The botched hostage taking has spurred so much vehemence from the Administration’s critics. The hypothesis so far– at least for both critics and those who lean towards the administration has been that there was a level of complacency. What we’ve been missing though is an indictment of our justice system. Largely because of years of neglect, largely because there really isn’t true justice.
SPO2 Gregorio Mendoza said he ran towards waiting media workers near the command post in Rizal Park after he heard then Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim tell other policemen to take him away. This was after one of the police negotiators told the mayor that Mendoza should be charged as an accessory to the hostage crisis.
“Ang sabi niya (Lim), pag nagtuloy ang hostage-taking, isama niyo na yan (What Lim said was: ‘If the hostage-taking continues, he should be included),” Mendoza told a multi-sectoral panel investigating the hostage incident.
Mendoza said he became afraid after hearing those words because of the veiled threat.
“Matagal na rin po ako sa serbisyo at ang ganung mga salita ay nakakatakot sa amin. Hindi po maayos. Kung maayos po, dapat idaan nila ako sa labas at sabihing may kaso ako. Wala namang sinabi na may kaso ako e. Kung malinis ang intensyon nilang walang masamang gagawin sa akin, hindi nila ako idadaan sa gilid,” he said.
(I have been in the service for a long time and those kinds of words are very scary for us policemen. It’s not alright. If it was alright, they should have brought me right outside and told me that I was being charged. Nobody told me I was being charged. If their intentions were pure and they had no plans to harm me, they wouldn’t have brought me out the backdoor.)
We have a country where the police are scared of their fellow officers. Was Mendoza scarred that the police would kill him? Isn’t this what ordinary citizens feel everyday? Powerless at the hands of people who could easily bully them? From as little as calling out traffic violators in the street— caught beating the yellow light for example to bigger crimes like the hostage taking.
Why was Mendoza scarred? Was it because he knows the shenanigans of the police?
Will it be then a long road to establish a system of justice where the grieved party and the accused could get fair treatment?
Image via ABS-CBN news