MAGANES: Commitment and cooperation on peace and order

October 30, 2011 at 10:16 pm Leave a comment



Last week, I was surprised to hear over the radio that armed men mercilessly killed three teenagers who are third year high school students of Balungao National High School after coming from a vigil in San Raymundo village of Balungao. They were so young who were full of dreams. But those dreams have been shattered by the diabolic acts of persons who have no high respect on human lives.

The culprits were arrested but incessantly denied their participation in the killing spree in spite of a lone witness – another teenager in company of those killed but survived. What was disgusting is the participation of a police officer that is supposed to be a protector of innocent civilians. What drove them to do that dastardly act is still a mystery. Why kill those helpless teenagers who could not even retaliate to the fiery bullets coming from high-powered guns? Was the killing a vendetta? It was one of those being eyed as reasons by the investigating police officers. If then, why don’t those killers look for the persons they wanted to avenge with?

The crimes in Pangasinan are rising. That is real. If you go to Philippine National Police (PNP) offices in every town and look at their records, crimes have indeed increased. The situation cited earlier was only among those crimes against persons that is giving shivers down the spine of ordinary citizen. How about crimes against properties? We often hear carnapping. We even heard that even electrical lines festooned along streets and highways are stolen. How about other drug related crimes that oftentimes lead to the summary execution of the suspected pushers and users? Do our police authorities not avert these kinds of crimes? How about us citizenry? Do we just close our eyes to these and let the police elements do their work?

The enforcement of peace and order is not only the responsibility of policemen and other law enforcing agencies. We the ordinary citizens have to do our part. We should also do our reciprocal commitment and cooperation in combating crimes in the neighborhood. We should serve as watchdogs and be brave enough to work with police officers in crime prevention and the enforcement of peace and order.

The reason why crime prevention is not working in our communities is the fear of reprisal from criminals. At most, people are cowed. They don’t want to come out as witnesses. They fear for their lives including the lives of the members of their families because sometimes the government has no real program on witness protection. Another factor is the “bata-bata” system that when those involved are close to the politicians, the perpetrators of crimes have always the confidence to do their dastardly motives- be it killing innocent people or stealing properties of others. Sometimes, our justice system does not work well also. Because of the “due process of law,” this is being abused not only by lawyers but also the state prosecutors or even judges in delaying the delivery of justice.

While I said that reciprocal commitment is needed from the citizenry, there is also a need for police authorities to improve their community relations. Prosecution must be speedily dispensed and judges must also be wary of lawyers’ tactics of dragging and postponing case hearings.

Speaking of police community relations, the best allies for the prevention of crimes are the barangay officials including the barangay tanods. These force multipliers must be properly trained. They should be taught on proper handling of cases and on how to arrest erring persons. But sometimes, barangay officials are not even aware of simple human rights. They are not also aware of the demarcation line between law enforcement and their duties and responsibilities.

This government must also keep track of loose firearms. How many times I’ve witnessed that even barangay captains and tanods have in their possessions loose firearms? How many times I’ve seen ordinary citizens have their guns tucked on their waists without licenses and proper permits from the authorities?

Good relationship between police authorities and the citizenry, I believe, will boost our quest for peaceful communities.

And you must also do your share.

(For comments, email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com)

Entry filed under: News.

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