Police brutality not mere fiction
The editorial “Brute display of power” (4/14/21) detailed recent incidents of brutality against suspects regardless of the severity of their crimes. This is the behavior emboldened by a tough-talking President who puts justice into his own hands. The President has made it a point to speak of the police as if they are his own personal bodyguard to deploy at whim. We have seen and heard the Philippine National Police say time and again that it will do “internal cleansing” every time a new chief takes the helm. As commentators would say, lumang tugtugin na ’yan!
How can we even trust the institution when its current chief, who himself violated simple health protocols during the first enhanced community quarantine, was not even reprimanded, let alone sanctioned for his clear mischief? How can we exact the same standard on ordinary Filipinos when the police can easily flex their muscle and brand any good reasoning by citizens as “resisting arrest” or “disobedience”? When every bit of law is stretched and used against helpless individuals while it is conveniently waived for those in power? What iota of trust do we have left for law enforcers who are supposed to “serve and protect” us?
These cases of abuse are not unique to the Philippines. In many countries, the abuse of police power is also rampant. And who are the victims? The poor, the voiceless, the marginalized, the oppressed. The line our parents told us, “Hala ka, huhulihin ka ng pulis,” was not merely a work of fiction.
EDWARD JOSEPH H. MAGUINDAYAO
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