Exploit the crisis

A cause for suicide for one, might be a good opportunity for another.
The Covid-19 lockdown for instance made a lot of people experience what the phrase “pangs of hunger” means. Others, however, were laughing on their way to the bank to deposit good amounts from business operations exploiting opportunities that suddenly cropped up.
A good example were the bootleggers or sellers of smuggled alcoholic drinks. It reminds us of the time of the prohibition in the United States where the infamous Al Capone held court as the big boss of smuggled alcoholic drinks being sold in Chicago. He and his cabal eluded the law enforcement agencies to the extent that they were like thumbing their noses at under cover law enforcers who were so helpless in trying to arrest them. Even the tax men could not touch them due to lack of evidence.
They became so infamous they were legends to those whose businesses were the seedy type or where the mafia thrived– like prostitution, gambling and smuggling. So much so that they earned the moniker “untouchables.” A solid case just could not be built against them.
With that infamy, a movie titled THE UNTOUCHABLES was even made about them. For the younger generation, that movie is worth digging out. It was a box office hit starring Kevin Costner, Charles Martin Smith, Andy García, Robert De Niro, and Sean Connery.
It was about how Al Capone was pinned down by the genius of a diminutive government accountant who came up with the idea that Al Capone could be sent to jail on charges of tax evasion as he failed to enter some transactions in his book of accounts.
Back to our beloved Baguio City. This Covid-19 lockdown resulted in the mushrooming of violators of our local prohibition against the sale of liquor. The 2×2 and 4×4 “inumin ng tunay na lalaki” could be bought at almost three times the usual price but one had to know where to look. Allegedly, some of the suppliers or peddlers were policemen.
What was notable about this was the fact that many people were vehemently complaining about the prices of rubbing alcohol being sold at much higher prices, but nobody ever complained about the prices of liquor that skyrocketed up to the stratosphere.
Such was the opportunity, but such also was our stupidity. And in there might be one strong reason why we are still a third world country.**

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