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Friends, ladies and gentlemen:

The word “opportunity” is among the best used and perhaps, the most abused word in the English language.
What does it really mean?
What does one really mean when one refers to a “golden opportunity”?

Here is one definition I particularly like.
The definition comes from that timeless classic reference Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

The definition goes like this, and I quote: “Opportunity means a favorable juncture of circumstances.”

Why do I like this definition?
I like it because it is so complex and so hard to understand but if I can pretend well enough, you might believe I actually do.

Here is one definition that you have to ask another person to define.

I was told, it simply means a point where the right people meet at the right place for the right reason and at a perfectly right time.

If that, indeed, is how the word “opportunity” should be defined, then let me welcome you to this opportune gathering of the right people at the right place for the right cause and at a perfectly right time.

The time is perfectly right.
We can delay no longer.
Today is the time to act.
Today is the time to put in place and to set in motion the mechanism for the forfeiture of assets.
To dilly-dally would be to give our adversaries the opportunity to advance their own cause.

The reason is perfectly right.
To stop the enemy, we need to strike at the core of its will to do battle with us.

The core of that adversarial will is business.
Human trafficking is, for them, a huge enterprise a booming business.

It is said that a business enterprise requires two necessary ingredients in order to thrive.

One, financial resources.
Two, an abundance of opportunities.

The Manual which we launch and turn-over today have been designed to strike at both:
to muzzle their financial muscle, and
to deprive them the opportunity to use their resources to perpetuate their crime.

Simply, we have here a manual that aims to put the enemy, so to speak, out of business.

Right time.
Right reason.

I may have forgotten the third element that makes for an “opportunity” – the element called “right people”.

Right people.
I need not explain. We just need to look around the room and we know exactly what we mean.


Right time,

plus right reason,

plus right people.

Today, we meet up with the golden opportunity to drive the enemy out of business.

I thank you all for the opportunity to partner with you in this task. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who have been a valuable and indispensable part of the preparation of this magnum opus.

Now, let’s put this Manual to good use.
Let’s now all get down to business.

Have a great day, everyone. Mabuhay!

Speech Delivered by Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente B. Salazar, in-charge of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking
During the Formal Turnover of the Manual for Asset Forfeiture Proceedings in Human Trafficking held at the Department of Justice, Executive Lounge
Last March 08, 2013