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Rough Cuts | Not just ‘very shameful,’ it’s disgraceful, insulting

“Very shameful.”

This was the headline of this newspaper last Friday, October 4, 2019.

This came about after operatives of the Talomo Police station arrested a Police sergeant and a brother of a ranking police officer in Davao City in a drug buy-bust in front of the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) main campus in Bo. Obrero.

We strongly agree, and if we may add, it is disgraceful for the police organization. Why, because the apprehension of the police official on drug dealing happens at this time when there is grave contamination of the police image brought about by the Senate probe on the so-called “Ninja cops” that has dragged to the fore the highest official of the Philippine National Police.

Yes, it is “very shameful,” disgraceful and a grave insult to the leaders of Davao City up to the highest official of the land, President Rodrigo Duterte. He was former mayor of Davao and has showcased his anti-illegal drugs campaign at the national scene.

And the Filipino people who have seen hope of the possibility of liberating the country from the clutches of the illegal drugs trade and its impact on the youth in the Davao situation supported then candidate Duterte. That is largely why he is President.

But what is happening now? Even as the entire police organization is put in a bad light because of the shenanigans of some few, here comes this Davao City police sergeant and a relative of a high-ranking police officer doing their own share of tarnishing the image of the PNP.

Worst, they did it right in the very showcase of the President in pitching for support in his administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.

Col. Alexander Tagum, Director of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) who called the arrested officer a “traitor” in the police oath, promised in front of the media that he will not tolerate this kind of police behavior.
The Regional Police Director himself, Brig. Gen. Marcelo Morales minced no words saying that he is “furious and sad” over the open disregard of P/SSgt. Elcelito Macarandan Colita of his 12-year in service by substituting honor with greed for money.

But wait. Why are there some inconsistencies in the statements from the regional office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on the arrested policeman and the other suspect? And even as the agency’s statements are inconsistent, these are also conflicting with that of the police.

According to the police SSgt. Colita and one Glenn Art Laurel Muring, a brother of a former Buhangin Police station commander, the two are “high value targets.” The police said further that Muring was in fact monitored by them for the last three years and that he was once arrested also for engaging in the illegal drugs trade but was able to post bail.

And here comes the PDEA saying that Colita and Muring “were newly identified drug personalities.” How come the police was saying one thing while the PDEA is saying another? Are the two law enforcement groups in Davao City not communicating with each other? Are they not sharing notes when it comes to monitoring people believed to be engaged in the illegal drugs trade?

Yet, we read in the papers the police saying their operatives conducted the buy-bust in coordination with the PDEA! Is that not kind of strange?

But anyhow, both the Police and the PDEA deserve congratulatory accolades from the people of Davao City for the successful capture of one of their own in an operation that could have turned into a “guarded secret” as to its results knowing its negative impact on the image of the local police.

So we are extending our personal congratulations to the Talomo Police under P/Major Ronald Lao, and the PDEA for allowing an effective coordinative operation.

And as we also congratulate PRO XI Regional Director P/Brig. Gen. Morales and DCPO chief Colonel Tagum for providing their men on the filed inspiring leadership, we are throwing this challenge to them:

File without delay the criminal and administrative charges against the erring policeman and bring to the court of law that one guy Muring. Have the relief of their potential allies within the organization stay until the cases against the two are brought to the desired closure in order to ensure that they cannot influence any action in the course of the prosecution of the local “ninja cop” and his accomplish.

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