ROUGH CUTS| Opportunity for a ‘shot at redemption’

      AGAIN P/Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, Police Regional Office (PRO) XI director, has shown his brand of leadership in the police organization.

     This we have observed when while waiting for official instructions from the national headquarters for the re-tapping of policemen in the anti-illegal drugs operation he ordered the vetting of officers and men who will be joining the organization’s drug enforcement unit.

     Above all, Police Director Gaerlan ordered for the holding of seminars on human rights the participants of which are those who will be picked to be part of the anti-illegal drugs operation. Yes, the selected policemen will be oriented on the job that they will have to perform and how to ensure that while implementing the campaign violation of human rights will be avoided.

     Indeed, PRO XI chief Gaerlan made what perhaps the most appropriate decision in relation to the decision of the President to again utilize the much bigger regular police force in the operations against illegal drugs.

     The move is a manifestation of a learning process resulting from the scathing local and international criticisms on the administration’s alleged extra-judicial killings (EJKs) committed while implementing the anti-illegal drugs drive.

     While we have not heard of any report of alleged EJKs in Davao City since the onset of the Duterte administration and that of her daughter mayor Sara, it is clear that P/Chief Supt. Gaerlan wanted to start clean the re-acquired role of the police in the campaign in his jurisdiction. And he is doing this by fielding morally upright and legally-oriented police operatives; they who can be expected to uphold the law and respect the rights of suspects.

     What P/Chief Supt. Gaerlan is doing could very well be the opportunity for the police to get a “shot at redemption” of their tarnished name brought about by the previous bloody campaign.

-oOo-

     And talking of the government’s anti-illegal drugs drive and the re-acquired role of the police in the campaign, we find one very relevant recommendation that could present a new face in the drive.

     We are referring to the suggestion of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino that the government drops the term “Tokhang” from the campaign. According to Aquino while the corruption of two Visayan words “toktok hangyo” into one forming the shortened word “tokhang” is not evil per se, the large number of deaths of suspects in the illegal drugs trade is giving it a deadly connotation.

     In other words, people these days, especially in the greater Manila and other metropolitan areas where illegal drugs trade is known to exist, when they hear of “tokhang” being launched in their place, think of deaths to come or massive illegal arrests.

     The real meaning of the word which is the simple knocking of doors to plead to those residing in concerned houses or apartments to stop their illegal activities is substituted with that chilling thought, all because of what is happening – all those drug related deaths are attributed to the police.

     Thus, the PDEA national head is right in recommending that it would be better to drop the controversial word “tokhang” when the police will have a change in command starting upon the retirement of PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa in January next year.

     PDEA’s Aquino believes that with the re-involvement of the police in the drive a fresh start is expected by the people. And such fresh start must be complemented with a new face. Do away with “tokhang” just use the simplest word possible.

     After all whatever happens in this new phase of the anti-illegal drugs drive of the administration will speak for itself.

-oOo-

     Wow! Some people really do anything to impress or perhaps do “sipsip” to their bosses. The latest is the production of ID cards for Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFW).

     This we saw yesterday on television during the morning program of Mike Enriquez, Ali Sotto, and Arnold Clavio over GMA News TV.

     The trio showed an OFW ID card bearing the photos of the ID owner, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III, and President Rodrigo Duterte. But what betrays the intention of the one who caused the production of the ID cards is having the pictures of the President and the Secretary much, much bigger than the holder.

     We can remember the President having issued a stern warning to concerned government agencies not to include his picture in any or all materials that seemingly propagandize him and what he is doing.

     Really, we do not have any idea if the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) or whichever agency that caused the production of the OFW Ids, is aware of the president’s directive, or have gotten clearance from Malacanang for the project.

Posted in Opinion