Column by: Dr. Francisco Salcedo Cruz
In 1973, THE STING (the movie) won 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture. It had American great celebrity tandem – Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Its hilarious plot involved two con artists (Newman and Redford), following the murder of their mutual friend, getting even with a powerful mafiosi (Robert Shaw) who was responsible for the heinous crime.
Fast forward to January 2018, it was A STING. It was not a movie not even a local version of Newman-Redford classic comedy. This STING is current and ongoing involving NOT actors but rather VULTURE PRETENDERS, like a fake crusader and four ambulance chasing lawyers.
ACT ONE. They had several meetings (at least six) in a 5-star hotel. They invited resource persons like physicians (health advocates) and young volunteer lawyers to discuss technical and legal details of the worst national tragedy in Philippine public health. These resource persons did not know of the impending STING job hatched by the fake crusader and the class D lawyers.
The motives of the STING perpetrators were clear namely (1) share the limelight and media attention, (2) execute a hatchet job against a top opposition so they get juicy positions and (3) get a share of the LOOT from the possible plunderers and torturers.
The plot thickened. There were sort of cameo roles for top and senior government officials including DOJ, NBI and at that time soon to be senator.
ACT TWO of the STING. Cases were filed by lawyers close to the fake crusader at the Comelec (February 2018), at the DOJ (March 2018) and at the Ombudsman (May 2018). Sadly, none of these cases ever prospered. Worse, the expert witnesses were fooled, manipulated and even threatened with libel cases and bodily harm.
ACT THREE: It was simply SWEET AND SOUR TACTIC. The fake crusader befriended the alleged plunderers and torturers with the full consent of the latter’s bosses. There were agitation PROPAGANDA (with unknowing participants) and demolition jobs through MSM and social media employed against the targeted STING victims (alleged plunderers and torturers) to KEEP THEM OFF BALANCED AND PRIMED FOR EXTORTION. Lastly, it was an open secret that the lawyer of the STING victims was regularly conferring with one of the STING lawyers, after all, they were former close friends more than a decade ago.
ACT FOUR: All pertinent cases and investigations (criminal, civil and administrative) filed at the Supreme Court, Ombudsman, Comelec, RTCs, DOJ-NBI, Office of the President and both Houses of Congress REMAINED UNRESOLVED IF NOT DISMISSED.
The STING had a casualty, literally and figuratively. Someone succumbed to a massive heart attack. Truth and justice was indeed hijacked for SELFISH, PECUNIARY GAIN.
But unlike the 1973 THE STING which was hilarious, Oscar award winning and had a very happy ending, the 2018 STING has stung (pun intended) the whole health sector and the Philippine justice system.
But the tears and blood do not only end with the 2018 STING. in fact, it was only one of the many sub-plots of the CORPORATE GREED tele novela with a multi-national pharmaceutical as the puppet master and “producer- director.”
In God’s time, we, patriotic Filipinos, should recast and UNEARTH THE TRUTH like what the two patriotic Filipinos (Mayor Benjamin Magalong and Atty Nena Santos) contributed in the Ninja cops and Maguindanao massacre stories.#