Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Stolen Motorcycle

How did I get myself into this? That is what I was thinking as I slumped dejectedly on the living room chair. A preacher….with a stolen motorcycle….What am I going to do?
I had tried to do everything by the book. I knew that I didn’t know, so when I was making the purchase, I asked others, “What do I need to do to make sure I don’t get cheated?” They told me, “Make sure they have the original paperwork, what is called the OCR (original certificate of registration).” Everything seemed to be good. We even went to the man’s house to do the transaction. Well…it wasn’t the original owner, he, a German named Martin, had left the country, his worker a Filipino, named Arvin Adriano was handling the sale for him. He had the Deed of sale that the owner had signed before he left the country. He was such a nice guy, I thought we would get him and his family to come to church in the deal. But now….After checking for almost two months with LTO (Land Transportation Office) (think DMV), they say the signatures are different and they will not issue a new OCR in my name. Simple enough I think, I will contact Arvin, and we will iron this out, good thing I kept his phone number in my phone…..only the number doesn’t work now! I start to get a little queasy about this deal. Meanwhile, the helpful people handling my paperwork, prepare an affidavit that basically lies and says I bought it straight from the German guy, I just can’t sign that, it is not true. I have them prepare another which correctly states that I bought it from his worker. When I get a chance to go to the LTO chief and explain my situation, she doesn’t accept it. How do you know he really wanted it sold? Did you ever talk to him directly? Hmmmm….No, never talked to him….

The police say it hasn’t been reported stolen, but what if Arvin, the worker, knew his boss Martin, the German guy, was going to be out of town for a while, knew where the OCR was and decided to make a little money and be long gone by the time the boss came back to the country. Well, we still know where he lives. So Rev. Gaudario and I go there. We see his wife, Arvin is at work she says, oh, his old phone, well he lost the chip for it, he has a new number, here it is…..Hope starts to resurface, maybe this isn’t such a bad deal. We call Arvin, he answers, Arvin, we need the number to Martin in Germany so he can sign an affidavit and they can transfer this motorcycle. Ok, but I am working now, I will send it to your phone later. Well….later never came. We eventually call back and the phone number doesn’t work. Now I know this thing is stolen. He has taken off to some remote place never to be seen again. We start calling all of the Adrianos in the phone book….disconnected….wrong number…etc.

What am I going to do? If I get stopped by some policeman, they will throw me in jail and I will start my prison ministry! I could ditch the bike….the money is not that important. I can call the police, but here, there is so much corruption, maybe they would seize the bike as stolen, throw me in jail and never pursue anyone. I could drive it, it is registered for another year, just not in my name, a common thing here. Everything will be fine, unless I get pulled over…

Then, it happens, I was just going down the street to get a part for the bike, when that store didn’t have it and we were forced to go further into town, I hadn’t bothered to wear the helmet, it was so close, but now I am deep into the city, and the friendly policeman waves me over and wants to see my license and registration….. Uh, well my license is at the house and the registration….Rev. G. offers to go to the house and get the license for me, when the chief asks what type of work we do. Ashamed, we told him we were preachers. He says, “Oh, why didn’t you tell me? Go ahead and don’t worry about it.”

We have got to get this thing ironed out. We risk going to Arvin’s house again, if it is stolen, maybe he will jump us and kill us to avoid going to jail. I take my little pocket knife for protection. We arrive and she says “Oh, they called him into work early” Sure…I am thinking. “Why don’t you go and see him there?” I will. He works at the Holiday Inn as a Chef. He may come out of the kitchen with a knife, but there will be plenty of witnesses to convict him if he does kill us!

We go to the front desk, they call him, he comes out, no knives…good sign….we need this number to Martin in Germany. Well my phone had gone dead, low battery, that is why you couldn’t get a hold of me. Here let me put my chip in your phone and I will give you the number, he does, we have the number!!!! I call, and Lo and behold I speak to the owner. Yes, he did sign it. Yes he will fax an affidavit. It is all good. He had gotten into an accident on the motorcycle and hurt his left hand, he is left handed and so when he signed, he used his right hand, which explains the differences in signatures. Within a couple of days, I have the OCR! The bike is legal! I am alive! No stab wounds! Not in jail! Whew!!!!!


D Smart said...

Wonderful illustration of the efficiency of the Philippine beaureaucratic (?) system. "Just Wait Sair" "Just Wait."
God Bless you Rev. I can feel your pain. Lol

Hannatu said...

What a saga! What a relief that you don't own a stolen bike! Your wife looks great and not at all pregnant!

God is Good! said...

riding without a helmet?
aren't you a pittsburgh fan?
did you hear about the multi-million dollar QB from pittsburgh riding on his motorcycle without a helmet?

i know i sound like your mother, but be safe, God needs you...alive.


btw, they took a picture of the license plate of the man who his Rothlesburger, his license plate said, "OHIO", remember the steelers took out Cincy's QB. well...

actually i don't know the license plate state, but we were talking and said, what if... wouldn't that be interesting...