It’s embarrassing for gov’t to plead

By Alex P. Vidal

“I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.”

—William F. Buckley, Jr.

CRIMINALS or suspected criminals in the Philippines can run, but they can’t hide, according to President Bongbong Marcos Jr.

He must be referring to small fries, the ordinary or tsinelas lawbreakers who sometimes end up as victims of summary execution if they don’t surrender or aren’t nab immediately.

Fugitives who don’t own rented bungalows, tented vehicles, rice mills, sugar plantations, helicopters, submarines, yachts, those who don’t hold high positions in government, and can’t afford to pay unscrupulous and rascal vloggers (to twist the truth and picture them as victims instead of villains) have no more chance to both run and hide.

Either they are murdered in the “shootouts” with lawmen (they call it “nanlaban” in Tagalog or “nagbatu” in Hiligaynon) or they go straight to mix with hardened and heavily tattooed criminals in congested jails.

Rich, famous, and influential criminals or well-equipped fugitives don’t fit in President Marcos Jr.’s description.

In fact, they are harder to fall if they’re richer, more prominent, and more loquacious and with pa-drama effects especially in front of TV cameras and social media platforms.

They fly the coop.


One bad example is defeated presidential candidate Ping Lacson, formerly a suspected mastermind in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case during the administration of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Despite the issuance of the warrant for his arrest, the former PNP chief and senator was never captured after he became a fugitive. This makes him No. 1 on my list as bad role model.

He was followed suit under the Marcos Jr. administration by the arrogant and self-confessed substance abuser, Rep. Arnie Teves of Negros Oriental, who is being tagged as the mastermind in the Pamplona Massacre that killed nine people, including Gov. Roel Degamo on March 4.

The Negros terror, who has been reportedly hiding in Cambodia, had been charged in the murder of his political rival in 2019.

And now we have former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag and his deputy, Ricardo Zulueta, who are nowhere to be found after the Muntinlupa Regional Trial court ordered their arrest for the non-bailable murder of Bilibid inmate Cristito Palana Villamor or Jun Villamor, the alleged middleman in the killing of broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa last year.

It’s so embarrassing for the government, represented by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), to plead for these infamous characters to “surrender and prove your innocence in court.”

These accused criminals (they are called as “accused” and no longer as “suspects” because formal charges have been lodged against them in court), coming from the high echelons of government, didn’t only run. They are now hiding.

Thus they didn’t only embarrass the President, they also mocked the justice system by refusing to subject themselves in a fair trial and availing the due process of law.

Flight indeed is a sign of guilt.


BRUSHING OUR TEETH HELPS US RETAIN OUR MEMORY. Forget to floss, and we may soon have trouble recalling names, our grocery list, and the question we were asked five minutes ago.

ANTI-ARTHRITIS PILL. There’s no proof bee pollen works, but pumping up our intake of another supplement–vitamin D–may just slow the progression of osteoarthritis and put off the need for surgery, says Australian researchers.

THE MOON HAS A TAIL. A glowing 15,000 mile (24,000 km) tail of sodium atoms streams from the moon. The faint, orange glow of sodium cannot be seen by the naked eye but is detectable by instruments. Astronomers are not certain of the source of these sodium atoms.

TAXI. The term taxicab is derived from two words–taximeter and cabriolet. The taximeter, an instrument invented by Wilhelm Bruhn in 1891, automatically recorded the distance traveled and/or the time consumed. This enabled the fare to be accurately measured. The cabriolet is a two-wheeled, one-horse carriage that was often rented.

SPIDER. The black widow spider eats her mate during or after sex. It’s hard to be a lady spider.

WEIRD RITUAL. The Caramajo tribe of northern Uganda tie a weight on the end of their penises to elongate them–sometimes to such a degree that the men literally have to knot them up–while the Mambas of New Hebrides wrap theirs in yards and yards of cloth, making them look up to 17 inches long.

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