Wednesday, February 20, 2008
"He is the devil incarnate. Gusto kong ipaamoy ang paa ko sa kanya."-- Anonymous Texter
Dear Kids, there once was a real life gangster named Joey Gallo. He was a "Pasaway" during his time. With an armory of guns and loyal lieutenants willing to murder for him, he was a force to reckon with (astig talaga). He defied the 5 mafiosi families controlling New York and tried to set up a sixth family (The Gallos). He paid for his hubris with his life.
When he was alive, he was fond of telling the story of how his grandfather, a bootlegger (smuggler of liquor during the prohibition era) came close to smuggling a HUNDRED MILLION worth of wine bottles but got busted instead. He said that had his grand father succeeded, the Gallos would have been like the Kennedys, the toast of the elite. Which means, instead of just being small time gangsters trying to grab power from the dirty mob, he and his brothers could have been contenders for the Whitehouse too, like Jack and Bobby Kennedy.
Recent headlines remind me of this Joey Gallo anecdote. If the reports are accurate, Mr. Abalos stood to gain more than 5 BILLION PESOS from the deal he was brokering, allegedly to the disadvantage of the Filipinos. How could anyone steal (again if the reports are accurate) 5 BILLION PESOS from an impoverished people and still get to sleep soundly at night? Maybe because they keep telling themselves that they will only spend a fraction of their loot... errrr... "profit". And most of it will go to the trust fund of their Children, Grand Children, Nieces and Nephews who will live the lives of the idle rich and have more than a sliver of chance in getting elected president someday-- instead of being petty thieves, bank robbers and kidnappers. If there is one lesson dirty politicians take to heart it's the "virtue" of plunder over the evil that is small time theft (Thievery below 50 million pesos).
When you plunder, you steal enough money so that even when you are caught, you do not spend a single day in jail. Such is the twisted virtue dirty politicians find in a heinous crime.
Which makes me wonder, when offered such amount of money, would I be tempted to steal? Dear God, I really really wish and hope and pray for enough fortitude to RESIST... And to NEVER REGRET RESISTING IT. Because if that happens, the only thing I am sure of is that the temptation to give in would be insurmountable without God's Grace.
FIVE. BILLION. PESOS.
But the truth is a part of me wishes that the testimonies against Abalos are not accurate. I wish he's not really dirty-- for his children and Grandchildren's sake.