January 24, 2005

The Ship Has Found An Iceberg

This is a lament, an elegy for a passing thing—just another passing thing to be more precise. More or less, PPRO, the yet to be incorporated humanitarian aid that I was so deep into has found its own dead-end street where not even a bulldozer could bore a hole into the protruding wall.

There were so many struggles that hinder the beginning of what could be a life-long effort to help the poor and downtrodden amongst us (Funny at times how we speak that we are not poor ourselves). The situation was not to our favor and the events leading to the death of a seed is at times too rough even to be mentioned here.

I had a major falling out with Tony the other day, the one who invited me to join him to manage the bail section of his father’s insurance company. As a management team hired to resume the bail business (after its bondsman of two years, Mr. Jubay, had resigned for reasons unknown to me), we were smooth as a silhouette in putting the office section on the roll. I went immediately into arranging and rearranging the records and files of the nearly neglected unit, which were virtually in shambles, and went on reconnecting with friends and colleagues from law school to instigate a viable client base and invite more business. At one point, I got myself stamped in the arm with a very ubiquitous ink-mark when we went to the local jail to talk to some public officials, which could make our work more sufferable. You know, we were dealing with persons arrested for some malefaction although remaining innocent in legal presumption, which is why bailers come to them detainees. Tony was always saying, “Thank God for crime.” He was always mentioning that phrase to everyone we met on the streets that at first it was cool to hear but at some repetition, it became annoying and opened up to me some sort of reality to Tony’s personality and of the bail bond business. Of course, he meant it to be in jest but how does one see a man being openly grateful for the onset of crimes mainly because it’s good for a his business.

I understand fully well that bailing arrested persons ain’t a business that is in the mold of malice and impropriety for surety companies are just there to cater to a legal mode that is clearly allowed in our territories. In America, bail bonding is a mega insurance business. In our domestic legal sphere, bail is allowed any person arrested for crimes whose penalty is not so serious or if the penalty for the crime is grave enough, bail is still granted if the evidence against the person is weak and minimal. The bail process actually solidifies the theory that a man is innocent unless proven guilty. It also personifies the principle that says it is better to let free ten guilty criminals than imprison one innocent person even for a single moment. It’s a human rights thing---a universal concern for those who are innocent of crimes falsely imputed on them.

On the practical side, the bail process help unclogs the very cramped and overcrowded detention centers in our country where a cell meant for six inmates is thrown at with thirty or so unfortunate souls.

Despite, the legal theories that justify the granting of bail, I can see some of its unwarranted effects like escape of the bailed-out person is always present and even as the policemen try their darnest to arrest these malefactors, the bailers are there to set them free and let loose again into the streets, possibly to do the same malefaction again. I guess, if the grant of bail is not well regulated in our country, and overly abused, we could find a judicial system where crime is encouraged because the assailants easily find the opportunity to flee if money is sufficient.

After a week, Tony started to show some hidden traits like when he becomes unprofessional in work and lacks politeness and candor to me, as his officemate. He would frown and growl if I did not do some tasks he had instructed me to do very immediately and said that I am “nakaka-inis”. Whooaa! This kind of attitude shocked and surprised me that I said to him that we are all grown-ups here and everything can be said in a polite manner. Accordingly, although his father assigned us both the same position and title, Tony had assigned himself as the bond manager, and I do not know if there is really such position as a bond manager. I did not protest this self-assignment for anyway, it was not a big deal after all. What’s in a name?

However, Tony apparently felt so serious about this self-assignment that he scowls at me even for some very minor discrepancy. At first, after the calming of my initial shock and surprise, I just let him be thinking perhaps, this guy whom I’ve known for almost twenty years, ever since high school, was just immature at times. But as the days go by, I found out that he wasn’t immature at all. I think he is crazy in the head and he needs some professional help immediately.

He barks at me for forgetting some folder and castigates me even in public like in front of policemen. He makes me feel so much like a slave ordering me to get folders that he could get by himself and photocopying some papers that he had in mind. Ha! Ha! Ha! I said enough of this. He is really crazy. I never worked with a boor like him before. I was in many offices before even in college when I was in the school paper and in student politics, in government service and in many private agencies but never, exactly never have I met an office worker like him before.

Maybe it was psychological in all. I can see that his father orders him to do this and do that that perhaps he had resented it so much that he had to do the same thing to me.

But for goodness’ sake, how low can one get.

So one afternoon, Tony and me were in a shouting match and I said that I wouldn’t back out from a boor like him. And if he wanted a fight, I was always ready. I went home with my emotion so agitated. Just thinking how rough and undomesticated that man was makes me want to puke.

And so I called Russell that night and informed him of what happened earlier that day. And I said to Russell that I am not going to be a part of PPRO anymore. He wanted me to reconsider and I said that I am not closing doors but I am not going if Tony is on board. The Lord is forgiving and He wants us all to forgive those who have transgressed upon us. Maybe Tony can be forgiven but he is just not qualified to enter into an endeavor that aims to serve the unfortunate brethrens amongst us.

There is a possibility that Tony just desires this organization only for some monetary benefit. I am not pre-judging him but how could one get too concern about others when he doesn’t believe in prayers. I was always urging him in the past to join my fellowship of Christian worshippers that I was envisioning then but he said he doesn’t want to meddle into somebody else’s faith. I granted him that for faith is one own responsibility and choice. In his words, those who pray in the churches are “fanatic”.

I asked now when I am alone: How could he want to help the poor and yet he scorns those who pray?

Perhaps, the Lord had planned it that I shall be farther away from Tony for he is not worthy of an associate. I must find some others who profess to the Lord God with all mind, heart and soul. Everything is God’s will.

They even had planned to change the PPRO to a semi-political body by putting the word “reform” into the acronym, which then would read “Progress for Peace and Reform Organization” instead of the original “Progress for Peace and Relief Organization”. There is a wide difference between the two names and I never want to be politically inclined in helping others. Even previously, we already have a wide difference in views, not only about faith and God, but also on how we get the money to help the poor.

I do not want to linger in gripes but maybe, squares and circles do not mingle after all.

And so PPRO, as it was originally envisioned and peopled is now dead. I said to Russell that if they would resume without me, I just wish them luck and I really wish them some success. But I do not want to be part of it anymore.



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