Problem solvers from the AFP

Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This came out in the Business Mirror on June 11,2008, page A10.

Faced with never-ending fuel price increases beyond his control, Angelo Reyes, AFP  chief prior to being appointed secretary of defense then interior then environment and then energy, solved the problem by ordering oil and gas dealers not to talk about price increases.

He told oil companies, “No announcements should be made on under-recoveries. It will not do anybody any good if the industry players will make announcements based on their own projections, which could be wrong.”

He told LPG dealers, “You cannot make announcements based on future projections. You are announcing and announcing. Do you know what you’re doing? You’re increasing and increasing your price ahead of everybody, and then when price increases don’t materialize, you drop your price to look good.”

Another retired general, Dionisio Santiago, is in charge of the government’s war against illegal drugs. His record as chief of the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) is nothing short of remarkable: five of seven international drug syndicates neutralized, nine major drug labs outside Metro Manila busted, and, in Eastern Visayas alone, 200 drug cases that led to convictions.

How did he do it?  He planted drugs on suspects.

He said,

“We sometimes do this although this is against the rule of law. Definitely we only apply this matter to some cases, like a subject who is publicly known to be peddling drugs but always escapes arrest. This is when we enter the picture.

“But PDEA operatives make sure that they (known drug traffickers) won’t know that we put planted evidence. We are doing this because we want to neutralize big personalities engaged in the illegal drug trade which destroys the future of the youth.

“This is a remedy that we sometimes undertake so that we can put to rest some people. Kesa naman patayin natin e di plantingan na lang natin para mabilanggo. Alam niyo to kill a cat there are so many ways, pero hindi naming gagawing very obvious ang planting. (Rather than killing them let’s just plant evidence so they go to jail. You know to kill a cat there are so many ways, but we won’t make very obvious the planting.)”

Those two retired generals remind me of Narciso Abaya, the former AFP chief of staff and now  president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority who solved the problem of rigged bids for supply contracts with the AFP.

How?

He learned the cartel meets “in dimly lit restaurants” where they rig bids and then they send “pretty ladies in miniskirt” to collect payment from GHQ (AFP General Headquarters) so he banned pretty ladies in miniskirts from GHQ.

Recently retired AFP chief Hermogenes Esperon was appointed Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. He is supposed to find a peaceful solution to the communist insurgency and the war in Mindanao as soon as he returns from a “well-deserved vacation,” to use Gloria Arroyo’s words. I can’t wait for this general to demonstrate his problem-solving skills.

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