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FIRING LINE: Sleazy bars of Malate

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Okada Manila
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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

This corner is almost tempted to name the KTV bars in Malate that have been raking in profits through the bestial abuse of the young women employed as guest relations officers or GROs.

In our last issue, I detailed the deplorable truth that happens in VIP rooms where these girls are herded by their guests for tequila shots so that after they lose their inhibitions, customers can have their way with them. GROs are touched in their private parts and violated with sexual intent in every way imaginable.

To recoup their losses during the pandemic, the bar owners and their managers either encourage these practices or turn a blind eye to them. They even offer tourist guides and bira maki (Japanese term for persons who provide leaflets for information) a 10-percent commission to bring in guests — mostly Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese.

Three of these bars are located on Jorge Bocobo Street; six more are on A. Mabini Street, and one other on Remedios Street. Most operate on the second floor, where all the dirty action happens behind closed doors. Perhaps, next time, I should blurt out who the owners are.

I have absolute confidence in Mayor Honey Lacuna and her desire to clean Manila of this kind of sleazy entertainment, even if it’s good business. But she should be wary of people with little power and influence in City Hall who fill their pockets with protection money.

Fake citizenship for sale?

Last week, Firing Line warned against a pro-China group in the Philippines masquerading as a policy think-tank and contracting an army of trolls to sway the nation’s views to the side of subjugating politics and trade that makes Beijing king.

As the Philippine government moves to prevent further encroaching by China’s militia, coast guard, and military, a reader called Firing Line’s attention to other traitors in our midst.

According to this reader, who is a friend of a friend, lesser patriots in the Bureau of Immigration (BI), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the National Bureau of Investigation have been facilitating not just the entry of Chinese opportunists from the mainland.

He claims that these foreigners are given Filipino citizenship for a price tag of P500,000. How? Well, this “informer” claims they assume the identities of dead Chinese-Filipinos and are issued spurious documents like Philippine Passports, NBI clearances, Philpost IDs, and even a Tax Identity Number or TIN from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

With this fake citizenship, they purchase large tracts of land in booming places like Bulacan, so our reader says. This is something worth investigating by Congress and the highest levels of government. If true, the Chinese have already been taking control of our lands by purchasing them at prices our citizens cannot afford.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at

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