Ending the old year and beginning the new one on an annoying, frustrating note.
Saved You A Google is a weekly roundup of what’s happening in the world of pop culture and politics.
New developments on the Marcoses and their stolen wealth
Back in July 2017, Atty. Oliver Lozano, a former lawyer of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos submitted a compromise agreement that appeared to propose that the government grant immunity to the Marcos family in exchange for the return of some — not all, but some — of the Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth. The document was only made public this year, news of its existence is circulating thanks to a post by education advocate Gang Badoy.
In an official statement by Bongbong Marcos, the Marcos family had no knowledge of the document, or that the exchange took place between Atty. Lozano and the office of Secretary Salvador Panelo.
Some questions to consider: Why return some of the wealth, but not all? And why grant immunity? Shouldn’t any plunderer be duly processed and doled the proper punishment?
Logan Paul is an embarrassment — no one is surprised
Internet personality and YouTube content creator Logan Paul recently uploaded a video about his trip to Aokigahara, a Japanese forest also known to both locals and those outside of Japan as ‘suicide forest’. The video shows Logan and his crew planning to go camping, only to come across a dead body and promptly exit the forest.
Before the video was taken down, it had been viewed by over six and a half million people and received major backlash. In response, Logan tweeted his first apology statement, and after that was met with reasonable disdain, he released a follow-up apology statement. Even after all that, further coverage has revealed that the other videos of Logan’s trip to Japan have been extremely problematic.
For a take on why digital influencers like Logan Paul can’t afford to be removed from reality, we recommend you check out this essay.
Bato is unrepentant over Shaw Boulevard shootout
In an incident of mistaken identity (and quite frankly, stupidity), law enforcers mistakenly opened fire at an ambulance taking a gunshot victim to the hospital. The incident took place at Shaw Boulevard on December 28. The victims of the killing were Jonalyn Ambaan and Jomar Hayaon. You can find the names of the policemen and barangay watchmen who were charged for the killing here.
Though the police chief of Mandaluyong and the 10 policemen involved have since been disarmed and relieved from their posts, PNP Director General “Bato” dela Rosa still took to defending them. “Kahit pumalpak pulis ko sa Mandaluyong, maipagmayabang ko pa rin na nangyari ‘yon because of their performance of duty,” he stated at a press conference held in Camp Crame. “Mabuti na ‘yung tanga na may malinis na kalooban kaysa ‘yung marunong pero may masamang intensyon.”
It shouldn’t have to be explained but we will anyway: The pros and cons between Stupid But Well-Meaning and Competent But Evil are not things you should worry about, especially when it comes to law enforcers.
Updates on the Tax Reform Program
The Comprehensive Tax Reform Program is a program designed to make the process of tax collection simpler and more efficient. The first package under this program is RA 10963 or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN). The details of the program and package — which include timelines and projected goals — can be found in the TRAIN page of the Department of Finance’s official website. On December 19, Duterte signed TRAIN into law.
One of the goals of the tax reform program is to back up the government’s infrastructure program. A big concern of many citizens though is how that program will, simply put, cause the price of gas to hike up, and increase the expense on goods such as sweetened beverages.
It should be noted though that just because TRAIN has been signed into law, it doesn’t mean everything about the program and the package is set in stone. The law still has to be implemented, and discussions in the House of Representatives can still determine how exactly the law will be implemented, with some claiming that TRAIN is anti-poor.