The necessary ending
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2017 - 4:00pm

It was the necessary ending.

As ugly as war and killing may be, the news that Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon were killed by government forces was the necessary ending, so people may know that those who would raise up arms against the government or devote their lives to criminality and terrorism, would eventually be captured or killed. Time and again the likes of Hapilon and Maute have managed to slip through and escape military or police operations and this has frustrated the public and the government in the past. But this time the two terrorists have paid with their lives and taught people in Marawi the costly lessons of war and rebellion.

We as Filipinos need to remind each other that no matter what the imperfections of government and law enforcement may be in the Philippines, any rebel, law breaker or terrorist will eventually be caught, tried, jailed or killed in a firefight. You are either killed or you die in hiding due to disease or betrayal by your own kind. As costly and destructive as the Battle of Marawi may have been, the government’s victory sends an all important signal to all others that the current administration has the political will and the military force and courage to see such a battle through. The pundits have given all sorts of opinions and analysis on the leadership and style of Rodrigo Duterte, but their greatest folly would be to ignore the political and leadership lessons from the Battle of Marawi. “If you threaten (his) government he will kill you.” If anything, the government’s victory in Marawi will be fair warning and incentive to other rebel groups to talk peace, enter into cooperation with the Duterte administration or face the predictable fate of war.

Allow us to express our respect, gratitude and recognition to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and the Executive branch for staying the course, committing themselves to defeating the terrorists, especially to those who gave up their lives in performance of their duty. May God repay you for your sacrifices, your loss, and may he reward you for your loyalty, bravery and commitment.

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Yesterday was a good day for Law Enforcement.

I don’t know if we have something referred to as “trending,” but last Monday was a full day of reports covering law enforcement operations. First there was the Highway Patrol Group out on EDSA flagging down vehicles for various violations related to unauthorized accessories such as HID spot lights, blinkers, sirens and the likes. Many drivers have long been complaining about those illegal attachments or accessories that distract or endanger other drivers but little or nothing has been done about it until last Monday. Congratulations to the HPG and I hope they can make their way on to the SLEX-Star Tollway as well as the NLEX where they should really go after SUVs with HID lamps that blind other drivers and those annoying vans with blinkers pretending to be some official convoy or vehicle. Those idiots never stop to think that they are causing others to be distracted while driving.

After the HPG operations, the Laguna PNP was also in the news when they launched their “Oplan: Janitor Fish” where they conducted saturation drives against potential criminal suspects and ended up arresting 40 persons with outstanding warrants of arrest. You won’t appreciate how significant this is until you become a complainant who has to work for the issuance of a warrant against your assailant and then discover that even if you have a warrant and know where to catch the suspect, getting the police to enforce the warrant is not the easiest thing to achieve. In reality, various PNP police precincts and commanders have been conducting law enforcement drives especially against men drinking or gambling along the sidewalks or parading themselves without a shirt in public. However, the Laguna campaign was special because of the 40 persons with outstanding warrants. Congratulations to them as well.

If the Laguna  PNP had their Oplan: Janitor Fish, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology had their Oplan Greyhound where they raided several jails and harvested piles of improvised deadly weapons as well as illegal contraband. Normally the raids are done only at the State Penitentiary or Bilibid but this time they were raiding city jails and the likes.

It is important to consider these activities and applaud or recognize the efforts of our law enforcers because they are now getting the point: the public wants the PNP to be Law Enforcers – Plain and Simple. During a training session I conducted for precinct commanders, I made them list down what were the things they were doing to improve community relations? Several officers said they regularly conducted “medical missions.” I asked: “Why? are you doctors? Do you work for the Department of Health?” Then another group said they regularly gave school supplies at the opening of classes. I asked: “Are you from the Department of Education? A third one stood up and said they helped in the coastal clean up program of their localities. I asked:” Are you with the Coast Guard or the DENR?

At the end I had to point out that while all their efforts at building up PR or public relations, none of it is worth cow manure if they fail to do their job which is law enforcement. The public are counting on the police to be around to protect them from criminals, to capture criminals and to enforce the laws of the land. You don’t need an MBA or Masters Degree to do that, you simply need to read your job description. So next time you see, hear or read about policemen doing their jobs as law enforcers, PLEASE express your gratitude and support. God bless.

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