Do it at your own risk

LET’S see how PNoy would decide fair and square based on the recommendations by the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) in connection with the Aug 23 hostage drama that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead with his latest statement that he would likely adopt “most” of the recommendations made by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s panel.

Will it be all right for the President to make, for one, Manila Mayor Fred Lim administratively and criminally liable for the ignominy? I don’t think so. Let’s hope I’d be wrong.

Just over the weekend, PNoy was with “Dirty Harry” in Tondo where he’s heard singing praises on the latter for initiating improvements ranging from infrastructures to education and health services in the country’s capital. Sounding good to his ears, Lim quickly returns by exclaiming that the son of democracy icons late Sen. Ninoy Aquino and late ex-President Cory Aquino was not an elitist as howled by the President’s detractors.

Proofs, he says, include directives he got from PNoy telling him to give priority to education and to ensure that the poor constituents would get free education, health services, among other things. To further typify it, together they launched the Philhealth’s insurance registration program at Baseco Compound where the President gave out insurance cards to poor families.

Now, I mean in few days’ time, PNoy as he promised will come out with his decision regarding the debacle that hugely put the country in global humiliation for mishandling the rescue operation. Will he have guts to include Lim or just point his fingers on others mentioned in the IRRC report as scapegoats? Umm, I don’t think so, dare? Meantime, let’s just wait and see.

On one hand, Lim has proven himself as an effective public official and leader as well. A brilliant police officer in the old days, he wouldn’t have been in his place right now if he did not pass through the straight path, the same direction PNoy wants now to take. Once again, let’s just wait and see.


I couldn’t help giving compliments to Navotas City officials led by their mayor, John Rey Tiangco, who have shown political will in enforcing local laws sparing no one may he be a man in uniform, a government employee or even a mediaman. He’s like his elder brother now a congressman, Toby, who’s known for being “brusko” when it comes to strict implementation of ordinances and laws.

No wonder, the country’s fishing capital has become the envy of other cities as far as cleanliness and orderliness are concerned.

Proof is the latest apprehensions of over 1, 000 so-called litterbugs, few of them were said to be policemen and government workers. They were penalized for violating an ordinance against wanton dumping of garbage, a measure that has been in existence for years and yet people wouldn’t care about it.

Do it at your own risk when you’re in Navotas.

Preparing for the Worst

Not to be outdone, Police Regional Police 6 director Chief Supt. Samuel Pagdilao Jr. has successfully persuaded the members of the League of Mayors of the Philippines (LMP) in Iloilo and Negros Occidental to ratify the Crisis Management Committee’s (CMC) interim rules he helped drafted that define the functions and limitations of power of a local executive or the civilian authorities in handling hostage situation and similar crisis in Western Visayas.

A lawyer, Pagdilao says the interim rules were formulated to address the absence of rules or national policy prescribing the specific powers and limitations of the CMC. During a hostage situation, the CMC chairman shall process and decide whether to approve or junk the hostage-takers demands. Likewise, he has the authority to call for the elevation of the situation to the higher CMC body and to approve the assault in the hostage takers’ stronghold when negotiation fails.

Having known him for years, the workaholic general makes sure the Quirino Grandstand incident would serve as an eye-opener. Hence, he’s carried out a thorough review of critical incident management by commanders from the regional down to station level, retraining of SWAT and other special units in hostage and rescue operations, the training of some 54 hostage negotiators in the region, the establishment of media protocol during coverage of crisis situation and the formulation of CMC interim rules.

How I wish seeing the good man at the top of the PNP helm in his last years in the police service. Arlie o. Calalo

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