Ito ang mga sumusunod:

  1. The letter carried by the driver that fled the bus. Mukhang natabunan na ito ng istorya. As soon as makalabas ang driver, itinago agad ito ng PNP. Nang lumabas ang driver at nagkaroon ng presscon, ang balita ay patay na ang mga hostages. Kung patay, bakit may mga humihinga pa? In simple terms, gumagalaw ang PNP na hindi sigurado ang sitwasyon. I-subject ba naman sa trial and error ang buhay ng mga hostages?
  2. Who killed the hostages? Consider: Gumalaw ang PNP na hindi sigurado, hindi ba? They are not sure if the hostages are really dead yet they made salakay sa bus, throw flash bombs and fired bullets. Baka ang ibang hostages, PNP rin ang nakapatay.
  3. What is the content of the Ombudsman's letter?
  4. What will happen to the brother? Sigaw ng mga pulis aakusahan si SPO2 Gregorio Mendoza as accessory to the crime.

  • Baka aside from the additional training and gears, turuan din ang mga kapulisan paano magkaroon ng patience. Hindi lang dito sa hostage-taking na ito kundi kasama na rin sa ibang bagay. Just a few days ago, me tino-torture ang pulis na na-video. Nagmamadali ba ang nag-torture na makakuha ng impormasyon? O baka maliban sa pasensiya, turuan din ang mga kapulisan paano kontrolin ang kanilang mga sarili?
  • Bigyan din ng training on crowd control ang mga pulis. Paano kung may granada pa dun na sumabog?
  • Ituro din ang cost-benefit analysis sa mga sitwasyon. If they gave in to Rodolfo's demands na i-reinstate siya (pending review siyempre ng kanyang mga kaso), definitely walang patay. Di rin apektado ang tourism at economy ng bansa. Pero siyempre, di naman talaga totally makakaligtas si Rolando dahil kahit i-reinstate siya sa kanyang mga naunang ginawa, puwede pa rin siyang kasuhan ng kidnapping at serious illegal detention, grave threats, illegal possession of firearms (dahil di na siya pulis so bakit pa siya may armalite?), damage to property, and possibly a case on trying to influence the outcome of decisions. O di ba, napagbigyan mo si Rodolfo, napagulong pa rin ang batas?
  • Leksiyon din sana sa Ombudsman at iba pang sangay ng gobyerno na bilisan nila ang pagresolba sa kaso. And this should be highlighted dahil hindi lang pala pulis ang natutulog sa pansitan. Very clear na ang Ombudsman, ganun din.
  • Pero teka, ang pulis nga nagrereklamo sa mabagal na gulong ng hustisya, papaano pa kaya ang mga ordinaryong Pilipino?

Friday, August 06, 2010

Where's the big catch?

From the news:

The Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday ordered the preventive suspension of a Bureau of Customs (BOC) official who is being investigated for allegedly acquiring wealth beyond her lawful income.

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez suspended Emelia Amansec Cervantes, Customs operations officer V assigned at the BOC's Manila International Container Port (MICP).

The alleged wealth of Cervantes? "Irrigated rice lands; a residential lot in Pangasinan; and a Mitsubishi Galant worth P377,580."

Earlier, a tax examiner, Andres Jusayan Gabagat Jr., was also ordered to be investigated for his P1 million house in Quezon City, jewelries worth P150 thousand; cash and bank deposits worth P645,304; a race horse worth P150 thousand, and a car worth P200 thousand.

Medyo nagsisipag ngayon si Aling Merced. Pero bakit mga dilis lang ang hinuhuli nila? Bakit di pinapaimbestigahan ang pinaka-mayamang sikyu at ang nanay nito super humble? Nahihiya ba siya?