Punchline

NO to suspension of Oplan RODY

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

 

THE news last week that Dagupan Police Chief Jandale Sulit suspended implementation of Oplan RODY subsequently, enforcement of Artikulo 21 sent the wrong message.

Oplan RODY ordered strict enforcement of ordinances relating to criminality in the streets. By suspending it, did he actually mean suspension of enforcement of ordinances? If that was his intention, he’s culpable because it is his duty to enforce all laws and ordinances unless these are repealed.

And, if it was his intention to suspend Oplan RODY as a campaign, I also find that discomforting. What was anomalous about Oplan RODY? It was just a label.

Either way, to city residents, it smacked of another ningas cogon in law enforcement.

Then, what I failed to observe in the implementation was the continued weak or lack of enforcement of the ordinance against use of loud mufflers by motorcycles particularly at night. Shouldn’t at least the POSO focus on that?

Then there’s the case of “streetwalkers” loitering around Arellano–Bani District. If they aren’t loitering (waiting for customers), what is?

I also noted that the city police have adopted a preventive approach – turning on their siren to announce their presence in an area. It’s good and bad. Good because prospective violators disappear, and bad because it signals a safe time to reappear to resume their activities once the sound of siren wanes as the patrol car moves on.

But if a discipline is to be had, habitual violators must know they can be caught on sight because roving patrol cars arrive unannounced.

Having said that and given already the desired shock effect of the campaign, the Dagupan City Peace and Order Council should already weigh in and recommend ways to further support the Dagupan PNP for the continued implementation of Artikulo 21 and the strict enforcement of these ordinances.

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STUDENTS AT RISK. DepEd officials in Pangasinan should already learn from experiences of our police.

First, the insistence of Sen. Kiko Pangilinan that minors (18 years old and below) should not be imprisoned for criminal acts (16-18 years old need discernment pa daw), has already led many kids to either directly commit acts or allow themselves to be used by their parents or syndicates.

Second, a number of teachers were already caught selling shabu inside campuses of late, a teacher in Urdaneta, using his authority and influence, was caught red-handed using kids (his pupils?) as subjects for his child pornography online business.

There is an urgent need to review security policies in our schools to protect the unsuspecting schoolchildren not only from their classmates already coopted by criminals but from their evil teachers as well.

The security problems are so serious that DepEd and the police alone cannot be expected to possibly fully resolve these issues. 

For the interim, I dare to submit my unsolicited advice: 1) Require all teachers to take the drug test. 2) Allow random bag and body search of suspected students/pupils. 3) Install CCTV cameras at entry and exit points around campuses. 4) No parents/adults/non-students should be allowed entry except for emergency reasons accompanied by security.

Alumni associations should also be tagged to help provide the CCTV cameras.

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DRUG SYNDICATES ARE BACK, AGAIN. Pangasinan PNP and PDEA are beginning to note that their resumed operations against illegal drugs that more newly emerged drug pushers, persons who were not originally in watch lists, are taking over the streets.

Apparently, the drug syndicates took advantage of the preoccupation of the Pangasinan PNP on meeting its drug-clearing goal, a documentary exercise to declare towns and cities as drug-cleared. What this campaign entailed, which was not lost to the drug syndicates, was the cessation of buy-bust operations by PNP to support claims that there were no more drug trading in the communities.

Obviously, many of those who had surrendered and had completed rehab were no longer willing to return to the illegal trade, hence, recruitment of new pushers started in earnest.

Well, thank heavens, we have a new OIC at the PPPO, P/Sr. Superintendent Wilson Lopez, who is keen on keeping pace with the war on drugs.

If it’s any consolation to the arrested suspects, they were not armed by the syndicates otherwise could have tempted them to fight back and ended up dead.

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AN EXPERT ALLY FOR DAGUPAN. Mayor Belen Fernandez certainly deserves the commendation she received during the ICT Summit held in Dagupan last June 28.

Her vision to make Dagupan as a true ICT Central in the region will be one of her legacies once ICT business groups begin trooping to the city. But how can the city hope to achieve these before she completes her third term? 

One person who can help her fast track her plans is Wilson Chua, a Dagupeño and a recognized trailblazer in the private sector in the country. Unknown to many, it was Wilson who made The PUNCH the first community newspaper in the country to have an online edition in the late 1990s – at no cost to us! His motive? To help establish Dagupan, Pangasinan, Bitstop and The PUNCH be among the first in the country to cross over to the cyberworld!

He has the certificates from prestigious ICT institutes worldwide to show that he is well-equipped to understand what it takes to make the city government make the grade of a true e-governance.

 Only Wilson in Pangasinan enjoys that stature, and his protégés now abound.

So, my unsolicited personal advice to the city government, enlist Wilson ASAP before other cities get him.

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FIGHTING BACK. How can a community fight back to stop terroristic acts including assassination of local officials and murder of businessmen, journalists, and priests?

A peace-loving people these days are in fact the most vulnerable to such attacks.  They are the first to be concerned when they see armed soldiers and policemen in their localities. They don’t feel comfortable having them around and this is not lost to crime syndicates who offer guns-for hire services.

To fight back, education is most important. Barangays should have a circular instructing residents how to respond to situations, i.e. seeing armed strangers renting apartments and houses, to reporting violence.

Barangays should start organizing residents adopting the police’s “buddy system”.  Two to three neighbors must be acquainted with each other since each can be called by the other for immediate assistance in case any emergency, i.e., exchange phone numbers, names of family members, names of household help.  They can also agree to share costs in installing CCTV cameras within their areas.

Then, police and or barangay tanod visibility should be worked out by the barangays and police stations.

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