Iloilo village chiefs allergic to Big Brother

By Alex P. Vidal

“Our movements and feelings are constantly monitored, because surveillance is the business model of the digital age.”—Katharine Viner

BARANGAY chairpersons in Iloilo City engaged in monkey business like illegal drugs and illegal gambling will surely oppose if not delay the proposed installation of closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) in all the metropolis’ 180 barangays.

These unscrupulous village officials are aware the No. 1 antiserum for their nefarious activities is a “live” camera installed on a 24-hour basis as mandated by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The standby electronic Big Brother records all activities and monitors all the shady personalities that enter and saunter in every barangay, thus nothing escapes the police authorities once any untoward incident occurs, and they start to investigate with the aid of CCTV cameras.

The surveillance gadgets will expose the shenanigans not only of good-for-nothing barangay chairpersons, but also their minions and runners who are as edgy as their bosses.

Many puzzling crimes difficult to solve 30 to 50 years ago when CCTV wasn’t yet conceptualized, are now easily resolved and the culprits are neutralized and tracked down because of the CCTV’s amazing technology.

With or without the DILG mandate, not all barangay chairpersons will be keen to push for installation of CCTVs in their villages.

Especially now that Councilor Ma. Irene Ong, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, has confirmed compliance of the DILG edict is in the discretion of barangay chairpersons.


If former President Rodrigo Duterte wants to serve again the country, he is free to run for any position in the next election.

No law can prevent him from seeking an elective or even appointive office.

He can run for vice president or senator as he had been telling reporters these past weeks “kahit matanda na ako” (even if I’m already an old man).

If Mr. Duterte thinks he still has what it takes to give the Filipinos a quality public service, his supporters who helped catapult him into the presidency in 2016, are more than willing to help him again.

But he should be serious and must refrain from tantalizing them again that he is running anew to eliminate all drug traffickers. Kumita na yan.


For generations, the dominant cultural narrative of America’s Thanksgiving holiday has told how a Native American man named Squanto showed the Pilgrims how to get food after they arrived on the Mayflower in Massachusetts in 1620.

Having fled their native England, Tony Tekaroniake Evans wrote in History, the new emigres endured hardship and privation in both their journey and their adjustment to the new land.

Those who survived in the early settlement are said to have gathered with the Native people in a feast of gratitude, establishing the time-honored tradition of having a “Thanksgiving” dinner on the fourth Thursday of November.

The historical details of this somewhat mythologized story are far more complicated—as was the life of Squanto, whose actual name was Tisquantum, stressed Evans.

He and his Indigenous relatives would have been quite familiar with the tradition of “thanksgiving” because it was, and still is, an essential aspect of their regular spiritual practices, one that predates by many generations the American holiday of Thanksgiving.


MASS COLLECTION. When the Egyptians destroyed Libya in the 13th century B.C. they took 13,230 penises of the conquered enemies as trophies.

LOYAL WOMEN. 85 percent of married women say they have never cheated on their spouse.

MASTER BACHELOR. Women must address a bachelor as master instead of mister, according to an Illinois state law.

PUBLIC PEE. If you pee in your bath water that means you are lazy. But if you pee in the public pool, you are really nasty!–BPBEE.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)