Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day of Reckoning

If you read the pinoy money talk fora, it seems that PDIC payments have slowed down. A lot of member-depositors are complaining of delays inspite of the submission of requirements e.i. affidavits. Depositors had executed affidavits, paid the notarial fees, personally traveled to the PDIC Makati office, expecting to receive check/s through the mail in reasonable time. But if you read the complaints, some have been waiting futilely for six or seven weeks.

What else can you expect from a government agency that has practically tied up its funds on long-term investments in the commercial banks. PDIC has no money: in fact, its president has practically admitted to media when he said that his company does not project to earn any profit this fiscal year considering the number of banks that have closed since December, 2008. He did not say it, but PDIC will lose money this year. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of depositors of the closed banks are kept waiting and hoping, but only a few checks are mailed out by the PDIC. Those checks are intended to prop up the illusion that PDIC is fulfilling its obligations.

It would be most interesting to see how PDIC could make its statutory obligation to pay all valid claims within six months from the date of filing. We know of several claimants who filed on March 23, 2009, and September 23 would be the day of reckoning.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Banality of Evil

While reading last month's Newsweek, we chanced upon an article that mentioned "the banality of evil," a phrase coined by Hannah Arendt who watched the trial in Israel of the infamous Nazi, Adolf Eichmann. In her book, she theorized that the great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths but rather by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal.

That is how one may explain the actions and deeds (misdeeds) of our leaders and officials in government who wantonly and brazenly cheat, lie, and steal. In a nation that prides itself as the only Catholic country in Southeast Asia, we are certainly one of the most corrupt, if not the most corrupt. The Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) survey in 2008 placed our country as the most corrupt, only to be displaced by Indonesia as no.1 in its 2009 survey. And the PERC surveys cover 14 Asian countries plus Australia.

No wonder then that individuals like Baladjay, Tibayan, Mateo, Hao and the most recent monster, Celso de los Angeles, thrive in a country like ours. The two million peso question: Would this scam artists have prospered without the blessings of powerful politicians and government officials? We would have to say that there was no way for Celso and his ilk to have flourished for years without the connivance of the powers-that-be. In Celso's case, SEC and BSP have been implicated. The conduct of evil is now so normal in our society that men have come to accept evil as not unusual; in fact, it seems that doing good is getting to be the exception to the rule of evil.

But if these shenanigans and criminal acts are done by Catholics, does this mean that they do not believe that what they are doing (have done) is against God? We are of the opinion that they know that it is a crime to lie, cheat, steal and scam, but simply find ways to justify it. And this miscreants believe that all they have to do is repent before they die, and they will be forgiven by God.

But what about the thousands and thousands of lives and families ruined by their acts and now have to live in poverty and misery? Eichmann was kidnapped by the Israelites so as to be tried for his crimes while he was alive: he was convicted and hanged in 1962. Sometimes, we wish that the NPAs and Abu Sayyafs would kidnap corrupt governments officials, politicians and criminals like Celso and Hao, and let pay them for their crimes as Eichmann did.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Victims are victimized not once, but twice!

It's been almost a month since anything has been written about Celso and his hospitalization in St. Luke's hospital. Is he still in the hospital and sick? is he in the hospital and not sick? or is he not even inside the hospital? What do you think?

We remember a report that exposed Rosario Baladjay's celebration of her birthday outside her Makati City jail in 2004, wherein people saw her wearing the finest jewelry in her party attended by outsiders, and possibly the jail warden. As mentioned in my previous post, Baladjay is now in the correctional institute, but we are sure that she still continues to be able to go in and out of the prison walls. Where else would she put to good (?) use her ill-gotten wealth estimated at no less than P20 billion. While we were researching on the status of Multitel and the futile efforts of investors to get back even a portion of their investments, we came across fora that chronicled the unkept promises of Baladjay to return their money. Do you know that these investors chipped in money to send a doctor to New York based on Baladjay authorizing this doctor to withdraw $300 million from her supposed account in Citibank. Of course, when the doctor and his Filipino hosts met the citibankers, they were told that no such account existed. We cannot fathom why Baladjay to the end continued to dupe her investors, holding up hope to these desperate people who would be willing to listen to anything if it promised the recovery of even a portion of their hardearned money.

We know what Celso has been saying to his preneed investors: in September, 2008, he told investors holding bounced checks that there would be a 3-month delay before he could make good those check with an addition 3% for their troubles, and then when he closed his companies, he told them that all the assets would be liquidated and the proceeds would be enough to settle all the pending claims. We all know what came of all that talk- zilch, nada, nothing! And just like the case of Baladjay, makes you wonder why scammers and estafadors seem to enjoy shafting and duping their victims, not only once but as many times as possible.

This kind of behavior can only point to one fact: that de los Angeles and Baladjay are not only criminals but also sociopaths.