Tricycle turf monopoly exist in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 11:48

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

After Table Talk column titled “Incorrigible daylight cheaters” saw print the other day, a tricycle driver, also owner and operator of his tricycle but who is not an acquaintance, confided to me the other night, in my nightly hangout, the existence of some tricycle drivers who organized themselves into a group to operate an exclusive turf in the city. All passengers coming from their turf can only be ferried to their destination only by their tricycle members. Outsider tricycle drivers who do not know their rules and pick up a passenger from their turf is seriously harmed. This monopoly, almost a syndicate, exist in all malls, and public places and it has been existing all these years in the city.

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This alarming development operates like a syndicate because the prime mover and protector is the toughest neighborhood thug in the vicinity of a turf. What is alarming is, if the turf is in a mall, it is in connivance with the mall supervisor who collects a certain amount of illegal fee daily aside from the “protection fee” a tricycle driver has to shell out also daily to the group’s leader who is a thug, in the guise of “membership fee” to join the group. The mall supervisor in cahoots with this shenanigans, allows the use of a space in the vicinity of the mall as a parking space for these tricycles while waiting for passengers. This is incredible and mall owners are innocent of the wrongdoings of their employee/supervisor. But the big question is: Are the members of the City Police assigned in those malls and other public places, innocent ofthis illegal operation and existence of “hoodlum” trike drivers?

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It is surprising that even city government public places like the city wet public markets, “bagsakan” area, “centro latino” besides Fort Pilar Shrine at the Pettit Barracks, to name some are infested of these tricycle crooks. Almost all private malls in the city, where you see a line of tricycles parking beside are allowed with the approval of the mall supervisor. The operation of these crooks is for,24 hours, especially at the public wharf where passenger boats usually arrive at dawn. The City Police whose presence in these areas are limited up to the early evenings, can never stop this illegal operation. Also, it is during late evenings where the “colorum” tricycles appear and all sort of illegal operations, from smuggling to illegal drugs distribution allegedly starts. This is horrible.

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Table Talk tends to lend credence to the “volunteer-informant” because he is a middle aged tricycle driver, who just want to earn a decent livelihood after his retirement from a factory somewhere in the West Coast. Table Talk inquired: Why did he not join the group? He said, I have a college and high school student and my wife is just tending our small sari-sari store. To join them “baka makarma pa kame”. He continued  “I cannot understand why some tricycle drivers overcharge their passengers from the wharf to the terminal in Divisoria, when a liter of gasolne is more than enough for a round trip” “perhaps he said, they need money to finance their drug vice and gambling”. I was informed that all sorts of gambling happen everyday, starting in the morning at the back of Claret high school in San Jose . At the back of Claret High school, the road leading to Canelar Moret are small stalls lined up selling food and beer and the owners of these stalls allow all sorts of gambling, from game of cards to talang and mahjong” “ and they get a percentage (tong) on every winning, aside from the sales of liquor and food.”  This is incredible if true and much more worst, if police and business license inspectors of City Hall do not know the existence of this illicit and discrete operation at the back of Claret High School in San Jose street.

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Table Talk is no angel but absolutely not a devil, to allow this information not to be passed on to the proper authorities, because the harm and damage they have done to the city’s populace and shamefully to transients are more than enough to bear. For a city just barely recovering from social devastation and eroding morals, perhaps our authorities must take action especially on verifiable information given voluntarily by a concerned informant. We should not be too bookish to follow the rules of “Due Process”. Sometimes swift justice is all it needs to straighten up a recidivist.

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Scoop: Many law abiding and good tricycle drivers are already affected by their rogue counterparts who are mostly”out of towners” and are willing to cooperate because their family are affected by these sad news of tricycle drivers entangled with the law.  Perhaps our authorities have now the valid reason to apprehend and punish crook trike drivers. But, this can only happen if some police are not scalawags, because if that happens it will be a “toast to a thief to another thief” in a drinking spree. Agree or disagree.