A culture of violence

Despite the intense denial of its spokesman, there really is a culture of violence and corruption in the ranks of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Abusive and corrupt policemen seem to outnumber the good ones.

Police Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said the PNP is still a credible institution and can be trusted by the citizenry.

Usana was reacting to the grisly killing of 52-year-old Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank Anthony Gregorio by M/Sgt. Jonel Nuezca, on Dec. 20 last year.

His words now sound hollow, with the fatal shooting of 52-year-old Lilybeth Valdez by M/Sgt. Hensie Zinampan being the current talk of the town.

Zinampan was holding the woman by the hair when he shot her pointblank on the neck.

The incident happened in Barangay Greater Fairview, Quezon City on May 31.

Zinampan was drunk.

I’m a dyed-in-the-wool journalist and had witnessed several people killed when I was a police reporter decades ago, but I retched when I saw the shooting of the housewife which was recorded on video.

It was an example of police brutality to the nth degree. It was horrible beyond description.

That incident in Quezon City and the one in Paniqui, Tarlac with Police M/Sgt. Jonel Nuezca, both of which were recorded on video, never happened during my time as a police reporter.

Add those two murders to the shooting of an autistic young man in Valenzuela and numerous other killings of innocent civilians by policemen, and you now have a complete picture of how the present crop of policemen has become a pack of hideous monsters.

When I covered the police beat from 1978 to 1986, I never came across grisly killings of innocent civilians by policemen of such magnitude.

“What’s happening to our country, general?” former vice president Emmanuel Pelaez asked Brig. Gen. Tomas Karingal, Quezon City police chief, as he was being wheeled into the operating room at St. Luke’s Hospital after he was ambushed on his way home during the martial law years.

What’s happening to our police force may well be the question the citizenry should ask the PNP, whose motto is “to serve and protect.”

Who do the citizens run to for protection, when the people who are supposed to protect them are themselves the criminals?

* * *

A certain legislator has offered to bankroll the electoral campaign of a presidential wannabe who’s leading in the surveys.

The wannabe was dumbfounded by the offer since the legislator is just a newbie.

The minimum amount to be spent for a presidential run is P10 billion.

Where in heaven’s name did the tyro legislator get all that money?

* * *

A Malacañang official with the rank of undersecretary has been pressuring officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to award big projects to contractors who are this official’s friends.

This functionary, a lawyer, has become a pain in the neck of DPWH officials who are too scared to complain. This Malacañang official is probably a member of the infamous and feared “Davao Group” that throws its weight around in many government offices.

I wonder if the President knows about the existence of the Davao Group.

* * *

Retired Gen. Debold Sinas, the guy that Guillermo Eleazar replaced as Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, had a peculiar trait that made him a laughingstock to former subordinates.

Sinas displayed Voltes Five toys in his office and made his subordinates post the “V” sign in the façade of PNP buildings.

“V” stands for Voltes Five itself, a fictional robot made of five vehicles, which fought invaders from space. The show was originally from Japan and gained traction in this country.

It was a favorite among toddlers in the 1970s.

At one time, then-president Marcos banned the show on national television because of its violent content which, he said, was not good for children.

Every 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Sinas would compel his subordinates to drop what they were doing and dance to the tune of the Voltes V theme song.

Sinas’ peculiarity made him a weak PNP chief, incapable of disciplining his subordinates.

For how could he impose discipline among one of the most undisciplined police organizations in the world when the rank and file disrespected him for his eccentric behavior?

* * *

According to Google, as of May 30 this year, 1.21 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated (two doses), while those given one jab and still waiting for their next number 2.77 million.

When the 2.77 million receive their second dose of the anti-COVID vaccine, there will be 3.98 million Filipinos already protected from the deadly virus.

With an estimated population of 110 million, 3.98 million would be about 3.6 percent of the population.

The country is still far from attaining herd immunity, which requires 70 percent of the population to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

At the rate we’re going, perhaps the population will reach herd immunity in the next five or six years?

* * *

Pfizer of the United States, AstraZeneca of Europe and Sinovac of China have been used in inoculating Filipinos. Moderna, also manufactured in the US, is coming this month or in July.

Sinopharm of China has yet to get approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while Sputnik of Russia, although it has arrived in the country, has not yet been used en masse.

* * *

My staff at “Isumbong mo kay Tulfo” public service office complained of malaise, fever, pain on the injection site, and persistent headache, all of which lasted up to two to three days after being injected with AstraZeneca.

My wife Josephine and her sister Norma, as well as Alin Ferrer, my chief of staff at Isumbong, were inoculated with Sinovac and didn’t have any side effects.

I got my full dose of the Sinopharm vaccine in November last year along with some government officials and members of the Presidential Security Group.

As many people already know, the vaccine was smuggled into the country and had no approval from the FDA.

What side effect did I have from the Sinopharm vaccine?

I had a hard-on every morning that lasted until noon for two weeks. No kidding.

I told President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte about the side effect of the Sinopharm vaccine when I visited him in Malacañang a month after I received my second Sinopharm shot.

Digong listened to me with intense interest and, turning to Sen. Bong Go, his erstwhile aide-de-camp, said: “Bong, gusto ko rin magpaturok ng (I also want to be injected with) Sinopharm.”

The President was injected with the Sinopharm vaccine on May 3, 2021, six months after I told him about its side effect.

*****
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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