Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How Recto University Is Wrecking the Philippines

In the Philippines fraud and dishonesty are not just the foibles of the few. In the Philippines fraud is a way of life. It's the unwritten law of the land. Any document you want can be had, at a price of course.
From an ID card to a driver’s license, thesis paper, receipt, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) red ribbon, diploma or any other document, you can get it here. One can order these items for anywhere between P200 and P1,500 and collect it after two hours at most. But of course, it’s fake. 
Claro M. Recto Avenue, known as “Recto University,” is a one-stop shop not only for students in Metro Manila but also for those from the provinces who need documents for a job. 
A year-round bestseller is the Land Transportation Office (LTO) driver’s license, which costs P500. Joey explained that they already have blank IDs ready to be filled up, whether it be a university or government ID. 
Another popular item for sale in Joey’s stall is the fake diploma. A high-school diploma is worth P250, while a college diploma is worth P500 (larger diplomas from certain colleges cost more). 
When asked whether he has a copy of diplomas of every university in Metro Manila, he says confidently,  “Oo naman.” 
Moreover, Joey bragged, “Recto U” is not limited to the universities in Metro Manila. There also are copies of diplomas from schools as far as  Mindanao and Visayas, some of them not known to ManileƱos. 
While it seems like most items are overpriced, Joey confessed that the money is barely enough to support his family on a weekly basis. He simply acts as a runner, while the forgeries happen behind closed doors. He  gets his cut of the payment weekly (daily, if business is good). 
Moreover, the cops reportedly take a weekly cut from these payments, as well. 
“Minsan ang kinikita diyan nabibigay din sa mga police. Bawal maglagay diyan hangga’t hindi sila nabibigyan ng kotong,” he says. “Minsan zero pa isang araw, eh, walang nagpapagawa.” 
Their cut ranges from P40-P300 a week, depending on the weekly profit of the stall. 
Through the years, “Recto University” has existed and numerous raids have been conducted by the Manila Police District. Business is bad for about a week. Then people start “graduating” again from “Recto U.”
Fake drivers licences and fake diplomas means any moron with the right amount of money can pass himself off as being legit. Why bother with the fake license though? Many people here drive without one anyway. But the diplomas, that's where money can be made.  You want to be a dentist but didn't pass the exams or even go to school in the first place? With a fake diploma everyone will believe you are legit. Who's going to bother to check?

A fake doctor.
With the right fake documents you can even sneak into the police academy and become a member of the PNP.
“More than 200 itong na-discover namin na may statistical improbability na tinatawag na kung bakit pare-pareho ang maling answers, pare-pareho ang correct answers (We’ve discovered more than 200 exams that have what we call statistical improbability, where the wrong answers and the correct answers are exactly the same,” Casurao said in an interview over radio station dzMM. “We issued a circular voiding their eligibility.” 
Casurao added that as part of their effort to cleanse the police organization, the Napolcom has also been checking papers of policemen following reports that some PNP personnel used falsified documents when they entered the police service. 
“Ngayon, ang dami naming nahuhuli na after serving the PNP for 10 years, 15 years, nadidiskubre namin na after all, lahat pala ng papeles na isinubmit ay mga peke (Now, we’ve caught many who, after serving the PNP for 10 years, 15 years, would be discovered to have submitted fake documents),” he said. 
Casurao said the Napolcom has started working on periodic audits, neurological tests and retraining for policemen to ensure they are fit for public service.
Many of these fake documents used by PNP candidates are likely birth certificates. In the Philippines it is commonplace for legitimate documents to be riddled with spelling and other errors. Correcting these errors takes a lot of time people don't have. So when they need to use these documents they simply acquire fakes. But there could be other fake documents used by PNP candidates as well such as criminology degrees. No matter what document it is there is no justifiable excuse for procuring fakes.

Why is Recto University still operating? How hard can it possibly be to shut it, and other places like it, down?
Members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police on Thursday raided several establishments along C.M. Recto Avenue in Manila that are notorious for making fake documents—diplomas, death certificates, senior citizen cards and even land titles. 
CIDG members from Camp Crame came with two police trucks and stormed the so-called “Recto University,” entering five stores and arresting seven men suspected of being “fixers” or agents who seek out customers in need of counterfeit papers. They face charges for fabrication of public documents. 
We will not stop with our raids until their operations stop. We have a directive to implement the order of President Duterte to go after them,” said Senior Supt. Belli Tamayo, CIDG-NCR chief. “Actually, this is not the first CIDG operation against them and we will continue until they stop. They have different kinds of IDs. You name it, they have it.”
A directive from Duterte?  Really? Then how is this massive fraud still happening?  Drug suspects are being killed left and right because the PNP has a directive from Dutete to put a stop to drug use and trafficking but Recto University is still in session? Sounds like they aren't trying hard enough.

If the PNP really wanted to shut this place down you better believe they could do it.  But they haven't. And when has Duterte raised a stink about this place? When he speaks of ending corruption it's always in the context of corrupt government employees not the everyday wide scale corruption practiced among the common folk.

Recto University might just be the biggest shame of the Philippines. It is certainly a candidate.  The Philippines wants so badly to be a first world nation and the government and the people boast about how strong and stable the nation and economy are.  But how stable is it really when this sort of fraud is practiced openly, allowing impostors to pass themselves off as legit? How can the Philippines be stable at all when the whole nation laughs at this deception and says, "Oh well that's how it is?"

The foundations of this nation are rotten to the core. At surface level everything looks white and beautiful. But inside are dead men's bones and every sort of filth. A nation cannot be built on fraud. There must be trust. What kind of nation is it when you can't trust anyone and everything is a lie?

No comments:

Post a Comment