Policing their own
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Bacolod City Police Director Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz has ordered Bacolod City Traffic Management Unit head Chief Insp. Luisito Acebuche to arrest all policemen, traffic aides and other law enforcers riding on motorcycles without helmets, following complaints from citizens that those law enforcers are often seen blatantly violating the law without being arrested by their colleagues.De la Paz said he believes that as law enforcers, they should set examples by following traffic rules because they are the implementers of the law. However, several recent accidents involving motorcycle riding policemen who were seriously injured or even killed because they were not wearing helmets prove that the complaining citizens are not just overreacting when it comes to the way law enforcers have been turning a blind eye when their colleagues are the ones breaking the law. Aside from getting the cooperation of Acebuche’s men, De la Paz is also appealing to residents to report policemen, traffic enforcers and other law enforcers on motorcycles without helmets so they can be penalized appropriately.Many of us have become used to the irony of constantly seeing law enforcers flaunting their immunity from law enforcement because their colleagues and superiors do not bother to discipline them when they break the law. It is good to see that the police chief is making them wear helmets just like the rest of the motorcycle-riding public is required to but that is just the beginning. A sustained campaign against erring law enforcers will do the city a lot of good because the same policemen, traffic enforcers and other law enforcers who have exempted themselves from wearing helmets are most likely the same ones who disregard basic traffic rules when they routinely go against the flow of the traffic and beat red lights not only in plain view, and with the implied consent of their colleagues, while the rest of us try our best to follow those rules.
This is a chance for the people in charge of the traffic situation to show that they can discipline their own ranks because the people of Bacolod will find it hard to believe that they are capable of improving the situation, if the same people who are supposed to enforce traffic laws are the very same ones who keep on breaking them.*