Poverty and ignorance root of all crimes PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 January 2016 13:34

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

If money is the root root of all evil, so is poverty and ignorance. But ask yourself which has committed more crimes? A man with much money or a man with no money at all. Police records on crime indices and body count on penitentiaries and jail houses, reveal starkly that more poor people are law violators and are jailed and only a “drop in the bucket” are wealthy law violators for a very different reason. Even high profile prisoners are jailed because they maybe the masterminds or financiers in a crime but those who directly executed the crime are those who have lesser in life. It is very rare that a wealthy man directly commits a crime, unless he is a congenital criminal or mentally deranged like a “serial killer” or born crooked, who heads a criminal syndicate.

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Poverty and ignorance breed many forms of social menaces. Those from the slums, the unschooled and jobless, commit a crime to survive. But, it is a different story  if the crime of prostitution is happening in a government housing transitory site, subsidized and closely monitored by a government social welfare agency.The occupants of transitory housing sites are occupied by victims of calamity, war, conflagration or any social disorder, where the government exercises its charitable gesture as part of its humane governance to assist its helpless citizens. Basic survival needs are provided by the government for the tenement tenants, like free housing, water and electricity and sometimes, even food provisions are supplied by the government or from some charitable and religious institutions. All the transitory residents have to do is complete what the government has inadequately supplied  by looking for decent jobs which government many times has provided even on a temporary basis. But they will not be hopeless because some private entities are also offering jobs to those who are willing and serious to work. They will never go hungry and commit crimes to survive.

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For young girls to indulge in prostitution while living in a government transitory site in Zamboanga City and selling their flesh for a measly sum that cannot even buy them a kilo of rice (because radio reports reveal that those alleged prostitutes, charge from 10 to 20 pesos per session at times) is something hard to understand as to where the problem lies. Remedial measures were done by the government for these victims to lead a normal life. Only nymphomaniacs give their flesh for free or for a token not to survive but to satisfy a carnal urge.    Perhaps government psychologists or psychiatrists must check and interview these alleged “prostitutes” because allegedly, it has been going on since the first few months after the MNLF siege, when they were still housed at the Joaquin Enriquez Sports Complex (grandstand), where the city government spent millions of pesos to feed them. The City Government lost several millions more when the modern grandstand was left in ruins and dilapidation, after refugees were transferred to many transitory sites in the city.

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In a personal inspection and interview with some transitory occupants, Councilor Myra Valderroza Abubakar was able to note that residents vehemently denied the allegation of prostitution in their housing area. They said that the wrongdoing must be by transients from outside the transitory site. It is quite unbelievable for transient ladies to visit the transitory site and do alleged prostitution thereat for 20 pesos or slightly more and spending for their fare in going there or perhaps even for their snacks. Who in her right mind will do that if you are not sick? It is statistically improbable. Even your personal barber will charge double the price, if you request them for a home service, how much more if you sell your flesh and honor? Perhaps the city government must treat those answers as absurd and preposterous or even obnoxious. It must not be taken “hook,line and sinker”, lest they will continue destroying the prestige of the city in the eyes of the world since the issue is now on the desk of a non-government organization that protects women’s rights and welfare.

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Scoop: The issue of alleged prostitution at the transitory site is now a police matter and not only a City Government concern. Those alleged women have committed a crime of prostitution unless the City Council will declare a “Red District” in Zamboanga City. Agree or disagree, but let us help sanitize the city and retain its name as a “pilgrimage city” in Mindanao.