A new Fr. Soc in 2018?

By Ermin Garcia Jr.


IF you think you are reading something unusual in our front page – Archbishop Villegas: Peace be with you (PDU30), you are right.

After over a year of persistently and consistently discrediting, criticizing and lambasting the administration of PDU30, Fr. Soc apparently decided to sing a different tune this year. Or am I mistaken to stretch the implication too far?

Let’s have peace, forget and forgive the past and work with the government, he prays.

Indeed, it is a far cry from his Christmas message, asking the clergy and the laity to be defiant, to challenge authorities instead of humbly seeking ways to right a wrong in our way of life.

Of course, I dare not expect him to sing paeans to his foul-mouthed president but simply to be consistent in constructive criticism that can rally communities to worthy programs of the government. This prayed-for approach will go a long way towards uplifting the poorest of the poor.

No doubt, Fr. Soc remains an influential personality in the national scene so a positive change in his perception of the government can certainly move people to be positive as well.

We are with him in rallying people to help prevent extra judicial killings in our communities while rallying support for communities and the law enforcers in fighting off the drug syndicates.

Perhaps I may be dreaming if I hope to see a Fr. Soc leading and organizing dialogues among various sectors with national and local government leaders, between Christians and other religious sects including Muslims, to help establish lasting harmony in our communities.  But I can dream, can’t I?

*                *                *                *                *

WANTED: FEARED COP. We welcome the appointment of P/Superintendent Jandale Sulit as the new Dagupan police chief in an OIC capacity.

I sincerely hope he will do more than what his predecessor had accomplished and not fail in the mission to keep Dagupan drug-cleared.

Hopefully, Mr. Sulit will yet become the feared and dreaded anti-drug campaigner in Dagupan.

His declared priority to check the incidence of thefts and robbery is in the right direction as well. Addiction to illegal drugs is the cause and effect of robberies and thefts particularly in many homes and stores.

Many may not be aware but the dilemma of many families with drug addicts under their care is, will they dare turn over their children to the police for theft or robbery at home?

The security of the city’s families will, therefore, be assured if trading of illegal drugs in the city by known and emerging drug dealers are busted daily.

To Mr. Sulit! Godspeed, good hunting and be the best protector of families yet.

*                *                *                *                *

PERMANENT VS. TEMPORARY.  Meanwhile, there is a lingering question about the sudden relief of P/Superintendent Franklin Oritz and succession of Mr. Sulit.

Since Mr. Ortiz was appointed as permanent Dagupan police chief following the established protocol requiring the consent of the city mayor, how was it possible that Mr. Ortiz was relieved without it being processed with Mayor Belen Fernandez?

My understanding of the protocol of appointments and reliefs or change in assignments is that a police officer with permanent appointment can only be relieved with the consent of the mayor, or relieved with cause (charged administratively or criminally).

Mr. Ortiz’s relief ostensibly for further studies simply does not cut it. Studies for promotion are scheduled not pursued at a moment’s notice unless the candidate has no permanent posting.

*                *                *                *                *

ACCOUNTABILITY AS FIRST CASUALTY. I raise this issue because this was the same policy that the Aquino administration adopted –  appointing police directors and chiefs on temporary basis in order to circumvent the established protocol that require approval of the mayor or the governor.

The province suffered greatly with the round-robin policy of PNP/DILG during the PNoy’s administration.  The first casualty of such a policy was the principle of accountability.

A temporary appointee with no tenure of service cannot be held accountable for not launching an intensive campaign knowing he can be replaced at a moment’s notice. Worse, the succeeding police chief cannot also be held accountable for his predecessor’s gains or failures for a program that the successor did not initiate? 

Even worse, the policy of temporary appointments does not allow for proper turnover of business. They just go though the motion of a symbolic turnover of command with the flag, no other significance, no other purpose.

The successor, naturally, will always appeal to be given more time before he is made to account… and this vicious cycle goes on and on – no one is being made to account for his performance.

So for the benefit of Mr. Sulit and the city government, it must be made clear if his appointment will remain temporary or permanent.

*                *                *                *                *

NEW ANTI-JUETENG STRATEGY. The new strategy of the Duterte administration imposing the ‘presumptive monthly retail receipt’ (PMRR) on provincial operators of Small Town Lottery (STL) is on the right track.

What the new policy means is that the government doesn’t care how the operator shares the collections like they normally do –  payola for mayors, councilors, police, media, judges etc. – as long as he meets the minimum guaranteed revenues set monthly. The PMRR, I was told, has inputted the normal and experienced earnings of jueteng operators in each area that include payouts as payolas as the minimum revenues due the government!

This strategy protects the government first before the STL-cum-jueteng operator!

All that is needed for a win-win situation is for the law enforcement agencies to protect the franchise holder against the competition from guerilla-type operation of jueteng lords. In this regard, the order of PNP Regional Director Chief Superintendent is timely and augurs well for the objectives of STL operations in the country today.

*                *                *                *                *

MAYOR BELEN’S VISION. I view the declaration of Family Year in Dagupan City this year by Dagupan Mayor Belen Fernandez as another positive initiative in governance.

The declaration to make families the center of public programs makes government workers appreciate the purpose behind their tasks and duties. 

My only concern is when poor families among us invoke their impoverished state as reason to be exempted from the rule of law. Will compassion for poor families be stretched to mean they cannot be held accountable for their acts?   

Nonetheless, that could be the only possible downside of such a declaration but for the most part, everyone stands to gain from such a vision.

Share your Comments or Reactions


Powered by Facebook Comments