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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 14, 2016
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Falling stars


At the rate the government of President Rodrigo Duterte is waging war against illegal drugs, more stars will fall. First we have five top police officials from Chief Superintendent to police director. There are no generals in the Philippine National Police. From the rank of Chief Superintendent, their shoulders carry a star.

The general rank is for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the army and air force specifically. The PNP is a civilian organization according to the Constitution but its top officials who are graduates of the Philippine Military Academy love to sport the stars and be called generals.

There is truth to the claim of Fr. Sean Coyle that the five police officials were trained in the PMA and therefore their orientation and values are military and not police science and tactics. The police academy, the institution that trains officials of the PNP is the Philippine National Police Academy. Unlike the PMA, their training is police science and tactics and so are their orientation and values.

The five so-called narco-generals merely opted to join the PNP after their graduation from the PMA where they probably think they have lots of opportunities, metaphorically speaking. In fact they are disliked by the graduates of the PNPA because they practically came in as competitors and they impose their military kind of thinking and esprit de corps.

By the way, many police generals who figured in anomalies were not graduates of PNPA but of PMA. Remember the infamous euro-generals? They were also PMA graduates. We also recall that officer whose abusive .manners led to the death of an ROTC cadet in the University of Santo Tomas was from PMA. The public outburst at the way the cadets were treated, PMA way, led to the demise of the ROTC when Congress, in a knee-jerk reaction, ordered the abolition of the course. That incident resulted to loss of the main source of reserve officers and men for national defense.

The involvement of the five police officials should give our members of Congress a chance to look at the system, especially this crossing over to the other uniform service and the curriculum, methodology and practices of the PMA.

The fall of the star-rank police officers is just the beginning. I received a call last Monday evening that gave me information that two senior superintendents (full colonel in the army) in Negros are also in the list aside from mayors. When the list will be published, the informant did not say but there is certainty that it will be following soon when President Duterte starts going down the line.

Political stars may also fall. There are mayors and other politicians listed as either directly engaged in drugs or are tolerant of this evil, surely for a price. According to news reports, there are 34 mayors that will soon be unmasked. They are involved in the illegal drug trade and that former President Aquino knew of these mayors but did nothing. This bolsters the suspicion that all along the former president was aware of the illegal activities of the police star-ranked but did nothing.

For the political stars their exposure will certainly cause a lot of struggle within their communities. They will be targets of vigilantes. If they are not assassinated they will be so shamed that they will have to resign or rendered impotent to govern. Their political career can also collapse.

The best step would be for them to take a leave of absence but that will not save them from the heat like falling stars from the heavens. They will probably fade away like the star that falls down to earth unlamented and perhaps forgotten with nary a trace. They can also surrender, but would politicians be so bold?

The narco-generals appeared on television with somber faces and pleading innocence. If they are indeed innocent, what would a brave man do but dare the PNP to prove the charge? Asking the public, so long suffering from illegal drugs and families and lives broken, is a cowardly act. They only indirectly admit that they are, indeed, into this criminal trade and have grown fat.

Asking for pity for their families was more than cowardly. It was pathetic because their families shared their dirty money and lived luxurious lives from the drug money earned over the misery of others.

President Duterte is taking legal shortcuts, but the public seems to approve. Especially if more stars will fall.*





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