When Gravel Becomes Gold: The Quarry Quagmire

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

Warning: This is a satire for your weekend reading pleasure.

In the bustling quarries of Iloilo, the sand sings and the gravel gleams, but not for reasons related to geology.

Instead, it’s the alleged siren song of the P50,000 bribe, harmonizing sweetly with the clink of coins into pockets, that’s setting the tone.

The Police Regional Office 6 (PRO 6) has unfurled its investigative cape amidst whispers of a bribery scheme that could make Al Capone’s Chicago outfit look like a choir of ill-tempered vicars.

Brigadier General Jack Wanky, the Sherlock Holmes of the Western Visayas, nodded gravely upon hearing of these allegations. The General kept mum on the juicy bits, like where this dastardly deed was unfolding or which of his officers might fancy themselves the lord of the quarries.

Tales have been told of an officer, aspiring to be the Robin Hood of the quarries, albeit with a twist; stealing from the quarry-rich to give to the officer-poor. This entrepreneurial spirit has led to P50,000 being the new monthly subscription fee for ‘Smooth Sailing Gravel and Sand’ – the promise of a hassle-free commute for the loaded trucks of the earth’s crust.

Operators, on the other hand, who might not exactly be model citizens with their nocturnal gravel gallivanting and trucks so heavy they might be confused for carrying the weight of the officer’s moral compass, are not too happy. They’ve been playing this game of ‘catch me if you can’ with truckloads of unsanctioned sand, only to find the playing field leveled with bribery.

A retired officer, wearing the hat of peacekeeper, kuno, attempted to mediate this dust-up, only to find themselves the star of a new plot twist – becoming the target for a potential ‘you’ve got mail’ moment, only the mail would be a pair of shiny handcuffs. So much for heroism contrived.

The General, in a moment of pensive introspection, declared a crusade against this corruption. A synergy of forces with the PENRO and LTO might just be the ‘Avengers Assemble’ moment this saga needs.

Meanwhile, the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) is breaking a sweat, rounding up the quarry gang with a zeal that would make any fitness trainer proud. Ninety-nine souls have been ensnared, and 97 operations have laid trucks to rest – a testament to their quarry-quashing quests.

Colonel Ronaldo Palomo, head of the IPPO and the unsmiling sentinel of the sand, aired his grievances about these villainous violators. “The usual violations are recurring,” he sighed, referencing the artfully creative writing found on delivery receipts, trucks challenging the laws of physics with their loads, and the Groundhog Day-esque cycle of these transgressions.

Yet, despite the Sisyphean struggle, Colonel Palomo stands firm, his mission unwavering: to see the day when quarries are paragons of environmental and ethical excellence.

Until that day, the gravel will continue to glint with the prospect of gold, and the quarries will remain the stage for this tragicomedy of errors – a story of temptation, trucks, and the tireless pursuit of truth. Or perhaps just a really, really expensive truck pass.