BEFORE proceeding, one noisy greeting of ‘Happy Birthday’ to Bureau of Customs (BoC) commissioner, Jagger Guerrero, yesterday’s ‘Birthday Boy.’
Harinawang patuloy kang “gabayan” ng ating Panginoon, Comm. Jagger, sa iyong paggampan sa iyong tungkulin bilang “”bosing” ng isa sa mga “pinaka” na ahensiya ng gobyerno kung pagdating din lang sa eskandalo at katiwalian ang pag-uusapan, huhuhu!
At bilang ‘friendly advise,’ huwag mong kalimutan na magsuot ng ‘armour vest’ at ‘helmet’ para “iwas-bukol” at ‘backstabbing’ mula naman sa mga tulisan mong mga tauhan at sa mga “nagmamalasakit” sa iyo -- ‘di umano, hehehe! More power and more blessings, Comm. Jagger!
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On waking up yesterday morning, I was among those to be greeted by the ‘good news’ that the military has ‘overrun’ two ‘New People’s Army’ (NPA) camps in Mindanao purportedly to be used by the rebels in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ‘Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) this coming December 26.
The date of course, is also the 125th birthday of Chairman Mao Zedong, the “father” and “founder” of ‘Modern China and whose ‘Mao Zedong Thought’ remains the central “philosophy” of the CPP-NPA, along with the works of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin.
About two weeks ago, I also got to read the announcement of good friend, BGen. Boyet Burgos of the 202nd Infantry Brigade, that his men had also overrun another NPA camp in Quezon, purportedly to be used too by the NPA in Calabarzon to commemorate their party’s golden anniversary.
But despite these ‘tactical successes,’ no one should be surprised if the CPP-NPA still finds a reason to be “happy” over the “correctness” of their ‘not-so-worn-out’ propaganda line that despite the launching of so-called ‘reforms,’ our law enforcement agencies, the PNP in particular, remains a “rotten” and “corrupt” organization in the pay and service of the ruling classes and as such, the “true enemy of the people” and those seeking reforms in our society.
I am propounding on this matter in relation, dear readers, to the death, nay, murder by the police -- and in the most brutal fashion too -- of Richard Santillan, long-time aide and ‘bodyguard’ of senatorial wannabe, election reforms advocate and former Biliran congressman, Atty. Glenn Chong.
As everyone knows by now, Santillan and a woman (whose name escapes me for the moment) who “hitchhiked” for a “safe” ride home late on Sunday evening, turned out dead in the wee hours of Monday, December 10, after a “legitimate encounter” with the members of the Rizal PNP, the Cainta police and the local unit of the Highway Patrol Group.
That they were killed -- and Santillan also allegedly ‘tortured’ before he was killed -- on December 10, the global commemoration of ‘International Human Rights Day,’ adds further irony to the incident.
In my previous column, I lauded Calabarzon police director, Edward Carranza, over his announcement that he has ordered the “administrative relief” of the police director of Rizal, S/Supt. Lou Evangelista, Cainta COP, Supt. Pablito Naganag as well as the other policemen involved in the carnage, or over two dozen cops under his command.
But that commendation has turned to dismay on my part considering that despite the glaring “details” of the ‘shootout’ posted by Chong on his social media account, the PNP, thru RD Carranza, decided to “stick” to the “version” of his men that what transpired was a “legitimate encounter.”
Indeed, the whiff of “pre-judgment” and “exoneration” on the part of the Calabarzon PNP has already permeated the air with RD Carranza not only affirming the involved cops’ narrative.
More importantly, his assertion that the “investigation” of the incident that he has ordered would only cover the claim of “use of excessive force” by his men in the killing of the victims already implied that they would not entertain the claim of Chong that the whole bloody affair was “scripted” by the police from beginning to end.
Kumbaga, PNP chief Oscar Albayalde at DILG Secretary Ed Ano, “ngayon pa lang” “tinapos” na ng Calabarzon PNP ang usapin kung ang nangyari ba talaga ay “ambush” at “rubout” (ayon kay Chong) dahil nga ang “bersyon” ng pulis-Rizal na “engkuwentro” ang nangyari ay “pinanigan” na ni RD Carranza.
Now, this may be a “gaffe” on the part of RD Carranza due to the ‘pressure of the moment’ but this nevertheless is an early blow in the effort to find the truth and give justice to all involved.
In other law-abiding countries, this is called, “obstruction of justice.” In such countries, officials like these are immediately relieved from their posts.
And yes, Juan, even this focused effort to investigate the use of excessive force would, in the face of the social media posts made by Chong, appear ridiculous and a lame attempt to paint a picture of seriousness on the part of the Calabarzon PNP.
From what everybody had seen, the Toyota Fortuner owned by Chong (but being used by Santillan at the time) was riddled by bullets (at least 30 bullets holes) and that Santillan, according to Chong, received 15 gunshot wounds.
Eh, ilang “bala” ba ang kailangang “tumama” kahit kanino para mamatay? ‘Yun bang 15 tama sa katawan ni Santillan, dear readers, hindi pa yata ‘use of excessive force’ yun para kay RD Carranza?
Now, don’t get me wrong, dear readers. I am one with everybody in lauding the sincere effort of the PNP leadership under CPNP Albayalde to truly reform our national police organization.
I also don’t personally know anyone involved in this latest controversy.
But I am also with everyone in realizing that we continue to live in dangerous times.
Especially when the men who are supposed to protect us, the police, continue to practice what had made them fair target for communist criticism and propaganda -- involvement in summary execution, whether for the “right price” or for “self-preservation.”
I mean, come to think of it, dear readers, these days, it appears that if you want someone “done away with,” you no longer have to “get in touch” with the various criminals-for-hire; just talk to your local police scalawags and they would “take care of the rest.”
“Nakakatakot,” hindi ba, mga kabayan?
And why is there a need for the Commission on Human Rights to be “clobbered” first in both the social and mainstream media before it announced it would also investigate the incident?
Why too, the unexplainable silence on the part of the ‘Yellow Hoard’ to call for a full-blown investigation?
Aber, kahit sa “pagsasauli” ng mga ‘Kano sa ‘Balangiga Bells’ ang “ingay” ninyo “makabanat” lang kayo kay PDU30 pero sa insidenteng ito, tila mayroon kayong ‘conspiracy of silence?’
May “kinalaman” ba dito ang sinasabi ni Chong na ang “RIT” (riding-in-tandem) ng Comelec at Smartmatic ang “nasa likod” ng pagpaslang kay Santillan na kanyang ‘bodyguard’ at kaibigan nang matagal na panahon?
Oh well, in the days ahead -- and unless serious effort is taken by the government to uncover the truth and show no mercy to all those involved in this incident -- we’ll just have to “take it and bear it” if the CPP-NPA had a feast day in exploiting this incident to the hilt. Abangan!