Wednesday, March 5, 2008

In Fairness to the Policemen But...

I think the policemen who blocked, stopped and intimidated us should not be the only people to blame about the incident on which our basic right to freely assemble and travel without any harassment were infringed.

On one instance in the encounter in Molino Road where we were stopped for almost an hour, one young police officer named Ramos was a graduate of our institution Batch '94. He quipped as we negotiate with them in a low voice: "Pasensya na po talaga mam, wala po akong magawa kasi utos sa taas eh." (I apologize, I am just obeying orders from superiors)

One of senior policemen in Aguinaldo Hi-way said this as we were let go of our way after more than 20 minutes: "Pakisabi pasensya na lang po kay Dean Esmilla" (Please express my apologies to Dean Esmilla). Dean Esmilla is the former dean of our College of Law Enforcement and Public Safety.

Going back to these words and most especially the faces of these policemen as they uttered words of I may say despair and hopelessness (for they cannot do anything but abide the so-called chain of command), I feel sorry for them. What has become of them? They are very far from the people that we have formed in school with Christian values.

Most of the policemen of Cavite police force are either graduates of our university or scholars thru our program for law enforcers of Cavite. Some of these people even join our faculty members in the firing range for practice shooting. What has become of them? Until now, my heart still languishes this painful fact of existence.

Unfortunately, they cannot do anything they say. Chain of command, utos sa taas, wala po tayong magagawa. They have mouths to feed, they have children to send to school and have dreams to weave for their families. They know that what they are doing is basically against the bill of rights and unconstitutional but the chain of command tells them to disregard these things or else, they will be court martialed or face administrative charges and languish in jail far from their family and far from the life of comfort.

In fairness to the policemen, they did their job well. They fulfilled the order of the people on top of them. However, it does not mean that what they did was right and good. They are not totally spared.

As we were facing these policemen and trying to negotiate, we were also telling ourselves that they are just following orders. What a shame on the occupants of Malacanang and Crame are doing and teaching their subordinates. This is the very opposite of what is being taught here in our school to our future policemen. Being a teacher has never become more frustrating and more difficult than today teaching young men and woman, in this case soon-to-be law enforcers of upholding and always fight for the sanctity of human rights and freedom of the citizens rich and poor alike. It's as if everything that educators have labored in the classrooms for years are now in vain. Every corrective measures that teachers do whenever a student cheat, or hit a classmate, or utter fowl words in class, or being unbecoming in lectures, or being unprepared during reports, submitting plagiarized papers and being late, absent and irresponsible in class are now slowly being thrown in the trashbin by senior officials of the police force, senior officials of the military, the president and her family, cabinet members, senators and congressmen and sadly even barangay captains and kagawads. They are now indoctrinizing the people and presented the syllabus of violence, greed, dishonesty and indescency.

I pray that one day it will never dawn on us that our sons or daughters working in the government will steal from us, or abduct us, or abuse us or kill us and will reason out in somber words...wala po akong magawa ma, pa, utos sa tass. (I can't do anything mom, dad, orders by superiors)

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