“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”
By Alex P. Vidal
NEWARK, New Jersey — I agree that some cops in the Philippines caught sleeping while on duty be meted with disciplinary action, but I don’t agree that they should be berated like kids in front of a national TV.
Sleeping while on duty is indeed a serious offense amid threats from the communist rebels to attack police stations anywhere in the country.
It constitutes negligence and lack of discipline especially if those caught dozing off were not in proper uniform and in terrible shape physically.
They could be disarmed by bad elements and even killed while in dreamland.
They can’t also respond to calls for police assistance from victims of crimes at night time.
Sleeping precinct commanders should be sacked and replaced with those energetic and strong enough to withstand drowsiness on night shift.
I have misgivings though with some police officials who give their junior officers the dressing down in front of TV cameras.
Not all the sleeping beauties are useless or bad cops.
Sleeping is a human foible. Even Hercules and Don Juan fall asleep.
Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson had also been caught sleeping in cowboy and crime movies, but they always emerged as outstanding lawmen and ten feet taller than the bad guys they had killed.
Police officials can always conduct a surprise visit in various precincts even without the media coverage and fanfare.
They can always throw the books on erring subordinates without the need to insult and embarrass them in media.
While most of these police officials are motivated by call for duty, protocol and professionalism and their wrath seem to be valid, some of them have hidden agenda.
When they retire several months or years later, they don’t only become civilians, they become candidates in elections for a public office.
If they can shame subordinates for the sin of sleeping, they must, first and foremost, do the same to the rogue cops, the real bad eggs in uniform notoriously engaged in illegal drugs and illegal gambling.
When Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) committed crimes, some of them were sentenced to death in foreign courts even if their guilt wasn’t established beyond reasonable doubt.
In most cases, the Philippine government wasn’t able to save wrongly convicted OFWs from the death row.
Either news of the sentencing in court reached late in Malacanang, or there was lack of coordination and miscommunication among labor attaches and other concerned officials.
If the OFWs are the victims of crimes perpetrated by their employers, the chances that they can get support from Malacanang through our embassy are also sometimes nil.
Especially if embassy officials face a blank wall like in the case of 29-yar-old Joanna Demafiles of Sara, Iloilo whose body was found inside a freezer in a Kuwait apartment recently.
As of this writing, efforts by Lebanese authorities have been undertaken to capture the suspects, a couple and Demafiles’ former employers, who fled to Lebanon after abandoning the apartment in 2016.
Demafiles had been identified through her fingerprints, according to RP officials in Kuwait. Her family is demanding justice. They wanted her body back in Sara, Iloilo.