Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Customs Chief's Alvarez' Rotten Mango

Golf is a gentleman's sport. Honesty is one trait you need to have when you play it. Why? Ninety percent of the time, you are alone, just you with your club and ball. When you hit that ball and it lands somewhere in the green or outside of it, there's no one to monitor how many times you hit that ball again. That's is, if you play one round, all by yourself or when you practice.

In golf tournaments, such as the one which Customs chief Angelito Alvarez took part of, he was with his caddy. The caddy, for the benefit of those not familiar with golf, is the one who accompanies a golfer while he plays. The caddy is not just the one who carries the golfers' bag, oh no. He is also your scorer, especially in tournaments.

Now, golf is rather very simple to play. You have your club and your ball. Several meters away, there's a hole with a flag. That hole is in the middle of a green patch of earth. Your goal is simply put that ball into the hole with the least number of times.

For example, a hole is described as par 5. This means that an average golfer takes five tries to get that ball into the hole. If he exceeds 5 and tries to get that ball in, say 8 tries, he loses that hole. When he lands just one try, it's called hole in one. When he lands it less than 5, it's called an eagle. When he completes one stroke over 5, then its called a bogey.

Your scores are then inputted into a scorecard. The scorecard reflects how many attempts it took you to make the grade. The lower your score, the better. Several scorecards will show your handicap.

A person with a single handicap is, most often than not, a professional golfer. A golfer with a handicap of over 25 is an average one. Practice makes you perfect your swing, because in golf, like any other, good form produces excellent results.

Now, cheaters do the unthinkable---instead of practicing, they try to defeat their opponents with a mere dagdag bawas. Or, in golf parlance, you win by the stroke of a pen.

Very important in golf is, you're honest. If you're not honest, every single golfer in the entire Philippines will know that you're a cheater. Why? Because only a fraction of the Filipino population plays golf. News spreads very fast.

And you know the reason why golf is always being played by businessmen and operators? Because it shows how a person conducts himself. If he plays professionally and honestly, then, people will trust him. If he cheats, like what Alvarez did, then, it shows the true nature of the person.

Alvarez, in his responses before the media, has cavalierly told the public that there's nothing absolutely wrong with what he did in that Mango tee tournament. He says that he did nothing wrong. He blames his friends who were with him during that flight (a flight is a group of 3 golfers who play together) at Ayala Alabang Golf and Country Club. It was his friends, he says, who mucked his scorecard up, not him.

Alvarez is lying. He knows that what he did is a mortal sin. It's a mortal sin to cheat your score especially in a tournament. Worst, you actually colluded with your caddy to "beautify" your score.

If Alvarez does that while just playing golf, how much more in his private and public life? If he can cheat and tell everyone that there's no problem with that, how can we then trust him in his duties as a Customs chief? In customs, he deals with numbers. In golf, the same thing. If he has that propensity of colluding with others to improve his score, how then can we be assured that he will not stop going to bed with unscrupulous customs officials and smugglers?

Noy, I am sorry, but Alvarez has to go. As your "boss", don't allow your administration to be tainted by Alvarez's rotten mango. As they say, one rotten mango spoils the others.

By the way, Alvarez promised to show before the media at least one rotten mango at the Bureau of Customs every single week. Its now Tuesday, and there's not a single face.

Who will the bureau sacrifice this time? Will it be one of Alvarez's syndicate enemies?