On – ‘Are we safe with our own police?’

Jarius Bondoc in his column today (14 October 09) posted what were Stephanie’s (edited) account of attempted robbery, even abduction possibly by members of the PNP on the night of October 5 in a subdivision in Muntinlupa.

It appears that on her way home, subject Stephanie was overtaken by a patrol car with two policemen on board. When ordered to roll down her car window, she opened it just enough to hear what the police has to say – “Naka-flag kasi itong kotse mo”.

To avoid hassle, she offered to show her papers. But this Policeman A passed them to Policeman B who appeared from behind. The latter asked the hood to be unlocked. At that point, she demanded explanation but there just was no response whatsoever.

Apparently, while Policeman B checks the hood, the other one, Policeman A un-characteristically coming from the passenger-side window ordered Stephanie for her license. Starting to become suspicious when said policeman tried to insert his arm to unlock the door, Stephanie pressed the power window switch to close. As Policeman A yelled out, Policeman B pointed a rifle at her and hit the windshield. So she honked the car nonstop, sped off with the hood up until it snap down from a hump.

The lady says she must have bumped one of the policemen from the car’s fender. But the two soon run back to their patrol car but drove off and never gave chase.

This incident is a simple violation of a human right as clearly outlined by the Commission on Human Rights under the ‘plain view doctrine’.

So let the question be raised – ARE WE SAFE WITH THE PNP? Under the circumstances, it seems that it is hard to really give them our full trust and confidence. And the behavior exhibited in this account by a possible victim only reflects the fact the PNP policemen are not out there to protect us when we are reduced to be their prey – with them acting as our predators.

From where I stand, no one is safe from members of the PNP with latent criminal tendencies. Or consider this other sample of work.

In the front page of the same issue of Philippine Star is shown a policeman exhibiting spy cameras he claims is being sold in Manila shops for P3,000. Consequently, he wants the sale of these gadgets regulated since, as he claims without any scientific basis, that they could be used for criminal activities.

Assuming that indeed concealable cameras, wireless scanning devices were being sold at some stalls at 168 Mall in Divisoria, what right has anyone to have these items regulated simply because the argument is that it can land into the wrong hands and be used for criminal activities. Is this the bedrock of the Philippine criminal justice system as espoused by a certain Superintendent Nelson Yabut, Meisic Police Station chief?

Further he argues, it can be useful to law enforcement personnel but not with criminals. What a lousy double-standard of morality is that? Unfortunately, this is the same policeman who instigated the NTC to seize from the market the sale of cellphones with voice scramblers.

The line ought to be drawn: what are criminal and what are technological. This absurd worldview embraced by members of the PNP is simply offbeat, lousy, and tantamount as ‘harassment’ to legitimate businesses. It is hoped and prayed that where PNP interferes too much with the daily business operations of legitimate stores, this is not one subtle form of extortionist activity.