Kotong cops

THE lack of discipline among Filipino drivers and pedestrians reflect the sorry state of our race and one of the major reasons why so many are poor, deprived and oppressed.

This was the conclusion my high school buddy Doc Sel and I reached during our recent tete-a-tete in his office near the traffic congested U.N. Avenue in Ermita, Manila.

During the course of our conversation, he suggested a paradoxical solution to the perrenial traffic problem of Metro Manila.

“Why not give the kotong cops and traffic enforcers a free reign in the streets of the metropolis?” he asked with a sly smile so typical of him.

Doc Sel noted that the presence of kotong cops and traffic enforcers in strategic areas of Metro Manila forced erring drivers and undisciplined pedestrians to “tow the line.”

He said fear of being victimized by these kotong cops will make a jeep driver follow traffic rules.

“How many times do we hear a rogue driver admonish their passengers from disembarking in non-unloading areas because there is a buwaya (kotong cops) around. I think that is because the punishment (the extorted grease money) is immediate,” Doc Sel said.

Doc Sel, the financial incentive that the act of kotong brings to the policemen and traffic enforcers will make them work eagerly and efficiently which could consequently boost their morale.

He added that these “kotongeros” can be compelled by their superiors to share some of the extra cash they earn to be used for the purchase of quality ammunitions, good guns and gasoline for idle police cars.

When reminded that what he is suggesting is contrary to law, Doc Sel, said that is the only way that the Filipino driver and pedestrians can be disciplined.

He added that the point in all of these is that the erring driver is punished.

But what many fail to consider is the paradox that while punishing the erring driver, the kotong cops is at the same time helping him.

The erring driver was punished because he was made to pay grease money and at the same time he was helped because payment of the grease money exempted him from attending useless seminars, Doc Sel explained.

Doc Sel said a cop who accepts kotong money from erring driver is just doing his job of enforcing discipline in the streets.

What is unconscionable is for a cop to accept bribe money in exchange for a free reign in the streets.

* * *

Does boredom wear you down or is there just a nagging feeling that you want to get away from the metropolis and be with mother-nature?  Then go and visit Bato Springs in barangay San Cristobal, San Pablo City.

Located at the foot of the mystical Mt. Banahaw, Bato Springs is just one hour and 30 minute drive from Manila.

You have a spacious parking space that could even accommodate tourist buses and first class amenities for all your business and pleasure needs.

For more information, call Ms. Elaine Garchitorena at 0495620976.

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