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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, July 25, 2016
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Cano: the target


It is said of old that nobody throws a stone at a fruitless mango tree. This truism is repeated with reports of Bacolod's first Councilor Ricardo “Cano” Tan as the target. He is indeed ripe because he topped the last election with an unprecedented number of votes. Any politician will salivate at the thought of getting as much votes. That he is a target of intrigues only validates his political strength.

So now the old and discarded issue that Cano is engaged in drugs has resurfaced. No government agency has ever accused him of this. Only his political enemies are using the issue now that there is a massive campaign against illegal drugs and people are tarnished and considered guilty merely on the list that the police published. Nobody has authenticated this list. It is genuine only because the police or the anti-drug agencies said so.

Cano is a victim despite the many years that he served the city and its people and all the while this accusation has never been proven or even an iota of evidenced show that he is so engaged. What has been proven is that this accusation is malicious and unfounded. But some people can believe that the moon is square because they want to see it that way.

We have entered a period in our history when a person is presumed guilty until he proves he is innocent. The saddest part of this moment is that our people support and laud the policy that reverses what we had been taught for centuries and what our laws say. Now guilt is presumed; innocence must be proved.

Cano did the right thing in going to the National Bureau of Investigation to trace the source of the text messages for indeed a cybercrime has been committed. He has already numbers so the NBI will be able to identify the source. But the sender could be several people. The NBI however can trace the culprit.

I remember years back when Cano had his Sinugba Restaurant that was highly popular because the food was exquisite and the price reasonable. It was a favorite gathering place of politicians, lawyers and policemen.

I heard that a top police officer had been eating there for months and just signed IOUs that he did not honor. This police officer now disgraced and dead had spread the word that Cano was into drugs, marijuana actually. This was a blackmail to force Cano to refrain from asking him to pay for his food and drinks, not just alone but with friends and colleagues in the PNP.

He just spread the word but did not do anything because he could not prove anything. But there is Divine Justice and this police officer – well, we just leave him to wherever he is answering for his misdeeds here on earth.

Cano said in a news release that he has several numbers and that the NBI has agreed to conduct the inquiry. It is important not only for Councilor Tan but for the rest of the citizens that people who abuse this important means of communication are penalized. This practice should be stopped because all of us are possible victims, not even sparing Governor Alfredo Marañon.

In fact there are scams through text messages. I recall a text of an alleged friend who asked for help because she was stranded in Turkey and her husband had an accident. She was asking for US$10,000 that she will repay when she returned to the Philippines. The problem of the texter was that the person she claimed to be was with us in a meeting and I cannot imagine her and her husband being in Turkey where there was a recent coup attempt.

The same thing happened using the name of John Orola but I knew John was in Bacolod.

I am certain others had the same experience with cyber-scams including by a lawyer who claimed that I had won P3 million and I should contact him immediately for details. I did not bother.

What happened to Councilor Tan must have happened to many others. His move to report the matter to the NBI should hopefully make the NBI and the National Telecommunications Commission to take action on those who abuse the use of the communications technology.

Something good can come from this incident. Councilor Tan and Governor Marañon have another opportunity to urge other victims to report to the NBI.*




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