The return of “wang wang” under Duterte PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 06 May 2017 12:05

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me…” (Psalm 13:5-6, the Holy Bible).

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THE RETURN OF “WANG WANG” UNDER DUTERTE: I think it is totally incongruous that while President Duterte is living his life as president of this country in the simplest way possible, there are many in government who still insist on enjoying perks and privileges that politicians and officials of old have been used to, like for example the use of sirens and motorcycle policemen and police patrol cars to clear traffic for them.

The discredited Aquino government banned this particular perk by derisively referring to it as the “wang wang” mentality, and it worked during President Noynoy’s term. It is therefore nauseating to be witnessing an almost revengeful resurrection of this “wang wang” mentality during Duterte’s reign, where the campaign is to shun any display of abuse of official power.

I witnessed two examples of the return of this “wang wang” mentality just last Thursday night, May 04, 2016. The first happened while I was driving along Macapagal Avenue at the boundary of Manila and Pasay City, where five to six police patrol cars snaked in between vehicles standing still because of heavy traffic, clearing the way for another car which obviously had a “VIP” passenger.

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THE RICH AND THE MIGHTY WANT THEIR PERKS BACK UNDER DUTERTE: Then, when I was already passing through the underpass at the corner of EDSA and Shaw Blvd. in Mandaluyong City just a few minutes after on my way to North Metro Manila, five to six motorcycle policemen, with their signals light flashing and sirens wailing, cut through vehicles which were also stalled because of heavy traffic, stopping everyone.

It turned out that they were escorting a group of two or three vehicles whose signal lights were also flashing. The sight was indeed highly obnoxious, and I am sure many of those vehicles which were stopped alongside the car I was then driving were sharing the same thought that I had: “wang wang” has returned, but does Duterte know it?

It was at that point that I recalled, with much horror of course, that many vehicles sporting single digit plate numbers—particularly those carrying plate numbers with the number “8” to signify that they are owned by congressmen or members of the House of Representatives—not only have sprouted back like mushrooms after a slight rain, but have even demanded special treatment to enable them to cut through heavy traffic.

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WARNING AGAINST THE RICH: So, I repeat the question: does Duterte know that many of his officials and others from government are resorting to the use of “wang wang” once again to enable them to escape the horrendous traffic situation in Metro Manila? Or, better yet, has Dutete authorized the return of this “wang wang” mentality?

Whatever, the Bible has a word of caution against the rich and the mighty who flaunt their wealth, and do not use the riches that have been merely lent to them to serve the poor and the needy, and the less fortunate members of society: “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.

“Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days… You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you…” Forwarned is forearmed!

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