See no evil, get no electricity

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

THE thieves who stole Decorp’s 750 Kilovolt Ampere (KVA) transformer that weighs 300 kilos, off a fallen post in the middle of Sitio Camanggaan, Mayombo in Dagupan City must be laughing their heads off seeing how they have completely intimidated and muted the residents.

The residents’ claim that they saw nothing and no one carting away the huge transformer is simply incredible. They must know that their refusal to say anything  to the police even when told that they cannot have their electricity back until the perpetrators are identified does not make them icons of truth.

Even more appalling is the attitude of the residents after the cannibalized transformer was finally traced to Mr. Pedro Rebudal Jr., a barangay kagawad. When most everyone in a sitio would normally know which couple had a shouting match past midnight, in this instance, no one has seen anyone delivering the bulky and heavy transformer inside the kagawad‘s premises. Rebudal, himself, reportedly denies knowing the guys who delivered his manna from Cosme. They must take to Dagupeños as truly stupid.

Now the residents are seeking politicos who can save them from their predicament. And there was City Councilor Danilo Torio who was quick to pick up the cudgels for them. Alas, he thoroughly misjudged the situation by standing up for them, appealing for some relief from Decorp by restoring the service in the area even without the cooperation of the residents in identifying the culprits in their midst. What he should have done instead as a true public servant was to castigate the barangay and sitio officials for condoning a criminal act that was committed against their own interests and welfare, and for refusing to cooperate with the police.

For Decorp’s and the rest of the community’s sake, Decorp must resist installing electricity in the sitio until the residents cooperate with the police and put the guys responsible for their miseries behind bars.

A community that refuses to help itself deserves no relief, no consideration, no electricity.

* * * * *

THE “DEAL OR NO DEAL” COPS. When results of the exams for lawyers, the nurses, engineers, doctors, accountants, dentists, etc. are released, the respective sectors of these professionals pause to ponder the announced results, its whys and wherefores. The lists of successful candidates are viewed merely as a list.

But when results of the tests for police officers eyeing promotions to superintendent level (that’s Lt. Col. and Colonel in the army) are announced, who would likely be interested in the results?

That would be the governors, the mayors and police directors, and yes, the Malacañang occupants. You might as well add the gambling lords.

Why the keen interest?

1. Under the local government code, it is governors and mayors who reserve the right to choose who should be provincial/city/town police chief.

2. The choice of the candidate can spell either bonanza or poverty for the police director and the local chief execs.

* * * * *

The news item last week about the results of the May 25 test is telling enough on what’s in store for our province, towns and cities. Only 149 passed out of 542 police inspectors or an appalling 27 percent passing rate!

But here’s the catch. Failing the test need not necessarily mean that the unsuccessful police officer’s career is doomed. Far from it especially if one takes the thrust of the test questions in the context of today’s governance. In fact, it can be his passport to juicy positions in the organization.

A Philippine Star report quoted an unnamed source inside the National Police Commission who said that the set of questions that proved to be the waterloo for the failed candidates were those that measured the emotional, moral and political quotient of the examinees. They had to decide whether they wanted to impress the examiners by indicating that they know what the reality on the ground is or to respond like a naive boy scout.

Hence, the politically incorrect, morally depraved answers can very well be the right answers for some local execs and police directors depending on who and what the local executive’s profile is.

* * * * *

Here is one set of hypothetical questions asked of the applicants in relation to illegal gambling which I sum up as “Deal or No Deal” profiling:

1/ If your immediate superior does not want you to meddle with the gambling issue, will you obey the order?

2/ If the provincial governor has issued orders to put a halt to illegal gambling, will you obey the order?

3/ If the chief of the PNP (regional, provincial, town station) knows about jueteng activities in his area of jurisdiction and is doing nothing because the big boss appears to be on the take, will you report it to higher authorities?

Obviously, the politically correct, morally right and ethical answers would be: 1) No; 2) Yes; 3) Yes! Although Napolcom did not say whether these are indeed the correct responses, I am sure the examinees knew too well that ultimately it is the local execs and police directors who decide what the correct answers are.

Knowing your respective mayors, venture a guess on what he/she considers as correct answers.

* * * * *

ANOTHER PUNCH ORIGINAL IS GONE. There goes another PUNCH orig. A dear friend and supporter of the PUNCH, Mr. Leopoldo “Pol” Novales, died last June 11 at the age of 87.

Unknown to many, Pol and his lovely wife Perla, were the young entrepreneurs in Dagupan City who run Manrigold (now known as Marigold), the most popular bookstore and newsstand in the city since the early 50s.

When the PUNCH started publication in July 1956, the amiable and energetic Pol was promptly recruited by my father to join PUNCH’s A-Team initially as Circulation Manager, then as Business Manager. His store naturally became the newsstand where people got their fresh copies soon as these left the defunct Mendoza Printing Press. The PUNCH owes him a great lot for helping make it what it is today.

He was a deeply respected civic leader, definitely an icon among the Dagupan Lions. His presence, his voice and his charming ways among friends will be sorely missed. Our sincerest sympathies to Atchi Perla and his children. If it’s any consolation, they must know that he was well-loved by those whose lives he had touched.

(Readers may reach columnist at punch.sunday@gmail.com. For past columns, click http://sundaypunch.prepys.com/archives/category/opinion/punchline/
For reactions to this column, click “Send MESSAGES, OPINIONS, COMMENTS” on default page.)

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