Iron fist

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    TATLO LANG ang maaari ‘nyong puntahan: Mamatay kayo, sumurender kayo, o maaresto kayo. (You can only do three things: Die, surrender, or get arrested).

    More serious vow than empty threat did Police Regional Offi ce 3 (PRO3) director Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino issued before some 10,000 surrendering drug pushers and users gathered at the Bren Z. Guiao Sports Complex last week.

    Tandaan ‘nyo, ang kapulisan ay hindi nakikipag-bolahan sa inyo. (Remember, the police are not joking around with you), Aquino stressed.

    As though his words were not enough to convince the assembly of dopeheads, as we called them – okay, ourselves – in our own long bygone psychedelic times, he rattled off the latest statistics in the anti-drug campaign in Central Luzon: 10,194 drug pushers/users surrendered in Pampanga, bringing to nearly 30,000 the regional total; 1,000 drug suspects arrested; and, with the most emphasis, 65 killed for resisting arrest – all in the three full weeks of July, 2016.

    Gusto ‘nyo bang mamatay na rin kayo (Do you also want to die)? So Aquino asked.

    Hindi (No)! So thundered the assembled drug suspects, but of course.

    So what must they do to stay alive, or to avoid what PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa euphemized as “changing your birthdate to November 2”?

    Stop selling and/or using illegal drugs. Don’t even think of fi ghting arresting cops.

    And should they backslide to their old, bangag ways? Docketed in the police fi les are their real names, even aliases; their addresses, and other information, which would make it far easier to track them down.

    And yes, Aquino said, it is not only the police that would do the hunting for recidivists, but the Armed Forces of the Philippines too: Kaya hindi lang bala ng 9mm ang tatama sa inyo, pati bala ng M-16 at M-14 ay tatama sa inyo (Not only bullets of 9mm but also those of M-16s and M-14s will hit you.)”

    As severe, if not more so, is the fate awaiting policemen involved in drugs: Itatapon namin itong mga pasaway na mga pulis sa Basilan at sila ang ilalaban namin sa mga Abu Sayyaf doon. Tuwang-tuwa nga si Presidente Duterte nang malaman na itatapon ang mga pulis na ito sa Basilan. (We will throw these rogue policemen to Basilan to fi ght the Abu Sayyaf there. President Duterte was very happy when he learned that these policemen would be sent to Basilan).

    Of the 100 cops assigned in Central Luzon earlier announced by Aquino as allegedly involved in illegal drugs as users and/or pushers, or even protectors, 83 have been deployed in Mindanao, the rest having gone AWOL. This, according to Aquino himself during an informal meeting at Camp Olivas just this Wednesday past.

    And, he said, there’s a next batch – “even higher in number than the first one” – of cops involved in drugs to exile to the South, “most preferably to ‘BaSuTa’ (Basilan, Sulu, Tawi- Tawi).”

    Hard as Bato. The way of this Aquino.

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