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Jun 01st
Home Columns Op-Ed Page Dateline NBC’s “Trail of Suspicion” May Have Devastating Effect on Philippine Investment and Tourism
Dateline NBC’s “Trail of Suspicion” May Have Devastating Effect on Philippine Investment and Tourism PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Op-Ed Page
Thursday, 16 August 2007 12:42


Many Filipino Americans watched last night’s Dateline NBC’s "Trail of Suspicion" television program. Many of them felt that American individual investors and tourists might avoid going to the Philippines as a result of the investigative report of Keith Morrison, a correspondent of the NBC. The culprit, Hank Jacinto, a Filipino-Hawaiian polo-playing "industrialist" (sic), has not been formally accused of the murder of his alleged business associate, John Elwin. Mr. Jacinto invited the victim to go to the Philippines on a supposed business trip. Mr. Elwin’s remains had been identified positively by the Philippine National Police (PNP). Mr. Jacinto is presently jailed in Hawaii, having been convicted of identity theft and document fraud in defrauding the estate of Mr. Elwin, after he was killed apparently by Filipino professional killers. He received a prison term of 20 years.

Mr. Jacinto’s modus operandi of luring his prospective investors to his homeland has apparently led also to the disappearance of two Hawaiian businessmen, Arthur Young and Douglas Ho. Mr. Jacinto accompanied also Messrs. Young and Ho on separate business trips to the Philippines and both of the visitors have not been heard since arriving in Manila.

To read the complete report of Mr. Morrison, readers may go to this link

It may be the appropriate time for the Philippine national leaders to counteract the belief of some Filipino Americans that it takes just about the equivalent of $100 to hire a killer in the Philippines. According to impeccable sources, the existence of hired killers in the Philippines could be traced to the rampant use of the illegal drug, "shabu" (methamphetamine), which has proliferated in the country. There is the very-disturbing accusation that some corrupt elements in the PNP and the Philippine military have connived with some dirty politicians in protecting the illegal-drug distributors in the same way that gambling lords are allegedly protected.

Changing the negative belief of some Americans (and even of many American citizens of Filipino descent) about how easy it is to be killed in the Philippines cannot be done by a public-relations campaign. Perhaps the first step is to apprehend the Filipino killers of John Elwin and locate Arthur Young and Douglas Ho or their remains if they are no longer alive. Then the Philippine government has to deal firmly with the "shabu" problem that has become of epidemic proportion. Perhaps these steps can lead to the reduction of corruption in the Philippine bureaucracy, which has apparently become a way of life. The national leaders of the Philippines must act fast and react now, otherwise its fledgling tourism industry will suffer irreparable harm and foreign investment may come to a halt. # # #

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Last Updated on Thursday, 16 August 2007 12:49

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