Today's Punto
Today's Punto
What? Only 14?
By Bong Lacson

Mar 14, 2017

INCREDULITY BECOMES Gov. Lilia G. Pineda after hearing from ace police charact…, er, reporter, Jess Malabanan on Monday that of the 155 Central Luzon erring cops tagged to undertake a three-month retraining course, 14 are from the Pampanga Provincial Police Office.

Unbelievably low, the numbers are, by any account, actual and estimates alike.

“Kulang yan…maghanap pa sila ng mga pulis na mga abusado, tamad,” said Pineda. “Nandiyan pa yung pulis na nakapatay, ang sabi sa akin ay nagdu-duty pa.”

The governor had previously enjoined Senior Supt. Joel Consulta, the province’s top cop, to expedite the investigation of policemen who have committed serious offenses. Precisely to prevent the “infection” of other cops with the scalawag virus finding manifestation in maladies ranging from the slightest kikil to serious extortion and kidnapping, to deadly drug-dealing and murder.

If only for the Angeles City cops involved in the case of detention-for-extortion of a group of South Korean golfing tourists that followed the wake of the tokhang-for-ransom and subsequent murder of their countryman Jee Ick- Joo, if only for Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan’s wish that the city police force be relieved wholesale soon after his personally chosen chief of police was unceremoniously booted out consequent to the aforecited cases, then, indeed, 14 is way, way off the number of misfts in uniform in utter need of rehabilitative overhaul, not simple stopgap retraining.

Yeah, the latter similarly absurd as charging the battery to improve the performance of your battered decades old car already suffering engine blow-by. Kinatuk ya barbula, bibiyayan me ing baterya!

But then again, who knows?

Miracles are still believed in. Since Saul’s own at Damascus’ Gate, epiphanies are intrinsic to the Christian experience. God’s grace permeates every man, no matter. Look no further: the self-confessed mass murderer SPO4 Arthur Lascañas is a living testament to this renewal, aye, conversion.

Forget the pugilist one’s self-acclamation though. It can well be what Paul warned us against: the clanging cymbal or the resounding gung-gong. And yes, the Devil can quote Scripture as easily, as instanced in Luke 4:9-11 and Matthew 4:5-6.

The initiative of Aaron

So, we defer to the Central Luzon police director Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, whose initiative it is to subject the region’s undesirables to this retraining scheme for their change of heart.

Ay, is it this time of Lent or just me? Suddenly finding something biblical here – Camp Olivas’ chief’s namesake, along with his brother Moses, in some game-changing engagement with Ramses II to let God’s chosen go. Long shot from Exodus, no? Delete, delete.

Scoffing at the tried-and-tested-yetunproved- as-beneficial practice of banishment, Aquino said: “We are sending ‘bad eggs’ in the organization to southern Mindanao but we forgot to reform them…There’s the missing link…We immediately decide on giving them punishment without initiating reform… The retraining is like giving them a second chance to rectify their misdeeds.”

Stressing that: “Kung tutuusin, itong 155 na pulis ay magiging fourth batch sana na ipatatapon ko sa Mindanao, kaya lang pina-hold ko muna para bigyan ng chance na magbago. Sabi ko nga this is not a form of punishment but to develop them and be committed again to the ideals of the PNP.”

Hence: “The training program is a sort of disciplining them and at the same time to hone their policing skills. While we gave second chance to civilian drug addicts, we also have to give chance to members of the PNP to reform.”

The retraining program, Aquino said, covers “spiritual counselling, attitude and behavioural training…It’s like they are undergoing basic police training.”

Officially unsanctioned as yet by higher police headquarters, Aquino affirms his training intervention hews closely with the program to “weed out the bad cops in the PNP organization.”

What if recidivism still came after the “retraining for reformation”?

The Mindanao option has never been taken out of the equation, Aquino reminds everyone.

On record – utterly shameful at that – PNPCentral Luzon contributed the largest chunk of “scalawag” policemen re-assigned to Mindanao since the cleansing of the force in the wake of the war on drugs.

Aquino hopes this batch of 155 will be the last ever to be Mindanao-bound, and the first to be re-assimilated – after their full rehabilitation – to their mother units.

Hope springs eternal, yes.

But as Nanay Gov disbelievingly deemed: “Kulang yan…” In Pampanga, in Central Luzon as well.

Go forth, Aaron, find more. Find all of them. Yahweh commandeth thou. Eww!

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