September 26, 2023

‘Curse-tesy’ resignation

After the Armed Forces of the Philippines woes, comes now the Philippine National Police with a bombshell, as Interior and Local Government Sec. Benhur Abalos called on police generals and colonels to submit their “courtesy resignations.”
It was just an “appeal”, actually a polite word for “directive”, a revolutionary innovation to weed out “ninja” cops of the illegal drug trade tarnishing the reputation of the institution.
The problem was there were about only 10 suspected cops supposedly engaged in drugs, either as protectors or worse, resellers, but the rest have nothing to do with the flourishing illegal business. The officers and gentlemen are cursing under their breath for being presumed guilty and not innocent as the Constitution dictates.
As it is, the call was not even original, as it was a copycat of former Pres. Fidel V. Ramos’ version to rid the police of scalawags in the light of kidnap-for-ransom activities against wealthy Tsinoys culminating in a bungled rescue attempt by police, where the victim Charlene Sy was killed in a shootout along with the suspects.
Sidebar to a Tsinoy friend of PNP Press Corps founder and president Bobby Burgos and mine who was kidnapped by armed uniformed men wearing bonnets. After his family paid the ransom, he went to the San Juan Police Station to report the crime but lo and behold, the colonel-in-charge was wearing the Rolex watch taken by his abductors. He promptly left the station in disgust.
The then tobacco chomping president promptly issued a memo to his DILG Secretary: “It is my desire that PNP officers from the rank of senior superintendent (full colonel) and above, who are eligible for retirement, submit on a voluntary basis, their applications for retirement, priority for processing should be given to officers in the floating category” and also made it clear that “this was a directive, not a request.”
I should know, as I was with him at The Mansion after he played at the EMA Cup 1 Fun Gold Tournament as he drafted the memo with his famed black and red marker pen.
Then FVR met with 239 generals and colonels in Camp Crame and everyone agreed that a “committee of elders” consisting of eight retired officers, with the SILG as chairperson, would review and process within 45 working days all the retirement applications for final approval by FVR.
Parang Ms. Universe contest ang criteria: integrity; leadership-management potential; performance; loyalty to the Constitution; and physical and mental fitness.
The officers suddenly had a “Damocles” sword in their necks from their seniors/elders given life and death powers over the officers whose fates were suddenly in their hands.
Remember the story “The Sword of Damocles”? It is about a man who, after showering King Dionysius with flatteries and praise, was given a chance to sit on the throne for one day in order to experience what it was like to be king.
Damocles readily accepted the offer and sat on the throne surrounded by servants and all sorts of luxuries anyone could imagine.
Unknown to Damocles, King Dionysius arranged for a sword to be hung above the throne tied only with a single strand of hair from a horse’s tail.
“To evoke the sense of what it is like to be King; though having much fortune, always having to watch in fear and anxiety against dangers that might try to overtake him. Damocles finally begged the King that he be allowed to depart because he no longer wanted to be so fortunate, realizing that with great fortune and power comes also great danger.”
The Intelligence Service of the AFP and the National Bureau of Investigation were tapped to do the background checks.
Ten officers, including eight colonels and two generals, refused to submit their retirement applications. Today, 99 percent of the officers have complied with the request.
Ultimately, the goal is to cleanse the ranks of the future leaders in the uniformed organization. I guess at the end of the day, the means would justify the end.