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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Let’s not condemn the PNP yet

“I have no hatred for cops. I have hatred for racists and brutal people, but not necessarily the cops. The cops are just doing what they’re told to do.” ICE T

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — We can’t blame the families of victims of police brutality. Their hatred toward our law enforcers is only a microcosm of a sick society’s macrocosm.
Which explains why our national police force is once again on the brink of total destruction.
And our cops have low morale now that calls to abolish the Philippine National Police (PNP) are loudly girdling like Hercules’ wrath.
If we have family members, neighbors or friends who are connected with the PNP, let’s give them moral support.
Let’s not crucify them yet; let’s not treat them like dregs.
The likes of Sta. Isabel and Dumlao, among other principal accused in the slaughter of a Korean trader, are only rats in a house.

NOT ALL

Not all those who live in the house are rats.
Not all members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are hoodlums and scalawags.
When we want to get rid of rats, we either use a mouse trap or Dora rat killer and Racumin. We don’t burn the entire house.
We don’t abolish the PNP only because some cops are dishonest and criminals. All paradise have their own shares of serpents. All forests are infested with snakes.
Even the church is not clean. There are rascal priests and cardinals of ill repute. Some saints in heaven have ugly past.
We still believe that majority of the PNP’s 160,000 personnel are dedicated, sincere, hard-working, and trustworthy.
It’s not fair to flush the entire organization down the toilet only because of a few feces.

GOOD

We know a lot of good, courteous and well-mannered PNP personnel in Western Visayas where we grew up.
Many of these cops –men and women — are content with their salary and regard their uniform with pride and glory. They come from respectable, religious and honorable families.
Everywhere in the Philippines we can still meet cops who are proud to wear their uniform and are not distracted by the negative tag alluded the organization as a result of shenanigans committed by a handful.
Anywhere in the Philippines we can still hear stories of heroism and acts of valor committed by our cops that are not given prominent media attention either because they shun publicity and choose to remain anonymous, or we in the media are only guilty of negligence and indifference for our failure to give importance to these great deeds by our maligned cops.

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Posted by on February 5, 2017 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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Councilor Gerochi unfazed by criticism on ‘Bato’ resolution

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
— Winston Churchill

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — I dropped a “thank you” note for Iloilo City Councilor R Leone “Boots” N. Gerochi through the Facebook messenger because that’s the only way I could get in touch with him.

I told him I admire him for being such a broad-minded public official.
This was after he “shared” my article on his Facebook wall entitled, “Iloilo dads should get their hands off ‘Bato’ case” on February 2.
In that article, I criticized the Iloilo City Council for its “unanimous” resolution urging embattled Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa “to stay put” (the exact words I used).
The article stated that the resolution, penned by Councilor Joshua Alim, “may be wise and symptomatic but not necessary, to say the least.” (READ: https://alexpvidal.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/iloilo-dads-should-get-their-hands-off-bato-case/)

VOTE

As among those who “voted” for the resolution, Atty. Gerochi would have sneered at the article. The lest he would have done, if he were myopic-minded, was to ignore it. He didn’t.
By being sport and open-minded, he displayed a unique level of wisdom and understanding seldom seen among public officials today who are easily carried away by their emotions in a slightest media criticism.
Atty. Gerochi knew that the article was merely an opinion of a columnist or member of the Fourth Estate; and airing or expressing it in the free market of ideas like radio, TV, newspaper and blog falls within the ambit of freedom of the press and expression.
The city councilor knew that a public official is not supposed to bellyache and rant like a child if his acts are criticized or if the press chides him in relation to his functions and obligations in a public office.
Atty. Gerochi, son of well-respected criminal lawyer Romeo “Roming” Gerochi, our co-host in the original “Kape kag Isyu” cable TV program also aired “live” over RMN dyRI in 1996 together with Peter Jimenea, immediately caught my attention.
Here’s one public servant who understands and respects the job of a journalist; a public official who is perceptive and not onion-skinned; a city official who knows how to handle and value constructive criticism.

BEAT

I started covering the Iloilo City Hall beat in 1989 during the turbulent reign of the late Mayor Rodolfo “Roding” Ganzon until 1999, thus I am not familiar with Atty. Gerochi, who became city councilor in 2010 when I was already in Canada.
In the Philippines in 2014, I recall that the late former Iloilo Press Club president Teddy Sumaray once mentioned to me Atty. Gerochi’s name over a cup of coffee in the bakeshop of Iloilo City’s Atrium Mall.
“Alex, there is one city councilor, a new breed of politician who I really admire,” Mr. Sumaray volunteered. “He is the son of pare Roming and is also a lawyer. When I visited pare Roming in his office recently, this young lawyer was very polite and accommodating. I have not experienced the kind of politeness shown by any son of my friends in a very long time. He is a man to watch. Basi mag meyor ni sa pila ka adlaw (He could be a future mayor).”
We also trust that Atty. Gerochi’s colleagues, especially the senior members of the city council, won’t take the criticism of their job as public servants personally, and won’t consider the press as enemy but partner in nation building.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2017 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, POLITICS

 

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Iloilo dads should get their hands off ‘Bato’ case

“There are three major social issues that this country is struggling with: education, poverty, and drugs. Two of them we talk about, and one of them we don’t.”
— Steven Soderbergh

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — The night before the Iloilo City Council in the Philippines unanimously passed a resolution in its regular session on January 30 “urging” Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to stay put, President Rodrigo Duterte announced in a haste press conference in Manila that he had rejected Dela Rosa’s resignation.
Had Duterte let Bato go and announced it in the press conference on January 29, the Iloilo City councilors would have nothing to “urge” from the top cop in as far as his stint in the PNP was concerned.
Either proponents would revise the resolution from “urging Bato not to resign” or to “urging President Duterte to reinstate Bato.”
Or they would forget about the Bato resolution and remove it from the regular session’s agenda.

NECESSARY

Was the Bato resolution, penned by Councilor Joshua Alim, necessary?
It may be wise and symptomatic but not necessary, to say the least.
As a national figure, Bato has been the subject of intense discussions in the House of Representatives with some solons calling for his resignation in the light of the kidnapping and murder of a Korean businessman perpetrated by policemen inside the Camp Crame.
Newspapers, news websites, TV networks have been tackling issues about Bato. Even during the Miss Universe Pageant, Bato was among the “top grossers” in the news and social media.
Bato’s fate is too broad for a local legislature like the Iloilo City Council.
Too many cooks will spoil the broth.
Instead of joining the fray in complicated national issues, the city council will look good and earn more pogi points if it will instead focus on local issues.

DINAGYANG

Like an “urgent” resolution commending government agencies, city and provincial officials, private individuals, participating schools, sponsors, choreographers, among other unsung heroes responsible for the successful staging of the just-concluded 2017 Dinagyang Festival.
There’s a myriad of socio-economic, health, business, education, political and environmental issues that affect the life of local populace.
More pressing issues like the success or failure of smoking ban on public places, malnutrition and housing programs in villages, the reported increase in number of AIDS, murder, and rape cases.
The Department of Tourism’s (DOT) efforts to push for chartered flights between Taiwan and the Iloilo International Airport in the town of Cabatuan, Paraw Regatta 2017 preparations, Iloilo City’s aim to become “City of Excellence”, real estate boom, investment and business expansion and opportunities, among other local issues.
Meanwhile, if there was one thing significant about the Gen. Bato Dela Rosa resolution, it was the city council’s avowed display of solidarity behind the Duterte administration’s “strong campaign against illegal drugs and criminalities.”

 
 

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