Different rules for different folks?
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2018 - 12:00am

Filipinos all want to think that we are modern and progressive minded until someone makes an announcement or comment to media that proves how backward, unfair or discriminatory the system in this country can be. As a meme on Facebook stated: your ability to speak English is not proof of intelligence.

Take for instance the recent announcement of an official of the Philippine National Police who declared that any member of the PNP who decides to run for public office is deemed resigned and can never go back to the service if he decides to do so after the elections. I’ve never heard of any such law and if there is, it has to be the most stupid and discriminatory law or rule in the PNP that I’ve ever heard of!  What is so special about the PNP or what is so wrong with attempting to run for pubic office that it would permanently disqualify a police officer from returning to the fold? Given how almost nobody promotes, lobbies or pushes pro-PNP legislation in Congress or the Senate, the PNP hierarchy should actually lay down an agenda for representation.

Just because the PNP gets an annual budget from Congress, just because salary increases comes at an average of every 5 or 6 years etc. does not mean that the PNP is close to being fairly and properly represented by Congress! If part of the job includes getting killed in the line of duty, let us make the benefits and recognition given to the PNP worth dying for! Let’s get them the equipment they need. The worst form of let down or possibly betrayal is for PNP “Ka-baro” to be the very first to shoot down the aspirations and rights of police officers to seek public office or to return to the fold for as long as they are qualified and not because of a discriminatory act of automatic disqualification. I hope that police officer was misquoted or misread the Rulebook.

But as for me, let PNP officers go on leave the same way everybody else is required to BUT allowed to return to their former jobs or previous lives after the elections. Besides which, if Senators are allowed to run for higher positions and are allowed to go back to their unfinished terms if they don’t win the higher post, then PNP personnel should not be barred from returning to the ranks! No to discrimination!

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Speaking of discrimination, I learned of a practice being done by officials of the Bureau of Fire Protection where female recruits or those undergoing special training in the National Capital Region to have a “Men’s style” hair cut. No, it’s not the cute “Page boy” cut but a milder form of crew cut. I also learned that in the PNP female police officers are not allowed to wear visible make-up or attention getting lipsticks. What cave have these PNP officials been bunking or living in? Sorry but the Tibo look or Tomboy style does no wonders for the image of the PNP or the image of women in the service. Given the popularity of “Kardo” in the TV series “Probinsyano” one would think that the leadership would jump at a little “showbiz” opportunity to make the ranks look good and thereby show the public that the PNP is not just about guns and going after goons. I know efforts have been made along those lines, but when I hear the word “Bawal” relative to hair and make up or being fashionably presentable I find it so stupid and oppressive!

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Over the weekend, I heard of how a Judge decided that print outs of images on Facebook as evidence is inadmissible in court. The lawyers of Senator Antonio Trillanes reportedly submitted print outs of images from Facebook that showed or captured Trillanes submitting his documents for amnesty. So if those print outs or presenting those actual images on Facebook is inadmissible as evidence then does it follow that Cyber Libel is no longer a crime?

Cyber libel is based on presentation of postings and images generated or harvested from social media or Facebook proving that Cyber Libel has been committed. So can defendants now go to court and use the decision of the judge in Senator Trillanes’ case as basis for a motion to dismiss any and all Cyber Libel cases? I’m no lawyer but Trillanes may have just been handed another stay out of jail card!

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I sincerely hope that the magistrates of the land would all sit down and seriously study the impact and complex matters brought about circumstance and technology. The nation if not the world is still waiting and watching on what the SC will do regarding the petition for Mary Jane Veloso to give an “electronic deposition” because she cannot and will not be allowed by Indonesian courts to leave and travel to the Philippines. While the accuser has the right to confront the accuser, Mary Jane Veloso clearly cannot comply or accommodate that requirement. Either the Supreme Court tells the defendant to go to Indonesia to face Mary Jane Veloso and the Indonesian magistrates or the SC allows Veloso to give her deposition electronically under the supervision of the Supreme Court.

It is ironic that so many loud mouth senators are opposing the death penalty and yet they have not said or done much to push the SC or anyone else to support Mary Jane Veloso’s petition to give her electronic deposition. God forbid that the Indonesians lose their patience and execute Mary Jane Veloso due to Philippine inaction. If that happens, her blood would be on the hands of our Magistrates, legislators, and high ranking government officials who have been more focused and active in their political acoustic wars and electioneering.

Clearly the rules for the rich don’t apply for the poor. Wait until God moves for He will not be mocked.

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E-mail: utalk2ctalk@gmail.com

ANTONIO TRILLANES BUREAU OF FIRE PROTECTION MARY JANE VELOSO
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