NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews/8 April) – “Nanlaban Kasi (He fought back, that’s why)” is the police top tune to explain a dead suspect in their hand. That has been the justification for the plight of the 5000 suspects in drug-related police operations. All landed in the morgue, not one in the emergency room of a hospital.
Even in so-called buy-bust operation that is aimed to simply entrap suspected criminals the ending of the narrative is likewise the morgue. It has become so boring.
How could that be? Why could not the police net their suspects alive when they are trained and are prepared for doing it and have all the reasons to do it?
The role of engagement in the pursuit and capture of a suspected criminal is to disable him, which the police jargon “to neutralize” may originally mean. To disable him when resisting arrest is to train the shot at his hand or leg not on his vital parts. That is imperative. Alive, a suspect, is priceless. He could lead the police to his accomplices, say, in drug operation, to the many runners, pushers, supplier(s) and, perhaps, to the protector(s) of the network where he belongs, and even to some drug lords. Dragging him dead to the patrol car is omerta in action. As said, dead men tell no tales. But here, silence tells a lot…
So much for the vaunted war to end the drug menace.
The kill and kill mandamus of the commander-in-chief got a new response from law enforcers in Negros. Suspected as communist rebels, the farmers were accordingly dragged out from their home, a little away from the sight of family members, then BANG BANG BANG! All dead on the spot, 14 farmers in three farming villages in Negros Oriental.
Of course, the template is ready: Nanlaban kasi.
It’s not a battle of narco lists.
The Bikoy video of another narco list, that is titillating viewers in the social media, does not delete or delist a name from PRRD’s list but has, in fact, dramatically enhanced it.
The video linked members of the Duterte family to some drug syndicate that accordingly fattened their individual bank accounts to high heaven. Of course, everyone denied it. President Digong himself blamed his yellow opponents to the renewed assault on his family. Son Paulo accused a guy he knows as JS and Sen Sonny Trillanes as those behind the slander. Curiously he is threatening to file another case in court against Sen Trillanes but is silent on JS who he seems to know quite well.
The video echoes incidentally the challenge of Sen. Trillanes in recent past for the family to come out clean, if they are, by voluntarily opening and showing to the public their bank accounts, and for Paulo to pull off his shirt for a few seconds and show his back to the public to prove his tormentors wrong once and for all that he has drug triad tattoo on his back.
It is that simple really. But instead of laying down their cards, they have sought refuge from the bank secrecy law and the right to privacy. Suffice it to say that among government officials on matters of public interest, transparency supersedes and transcends the right to privacy. That explains why they are legally compelled to file their Statement of Asset and Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) upon assumption to office and annually thereafter.
Honesty is still the best policy to uphold in the service, never mind if some no longer believe it as a virtue.
And simple denial won’t clear anything, nor diversionary stratagem.
Whatever, at the heat of the Bikoy narco list controversy, which closely coincided with the reported sighting of hundreds of Chinese vessels lingering near Pag-asa island, Digong put his critics off guard when, he suddenly told China to lay off Pag-asa, that he could reinforce the troops in the island, if need be, for a suicide mission to defend Philippine sovereignty. Earlier denying the presence of the Chinese vessels, the pronouncement was an unexpected turn around and the strongest so far from Malacanang on the escalating Chinese aggression in West Philippine Sea. It appears to abandon the administration’s earlier coy and submissive stance on the territorial issue. Here, the aggressive Digong comes as the knight in shining armor trying to stop the rape of Maharlika. He instantly becomes lovable even among some of the yellows who thought that the stance is supportive to the del Rosario- Morales unprecedented case in the International Criminal Court against China’s President Xi Jinping for committing crimes against humanity in WPS.
The master tactician proves his worth once again.
At any rate, it excites to wait for the next episode of Bikoy. We have at least an alternative for Netflix serial movies.
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines)