EDITORIAL: POLICING THE POLICE





With the new administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. In the Philippines, there is certainly a lot of hope for change for the 31 million Filipinos who voted for the son of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. (who was famously called a “dictator” by the Western world and who died in 1989 in exile in Hawaii). It should be noted that Philippine presidents after Marcos Sr. did not accomplish much in terms of outstanding infrastructure projects, poverty alleviation, and most importantly, the eradication of graft and corruption throughout every nook and cranny of the government, including its law enforcement agency, the Philippine National Police (PNP).



Last week (week of October 10), Filipinos were shocked to hear the news that the PNP - Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) arrested one of them (and nine others) as they confiscated so far the largest haul of illegal drugs (shabu) worth Php 6.7 billion pesos. The policeman arrested -- P/Master Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo -- is a multi-awarded cop, recognized as the “Best Policeman” of PNP-DEG, who was involved in a number of drug arrests and confiscations prior to the buy-bust operation that ultimately led to his own arrest. When arrested, Mayo had in his possession about 2 kilos of illegal drugs worth more than Php13 million.



As of this writing, an investigation is going on, and President Bongbong Marcos strongly directed his Secretary of the Dept. of Interior and Local Government under whom the PNP reports to not let any stone unturned and to prosecute all others involved in these illegal drug activities, regardless of their ranks in the police force.



It must be recalled that before former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte left office, he apologized to the Filipino people because his campaign promise in 2016 was to totally eradicate the drug problem in his country, but he admitted he failed. Duterte’s war on drugs even gained him the notorious reputation from the Western world for allegedly violating human rights as such “war” killed thousands of drug victims (mostly poor users and pushers).



As a simple citizen-observer of what’s going on in the Philippine society, my only question here is, “Why is there no stats about the innocent victims of drug users/pushers?” When one is high, is raping and killing forgivable because the perpetrator is not thinking for his brain is drugged? Duterte apologized to Filipinos because he said those involved in the drug trade are not simply regular folks -- many are law enforcement officers, elected officials, and military generals! He said he just could not solve the drug problem of the whole country when millions or billions of money go to the pockets of those who are supposed to prevent illegal drug activities.



Duterte was right…and President Bongbong Marcos has the same problem now. I can only hope and pray that more Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo will get caught and spill the beans to at least lessen the number of higher-ranking law enforcers involved in this get-rich-quick drug trade.