Gift-giving in bad taste

ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - December 24, 2020 - 12:00am

We always have intentions for others. And these intentions can be bad or decent, but with purity and sensitivity, we try to do the good side. And in the season of giving, kindness is the key. In addition to expecting to receive anything from our loved ones, whether it be small or simple, we also make efforts to make others happy and feel that they are remembered and cared for.

Even in the process of giving is also one that we also have to consider. And because of the pandemic, gatherings are very much confined among the family members, making gift-giving a challenging one for others like our friends and distant relatives.

As so just recently I received a precious gift from my previous students who are now successful professionals. And it was sent via express delivery. Though I still wish for the usual face-to-face gift-giving where we see the direct feelings. And so it becomes a longing for now. Though it was done through this, I still feel the good intention, care and love.

On a related vein, the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) wanted to spread the holiday cheer by giving out gifts this Christmas. But they planned a special surprise to go with the gift-giving activity, a fake arrest.

But what made me surprised, and enraged at one point, was the way some police officers did their gift-giving. Through a prank where they simulate an arrest of the recipients in their actual workplaces and ended up with the gift-giving. I lauded their intention but I denounced the way it was being carried out.

The intention of bringing joy this holiday season is laudable but as to how it is done is in bad taste considering the public perception of our police officers especially these trying times.

The prank was performed at a time when the Philippine National Police was under intense flak for its double standard in the implementation of quarantine laws. They are harsh on average citizens, but they look the other way in cases of abuse by VIPs and government officials.

With continuing criticism of the police bring unprofessional and politicized, it is a bad joke and wry humor that unnerves and traumatizes unsuspecting citizens, especially given the track record and public perception of police conduct. In other words, making it the biggest joke amid persistent reports and extreme allegations of routine planting of evidence, spinning false narratives, usual legal shortcuts, and brazen double standards and hypocrisy.

One day, we still have to wake up that gifts are offered with good intentions, not to cover for past trespasses, but through consistent efforts to build a harmonious long-term relationship.

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