Wednesday, April 28, 2004

One Life Down, Eight to Go

Bloody hell.

While I was on my way to my girlfriend's place after work, I got into an accident last night with a 12-wheeler cargo truck that rear-ended me somewhere in the streets of the City of Manila .

I was alright though my car didn't fare so well: the left side of my rear bumper as well as the rear left light was smashed up though the brake lights were fortunately still working. Likewise, there was some structural damage to the rear left side of the car and I now can't close the trunk (which I should have left alone to begin with).

However, what made the whole situation stink was the fact that the truck (owned by the RM Bautista firm with truck license plate number WPX 394 and a trailer plate number PUL 271) had a 'police' escort. As I was haranguing the truck driver for his stupidity, a beat-up Nissan Pathfinder/ Patrol (?) pulled up and a guy in a dark blue collared shirt with a "Manila's Finest" design on it came down saying that they were personally escorting the said truck.

The guy, whose name I later discovered to be 'Carmelito (?) Soria', claimed he was a member of the police SOG (Special Operations Group?) and said that they were in a rush to deliver the cargo of the truck somewhere in Sta. Mesa and that I should just follow them there to sort out the details of the accident.

When I demanded an ID, he showed me his wallet that had a Manila City Hall ID detailing him as a police non-commissioned officer. And when I tried to get the wallet from him to get a better look, he refused to give it from me. However, he had no badge to back up his claim that he was a cop.

Despite my protestation to wait for a traffic cop to get the details of the accident (for the insurance report at the very least), this guy adamantly told me that since he was a cop and that they were in a rush, I should just follow them to Sta. Mesa. Sensing the futility of the moment, I finally agreed and followed the two vehicles.

However, as we were heading towards Sta. Mesa, I had my misgivings and I decided to call up a number of people to relay them my situation and my doubts. Suffice to say, they told me to forget about following the convoy and get the hell out of Dodge City.

After all, what was inside the truck that it had to have a police escort? And why did it need to be delivered to Sta. Mesa as soon as possible at eight o'clock in the night? It didn't take a genius to figure out that there was something shady involved in the matter and a little problem like a traffic accident might not become a problem if the cargo's owner decides for the problem to go away.

Paranoia? Who wants to risk it? After all, smuggling's a big business in these parts, especially since the Manila port area is just a few kilometers from where the accident took place. And after all, being paranoid is part and parcel of living in Metro Manila.

Anyway, in commemoration of last night's event, I decided to change again the title of the blog [The Cynical Eye]. You have been warned...

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