Thursday, August 09, 2007

to erase the stain of badness from their badges

IF THERE'S SOMEBODY in dire need to possess congeniality to inspire our confidence, it's none other than the police.

Here's a reprint of my recent opinion column in the op-ed page of Sun.Star Cebu (July 31, 2007):

Too true to be good

Perhaps we can love our law enforcers truly only if we’d have the hearts of their mothers.

Papa may preach, but “God sees us through our mothers' eyes,” as one philosopher once surmised. The milk of human kindness. Nothing else is more essential than this when cops are no less vulnerable than crybabies. Then again, those inclined to be cynical—as the police badge become something to weep for—would see nothing but crocodile tears.

Through rose-colored glasses, however, is the way Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Silverio Alarcio Jr. looks at the men and women under his wings. True to a poet’s vision of hope as something with feathers, Alarcio is reportedly in cloud nine, “happy to see an improvement in the PNP’s image” and “elated that the business sector has a better outlook on the organization.” Yes, despite the negative approval rating.

When one’s scraping the bottom, even morsels are manna enough. And so a -36 evaluation on the PNP’s sincerity in stamping out corruption can only be an improvement from its 2005 rating of -54.

Look who’s endowed with maternal instincts, and the top gun in Central Visayas would rather behold the future as fibers of glass stained with sunlight and rainbow. “In the next survey,” he says, “we will hopefully get a positive rating.”

That’s the story, that’s the glory of love mothers can hum along: “You've got to give a little, take a little, and let your poor heart break a little.”
With such forecast worthy of a painter’s canvas, Alarcio and the rest of the rank and file had better reckon a reality check from Marc Chagall: “My mother's love for me was so great I have worked hard to justify it.”

By “being sincere on the job and in eradicating corrupt activities within the organization,” Alarcio is bullish about continuing their “transformation efforts.”

Which, if that would turn fantasy to fact, would be no less fabulous than Ovid’s tales of transformation wherein love is all it takes for a metamorphosis: a person or lesser deity becomes a stone, a flower, a tree, or a star.

An epic task of the imagination, what Alarcio is up to.
And, hopefully, Senior Insp. George Ylanan, the chief of Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Bureau (CIIB), and policewoman Jerybel Lerio can believe endings of legends and fairy tales do come true.

Meanwhile, not even their mothers’ lullabies are enough to shush both Ylanan and Lerio after lawyer Alex Tolentino deems police integrity no better than bugaboo to scare children into slumber.

Beware of the monster called “Mamlantiray.” That’s someone who plant evidence on suspects, thus begins Tolentino’s tale after he, in defense of two drug suspects, allegedly badmouthed Lerio. “The credibility of our office is at stake here,” cried Ylanan, who could have been more emphatic if he muttered: “Mother, mother, I am sick…”

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