AS you were reading this piece, dear readers, yours truly, plus other veteran journos, are off for a 10-day visit to mainland China, which, incidentally, is to celebrate the 70 years of its founding as a “people’s democracy” after a brutal civil war that lasted for nearly 22 years, with the collapse in 1927 of the anti-Japanese alliance between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China.
During the Pacific War with Japan, the CPC is the “de facto” (informal) ally of the West (read: the United States) in the fight against Japanese Imperialism, rescuing downed US pilots after the so-called ‘Doolittle Raid’ in Tokyo, the first American air raid in mainland Japan, in 1942.
Author James Bradley, who wrote the highly-illuminating book, ‘The China Mirage,’ rightly pointed out that had it not been for the success of the so-called ‘China Lobby’ in America (bannered by Time Magazine) and the erroneous “faith” by American religious ministers on the “goodness” of the highly-corrupt leader of the Koumintang, Gen. Chiang Kai-shek (referred to as “General Cash-My-Check” by US president, Harry Truman,) the civil war would not have been necessary.
These two factors largely shaped US policy and attitude towards China since then and, to a certain degree, up to now.
Indeed, Chairman Mao himself, is willing to fly to the United States to meet with US leaders to assure they have nothing to “fear” about China and to seek American help in the rehabilitation of China due to the devastations brought by war then going on for more nearly two decades already.
But since Chairman Mao is a communist, he was snubbed, first, by Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was totally beholden to the China Lobby and, by Truman.
Heck, even all the American OSS agents (Office of Strategic Services, the precursor of the CIA), who were sent to China during the war years and personally know all the top officials of the CPC were subsequently removed from the military and the State Department and ended up as victims of “McCarthyism years” that swept the United States after World War 2 on suspicion of being “communists.”
They would only be “rehabilitated” (a communist terminology, by the way) and recognized for their efforts during the war years after the historic visit by Pres. Richard Nixon to China in 1972.
But enough of the discussion about history, dear readers. Marami pa namang pagkakataon.
It is unfortunate that I was “absent” again yesterday at the ongoing probe of the Bureau of Corruption, err, Correction, (Bucor) by the Senate, where one of the invited resource persons was the highly-respected former director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and now, Baguio City mayor, Benjie Magalong. Matagal ko na kasi siyang hindi man lang “nakakamayan,” hehehe, ayy, huhuhu.
And leaving out his narrative about the extent of corruption at the Bucor that (again) linked detained drug suspect and senator, Leila de Lima, the statement from mayor-general Benjie that caught yours truly’s attention was his suggesting to the government to fully utilize the use of modern technology, particularly, “AI” (artificial intelligence) in the management of our national penitentiary.
Insofar as yours truly is concerned, the proposal, although quite expensive, as warned by Mayor Benjie, may actually be worth the expenditure in the end.
This, if we consider that from what we have learned thus far from the Senate hearings, the BuCor has become a totally rotten government institution, with corruption running berserk at all levels.
The situation is really a “mirror” of how rotten our system has become because while we can understand the prevalence of corruption in government revenue earners like the BIR and the BoC (they are handling money by the billions) to now realize that even our penal institutions designed to “punish” the criminals and the crooks in government have become also a source of corrupt practices is truly galling and shocking.
“Person-to-person contact,” between the criminals and their custodians it appears, is the main reason why after some time, even upright persons ended up being “swallowed” by the rotten system prevailing in any government agency.
Yung “tagapagbantay,” pagkaraan ng ilang panahon, nagiging “kasabwat” na sa paggawa ng kawalanghiyaan ng kanilang “binabantayan.”
Of course, central to the proposal of Mayor Benjie is this— the removal or “minimisation” of the person-to-person contact between the BuCor officials and employees and the hardened criminals to the best extent possible.
This idea is of course something that is not new— this is the same “goal” being pursued by the BoC and the BIR for decades now and even by the Comelec. The result thus far, is not encouraging. ‘Andami pa ring mga korap sa BoC, BIR at Comelec.
But then, the disappointing result should not be an excuse for not trying out AI at the BuCor. The situation and the “environment” there is quite different, to begin with.
And of course, the failure of other government agencies should served as a “wealth of lessons” for the BuCor. These failures should be incorporated into the computer program that would run the BuCor system.
Criminals and crooks are used to “sweet-talking” their way to the heart and mind of prison guards and jail officials. After all, it is all about “money talks.”
Let us see them try that to a robot. Abangan!