By Pet Melliza/The Beekeeper
Even god almighty is as ignorant as the sovereign people on the number of “task forces” and their members operating in Iloilo City.
They simply sprout like mushrooms before we wake up in the morning. There’s the Task Force Adam’s Apple, TF Anti-Jaywalking, TF Anti-Littering, TF Anti-Smoking, TF Kilohan, TF Anti-Dengue, and what-not. Their number defies the “personal cap” limiting salaries and wages below 45 percent of the annual budget.
The task forces are premised on the fact that they are temporary, they exist only when there is need for them, thus, they are exempted from the 45 percent budget cap. And that’s the best way for Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in repaying those who campaigned for him in the 2010 elections.
TF Adam’s Apple which runs after women entertainers sans mayor’s permit, gave birth (or was merely renamed) into another task force with the sublime name “Value Formation and Moral Recovery”.
What? We have no objection to that. Definitely, we need regular self-examination to assess ourselves and to rise up from our failures, so to speak. But we can’t yet congratulate Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog for forming the Task Force Value Formation and Moral Recovery.
He merely plucked misfits from his army of unemployed supporters and dump them into the task force. Let’s digress a bit. After the 2010 elections, the spoils of war, the chairs of committees at the sangguniangpanglunsod (city council) were handed to men and women loyal to Rep. Jerry Treñas and Mabilog.
Kgd. Ely Estante, an experienced legislator and in his third and final term, has none. To give him the consuelo de bobo, pro-Mabilog colleagues offered him the “committee on moral recovery”. He did not bite the bait which could have made him the joker in the not-so-august body.
The anti-jaywalking task force operatives standby on no-pedestrian crossing zones and arrest persons violating the ordinance. They are more powerful than judges. The latter are prohibited from convicting the accused sans hearing.
The TF members can convict a person even without a formal complaint, much less hearing in court. TF members, all job-hires, can arrest persons and slap them fines outright without distinguishing adults from minors (below 18) who the law exempts from criminal liability.
They are supposed to inform their victims of the rights before arresting them, and charge them in court before slapping them fines. If you want to find misfits, morally bankrupt and groveling gremlins, go to TF on Value Formation and Moral Recovery. Mabilog stacked it with their likes.
They only know how to run after poor women working as entertainers in videoke bars, night clubs, and beer houses. They indiscriminately raid establishments and haul off women regardless of their ages but spare male entertainers. However, when bar owners come to terms with them, that is, grease their palms monthly, the value formation and moral recovery task force would spare them.
The least that Mabilog can do is to disband the task force and send its members to grade one section 10 to learn gender sensitivity course and discover that there are no “women prostitutes” but “prostituted women” to refer to those driven by poverty to sell their bodies so to feed themselves and their families.
Their lives as prostituted women are more noble than those of distinguished men and women disguised as city officials.