BRITNEY Spears could say it one more time, but it has been a week since her sold-out concert in the Philippines, so perhaps another time when Director General Ronald de la Rosa brings it on again?
Once again, Mindanao, the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte, was at the receiving end of De la Rosa’s latest display of conduct so unbecoming the country’s No. 1 law enforcer, or an officer and gentleman.
We just have to remind him just the same to be more careful in picking the places to banish rogue policemen.
The first time he chose a place of exile for so-called police “scalawags,” the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), popularly known as “Bato” (stone in English), last year picked the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which is seen as the base of operations of terrorists and other extremists now affiliated with the Islamic State (IS).
A few months ago, De la Rosa again ordered corrupt and criminal members of the PNP shipped off to the ARMM to fight the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG),to initially loud objections from the ARMM governor.
Since then, nothing has been officially heard of what happened to the exiles, which somehow softens the fact that they are nothing but law enforcers engaged in the illegal drug trade and other outlawed “sidelines.”
Whether these misfits mended their ways by battling the Abu Sayyaf or have gone back to selling drugs or kidnapping people, nobody knows, except perhaps Bato.
But because De la Rosa may have thought that a report to the President about the performance of the first batch (more than 250, according to a report) banished to southern Philippines was not necessary, we can only presume that many of them or every one of them have returned to Metro Manila to recover lost criminal ground.
If they did, then they must have toyed with the idea that their brothers in arms in the country’s premier region needed, well, an “inspiration”.
They could have been seen as such by “two Mandaluyong City police officers who were caught on video beating [up]and pointing a gun at two men [whom]they had arrested for violating a city ordinance banning [the]drinking [of]liquor in public.”
De la Rosa, upon learning of what amounted to torture, particularly of one of the two apparently defenseless men, was reported to have also ordered that the two police officers—Jose Julius Tandog and Chito
Enriquez—be sent to Marawi City, which for more than a month now has been a veritable war zone between government troops and the Maute Group, yet another IS-linked terrorist band.
But the people of Marawi—both Christian and Muslim—have already suffered tremendously, so they cannot possibly take in two more perceived violators of human rights to make their misery complete.
What the city needs are protectors, not possible troublemakers of whom Marawi has seen more than enough.
Of course, we grant that Tandog and Enriquez are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Even then, the video footage that The Manila Times saw shows Tandog repeatedly hitting one of the suspects with what a newspaper report called a “stick.”
An officially issued police baton serves the purpose of restraining any alleged wrongdoer, in this case the suspect whom one of the police officers said had physically and verbally abused him.
Where Tandog got the “stick” should be looked into, or we might see it figuring in similar cases in the future as a standard weapon of humiliation or subjugation.
We are urging De la Rosa to be more circumspect in making statements that could be likened to those bomb “jokes” told within the hearing of security guards posted at Metro Manila’s railway stations.
For such “jokes,” the “joker” pays the price as he is promptly ordered arrested.
In the same vein, the PNP chief should also pay the price for making supposedly harmless statements on deploying corrupt and crooked policemen to Mindanao or Marawi or elsewhere in the South.
Not all jokes are funny, some actually are scary, especially to the people at whom the jokes are directed.
If they are to be made at all, they should be at the expense of the jester.