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The ‘SOP’ malady

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The pork barrel scam that used nongovernment organizations to siphon off the people’s money is indeed quite brazen. There are many other operations with varying degrees of brazenness—such as “SOP” (standard operating procedure)—but they are all the same: scams.

Posted: March 13th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A sociology of scams

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Scams tell us a lot about the nature of our society—more than about the gullibility, greed, or ignorance of our people. Sociologists try to understand how these criminal schemes work, not by figuring out the motives and interests of the individuals they victimize, but by determining the types of social relationships they are able to tap. Moral terms like gullibility and greed contain no analytic value. But, the degree to which communications in a society like ours remain undifferentiated may explain why scam victims are quick to entrust their money to swindlers with no economic credentials or record.

Posted: November 29th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Greed, need, ignorance and stupidity

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On the part of the schemers-scammers it was, above all, greed. But on the part of the victims, it could be all or some of the above.

Posted: November 29th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Scams and the freedom to err

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Reading recent reports of thousands of people being victimized by another pyramiding scam—this time operating out of the cities of Cebu, Pagadian, and Pasay—I found myself entertaining two different reactions. “Serves them right,” I thought, “for not using their commonsense and being blinded by greed.” But then I wondered, “Shouldn’t the government have known about this and stepped in before more small investors were robbed by this pack of swindlers?”

Posted: November 14th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Ripe for reckoning

The controversy over the $329-million National Broadband Network deal between the Philippine government and China’s ZTE Corp. has yet to see closure no matter that it was ultimately scuttled and much water has since flowed under the bridge.

Posted: March 15th, 2012 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

PhilHealth exposes criminal syndicate

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I first worked with Dr. Eduardo (Dodo) Banzon when I was writing on the human right to health for an international publication. When we discussed health issues in the Philippines, I was most impressed that he spoke not just as a technically trained doctor but also as an activist immersed in the social context of scientific issues, indeed even the nitty-gritty of legal debates, from the ASIN Law (stands for Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide—did you even know that?) to maternal mortality.

Posted: January 5th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

BSP sleeping on anomalies involving rural banks

Is the Supervision and Examination Sector (SES) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) sleeping on the job or is it so emasculated it just lets rural banks make their own self-examination and tell BSP they’re ok? On Sept. 15, 2011, a certain party complained to the SES that a rural bank in his town [...]

Posted: November 15th, 2011 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Even if found guilty, GMA still won’t land in prison

I believe that the more cases filed against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the bigger her chance of evading accountability. It will take years before they finally get to be filed in court and it will take many, many more years for the courts to render the decisions on these cases. Besides, GMA will hire the [...]

Posted: August 18th, 2011 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

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