Wednesday, January 21, 2009

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Bernard Madoff, former chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange, who pulled the biggest Ponzi Scheme of all times victimizing stupid and greedy multi-millionanaires worth $50 billion dollars, used one of the Devil’s temptations against Christ: I will give you the wealth of this world if you believe in me. According to the New Testament account, the Son of God rebuked the Evil One and stopped him for good.

According to current press accounts, Madoff’s believers succumbed to his lies and lost their fortune in a fraudulent investment scheme. That makes the notorious financial scammer a direct scion of the father of lies. A lesson that we can learn from this story is never to believe the Devil or his children.

Greed has always been a vulnerability to some people. It has been said, according to a Filipino whistleblower, that one greedy Filipino bureaucrat once admonished his fellow cronies to “moderate their greed” in stealing money from unscrupulous government transactions. The culprits however were not able put their greed under control and finally were exposed.

So many crimes have been committed because of greed. No doubt the Christian
Church classifies it as one of the “seven deadly sins.”

Greed in essence is the uncontrollable desire to amass wealth even those that do not belong to you. How then can a poor human being free himself or herself from that kind of slavery?

Christ was able to withstand Satan’s temptations despite his poor and hungry physical condition. He knows the Devil cannot deliver because he is a liar. He, being the Son of God, knows that only God can provide because He is the Divine Providence.

Remember as history of mankind will tell us, God never allows one man or woman to amass the wealth of this world for He is the God of Justice and Reason. So the answer on how to free oneself from greed is true faith in God the Provider.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


After spending relatively a longer time in this world, I feel the urge to reminisce certain peculiar episodes hard to forget.

I once worked as a Security Officer for one year in the mid70s at the former WNEW Channel 5 television station in Manhattan then owned by billionaire John Kluge. That was one of the odd jobs I had to grab after arriving in New York city as a professional immigrant with outstanding qualifications.

Lately somebody told me that a movie was shown about the late comedian Andy Kaufman. Naturally my memorable encounter with this comedian came to mind in the station’s hallway.

The late comedian went crazy after being informed that he was off the program one midday. He ran across the hallway yelling and banging the office door of the producer. Other guards were not able to subdue him. So I had to threaten him with my wooden club to calm him down. It’s just too bad this incident was not mentioned in his biography and in the movie where Jim Carrey played Andy Kaufman.

I believe I already wrote in another paper about my encounter with the late Old Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra during the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon still being sponsored by Channel 5 as a tradition. I had the surprise of my life when I found out later that famous crooner was a target of assassination. My supervisor assigned me, a short regularly built Asian man, to guard him from the time he stepped out of his limo, stayed in the dressing room, and back to his limo with his friend Jilly Rizzo.

Other celebrities whom I engaged in idle talk during my security desk job as far I would recollect were Rita Moreno, Peggy Lee, former Mayor Ed Koch then a Congressman, and sexy Monique Van Buren, and many others. Yet some celebrities ignored me with a look of disdain.

Keeping true with the life of an immigrant in America whose goal is to reach the American Dream, from the lowly job of a Security Officer/Guard, I took on the job of a department hospital administrator after graduating with a Master’s degree from New York University in 1980.

And there are memorable episodes to worth recollecting during those times perhaps in my next column.

I mourn the passing away last week of my brother-in-law, Cecilio T. Marcelo of Baliuag, Bulacan and Candaba, Pampanga. He acted like a real brother to me after the death of my eldest sister Felicisima in the early 50s. His eldest son, Jose, was the former Chief of Police of Valenzuela, Bulacan. He belonged to the Marcelo and Trinidad families of Bulacan and Pampanga.