The riddle of the
P40M shakedown



By Madame Iring
My crystal ball sees a foggy, dark, dirty, and foul  future as foggy, dark, dirty and foul as the smoke that is to be emitted by the proposed AboitizPower coal-powered power plant in Binugao, Toril—for a Davao City neophyte councilor, the son of a former city councilor.


Many days ago, my crystal ball trembled with shame and puked at seeing a young man —a member of the Davao City Council—meeting with the owner of one of the country’s biggest land developers—in an office in one of the tallest buildings in Makati (or Manila or Quezon City?,  we were not sure)—to demand dirty money of a whopping P40 million in exchange for legislative approval of a proposal by the developer to reclaim hundreds of hectares of the foreshore area in Davao City’s Sta. Ana District.

THE As of the Davao City Council: Nilo Abellera, Jr., Victorio Advincula,Jr., Bernie Al-ag and Al Ryan Alejandre. KINSA KAHA ANG TRIPLE A?

The man—the face was hazy but the letters of the alphabet i-a-n-b-l-o-e-l-r-l-a-r-j were jumping up and down inside the crystal ball giving a clue to the identity of the young man. Can somebody please help me decipher the clue? Am good at seeing the past, present and future but am bad at solving riddles.

cartoons by rogerB.


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While the young man was discussing the robbery with the developer, a video insert appeared at a small corner of the crystal ball—showing two other city ocuncilors inside a car at a parking lot near the building—apparently conspirators in the extortion—apparently waiting for their chief buddy to share the loot. Two pairs of alphabets—r-a-y-l-a-e-j-n-n-d-r-e-a and b-a-e-l-r-n-a-i-e-g—were jumping up and down the ball. Outside the car hovers the shadow of another city councilor—a top council officer who resigned a key committee sometime ago after being linked to another major case of an extortion
scandal. His mysterious letters: avdicvtoinriocularj.

Flashback: My crystal ball sees a group of city councilors–the date was hazy–but my ball also sees a former mayor—it is not Digong—so it could be between 1998 and 2001 during the term of Mayor BCG—with a group of investors–that included a Dabawenyo of Indian descent with the symbol of a RAM in his forehead– proposing the reclamation of the foreshore area in Sta. Ana district.
What price payeth legislative approval for a private entity to manage hundreds of hectares of city government-owned prime land of commercial value worth billions of pesos? The peso sign was dancing all over the crystal ball, as if asking the question: HOW MUCH IS FOR US? End of scene.    Flashback to several days ago, a top official of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry meets with the young neophyte councilor and two other council members to propose revival of the reclamation project. End of scene.
Back to start of crystal ball telenovela on the dirtiest, most shameful, costliest robbery (corruption) involving members of the Davao City Council.
The young councilor is in the office of the property developer with several other persons. He demands P40 million from the top honcho of the company—the alphabets r-r-o-e-g-o-r-i-m-s-h-e kept dancing in the ball (please help me decipher the clue!)–in exchange for legislation to approve the proposal.
The top honcho nods approval but wants to safeguard his money and wants a go-signal from an “authority.” He calls up a man who looks like San Juan Mayor J. V. Ejercito–yes the son of former President Erap Estrada–a friend of the developer’s top honcho—to ask if the deal is okay and would release the P40 million to the young councilor pronto
Mayor JV says wait!, dials Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and asks: May blessing ba sa iyo eto mayor?
VM Rody is red-faced and angry supreme.
Unswah????!!! Wala! Magbantay yan sila!!!, VM Rody reacts with extreme fury, nearly breaking his cellphone—and the crystal ball.
The scene goes back to Davao City, to a closed-door executive session of the Davao City Council at the Green conference room at the Davao City Council building,  days after the aborted heist.
VM Rody is fuming mad, confronted the young councilor over the aborted robbery-in-aid-of-legislation-for-cash, and right there and then took away his chairmanship of the committee that would have recommended the approval of the multi-million peso reclamation proposal.
Crystal ball goes hazy, after the last scene that had VM Rody rushing out of the room with his trembling hands an inch away from a .45 tucked in his waist.
Remember that incident where Mayor Sara Duterte punched the face 1-2-3-4-5 times of court sheriff Abe Andres right before the cameras during a demolition of 200 shanties in Agdao district because Andres refused to heed the mayor’s plea to stop the eviction?
My crystal ball is in the ON mode again. The last scene of the crystal ball telenovela on the shakedown (extortion) drama by the councilor and his cohorts of P40 million from the reclamation developer had the elements of the Sara punches.
The scene could have been bloodier inside Green room if not for coolheads: A young man who looks like Paolo Duterte, also a city councilor, son of VM Rody and brother to Mayor Sara, is seen lunging at councilor i-a-n-b-l-o-e-l-r-l-a-r-j, with the other nervous city councilors blocking his way before he could break the neck of the councilor. while councilors r-a-y-l-a-e-j-n-n-d-r-e-a and b-a-e-l-r-n-a-i-e-g cringed at the corner ghost-faced.
Shit! My crystal ball apparently in extreme shame and anger at the scene of massive corruption that visited its innards has now become useless—decommissioned—and no longer works to bare more shocking revelations.

Does my friend COUNCILOR NILO ABELLERA JR. know a repair shop where I can have my crystal ball fixed?

But the big bold letters A-A-A, apparently the code name for the heisters cum city councilors, remain stuck in its hazy face, as if tempting us to please solve the riddle: WHO ARE THE TRIPLE A? Who are councilors i-a-n-b-l-o-e-l-r-l-a-r-j and r-a-y-l-a-e-j-n-n-d-r-e-a and b-a-e-l-r-n-a-i-e-g?





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  1. I am so shocked! I guess it is really time for the DAVAO PUNCH, according to a barangay captain friend of mine.

    Pray that the DDS doesn’t notice and figure out the codes. I am glad the “Purple Machine” as used by Germany to code messages in WWII will protect the identities of the parties who are innocent until proven guilty.

    In the meantime, shunning, showing your back and giving the cold shoulder until they are in jail with hard time are the preferred alternatives.


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