“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”― Voltaire
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — Here’s another case of “double standard” when it comes to dealing with characters involved in illegal drug trafficking in the Philippines.
If the suspect is a street-level drug peddler or drug addict, he is killed in a “shootout” with lawmen “after resisting arrest.”
If the suspect is a drug lord, he is accorded a “special treatment” by allowing him to face the media and destroy the reputations of authorities allegedly receiving protection money from the syndicate.
To add insult, the drug lord could escape prosecution if his revelations on the payola scandal would be proven based on the reports below.
Reports from Negros Occidental in the Philippines referred to one Ricky Serenio, 34, of Barangay Singcang-Airport, Bacolod City as “a drug lord under the target list of Negros Island Police Regional Office (PRO).”
Serenio, who has been placed under PRO’s witness protection program after he named several members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), court employees, and media personalities as among those who received regular “payola” from the “boss” he refused to name.
Being placed under the program could reportedly help dismiss the cases against Serenio, “if he can prove that his revelations are true.”
Chief Superintendent Renato Gumban, PRO acting regional director, said Serenio, who is under the custody of the Regional Special Operations Task Group, is facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives after police recovered from him a .45 caliber pistol with magazine containing five live ammunition and a fragmentation grenade when he was served with an arrest warrant for grave coercion at Rizal Street, Barangay Zone 9 in Talisay City on January 8, 2017.
Why place Serenio under the witness protection program if the evidence is sufficient to convict him in a fair trial?
If the cases filed against him will eventually be dismissed only because his revelations were proven, the public trust and confidence on our law enforcers will definitely be eroded.
When small fries are trampled like grasses and the big fishes get away with murder, it will defeat the “all-out war” campaign of President Duterte against illegal drug trafficking.