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Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Home Op-Ed Columns Opinion on Page One The Philippines and the Filipinos don’t match

The Philippines and the Filipinos don’t match



INTERIOR Secretary Eduardo Año has praised Oscar Albayalde for resigning as Philippine National Police (PNP) chief after being implicated by fellow officers in the recycling of seized crystal meth (shabu).

Año said Albayalde’s decision to step down was a “selfless act.”

Define “selfless,” Mr. Secretary.

Albayalde never wanted to resign, saying that only the President could make him do that.

* * *

Albayalde had no choice but to step down because he was exposed as a protector of “ninja cops” — policemen who sell shabu they have confiscated — when he was Pampanga provincial police chief in 2013.

Año was just sugarcoating the resignation of a fellow graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

In fact, as per Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, the President didn’t want to see or talk to Albayalde, a signal that he wanted the PNP chief to go on his own steam instead of being yanked out.

If I know Manong Digong, he would have either slapped Albayalde or punched him in the face after being exposed as a ninja cop protector.

DU30 forced an undersecretary to swallow peso coins — by his own admission — after the functionary was reported to have demanded a bribe from a citizen.

When he was still Davao City mayor, he beat with a rattan stick the hands of a policemen he thought was stealing evidence in his custody.

Selfless act, my ass!

* * *

When he was chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Albayalde never acted on complaints of corrupt and abusive cops that my public service program, “Isumbong Mo Kay Tulfo,” brought before him.

He was so unlike his successor at the NCRPO, Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, who promptly acted on all complaints of abuse or corruption by Metro Manila cops.

I recall bringing to Albayalde a Singaporean expatriate who was a victim of extortion by some Makati policemen.

Instead of assuring the foreigner that he would have the cops investigated, Albayalde even berated the Singaporean in front of me.

This prompted me to bring the complaint to then-Special Assistant to the President Bong Go who informed the President.

DU30 had the policemen thrown to Basilan to fight the Abu Sayyaf. Last I heard, one of them was killed in a firefight with the Abu Sayyaf.

* * *

So, when I read that Albayalde, in bidding goodbye to the PNP, advised its members to “carry on in the service,” I was amused.

Carry on with the abuses and corruption?

* * *

The President should vet hard — and if I may suggest, consult outside of his inner circle — the candidates for PNP chief.

Manong Digong should by now have learned a lesson in choosing Albayalde as PNP chief based on recommendation from bootlicking advisers.

I was told that the President had been advised by counter-intelligence against choosing Albayalde, but then-retiring PNP chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa assured him that his PMA mistah (classmate) was fit for the job.

* * *

This is the same Bato — who is now a senator — who interceded with administrators at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) to pass his son, Rock, after the latter failed in several subjects.

At the PMA, the military counterpart of the PNPA, if a cadet fails in one subject he repeats the whole year; if he fails in two or three subjects, he’s “washed out,” or dismissed from the academy.

Because of favoritism in the case of Rock dela Rosa, PNPA cadets are demoralized, according to an instructor at the police academy.

I wonder what kind of a PNP commissioned officer Rock would be after he graduates in 2021?

The PNPA instructor could not help but laugh in telling me the story about Rock.

Already, Rock is reportedly a spoiled brat. He has bodyguards on campus and does not sleep in the cadet barracks, but at the Special Action Force camp a few kilometers from the PNPA compound.

“What will happen if, God forbid, he becomes PNP chief like his father?” the PNPA instructor said.

I told the instructor that by the time Rock becomes general, the PNP shall have become a very disciplined organization, very much different from what it is now.

“Sana nga (I hope so),” the PNPA instructor said.

* * *

And, by that time, I told the instructor, Filipinos as a citizenry shall have become disciplined and discerning, as well.

The Philippines, the country, and Filipinos, the citizenry, don’t match.

I remember coming across a legend about the Philippines.

When God created the Philippines, so the legend goes, He made everything perfect.

God created beaches with pure white sand that was washed ashore by waves from the blue sea. He gave life to diverse flora and fauna, which would tickle man’s natural desire to learn more about them. He provided the islands an abundance of natural resources that other countries would envy — and they did.

God gave a satisfied sigh when He was done.

However, an angel saw what God had just created and said, “Isn’t that a little unfair? You made this country a little too perfect, if You ask me.”

God shook His head, smiled and replied: “Don’t worry. The people who will inhabit the place will be the complete opposite.”

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Today’s Front Page February 25, 2020

Today’s Front Page February 25, 2020