Bikoy vs. Fr. Soc

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

THE surprise turnaround of Peter Joemel Advincula, alias Bikoy certainly has most if not all the outspoken detractors of President Duterte on the defensive mode. Who wouldn’t? After all they were being linked to an illegal activity that can end up in their being charged for sedition and rebellion!

What is more worrisome for Pangasinenses is the claimed involvement of Archbishop Socrates Villegas in Project Sodoma, an alleged plot to oust President Duterte that would lead to the installation of Vice President Leni Robredo as president and outgoing Sen. Antonio Trillanes as vice president.

While the claimed inclusion of Fr. Soc in the criminal plot by Advincula is far from proven,  the claimed allegation also did not come as a surprise to his flock in the Lingayen-Dagupan archdiocese because of his known vocal and persistent criticisms of President Duterte.

Personally, I’d like to believe that his criticisms were not part of the ouster plot that was clearly being engineered by ex-Sen. Antonio Trillanes backed by funding from like-minded PDU30 haters, but merely out of his deep personal dislike of the persona of PDU30.

So let’s see how far the investigation of Advincula, the mercenary con-man. For sure, his credibility will not rest on his say-so but on the pieces of evidence and proofs of plotting.

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MARANAN’S OBJECTIVES. I never heard about P/Col Redrico Maranan’s performance in the past not because he has not distinguished himself but like all his other predecessors, I only closely observe those who come to serve Pangasinan. And from what I’ve heard so far about him since Day 1 of his appointment, he hit the ground running and that should assure Pangasinenses that they are in safe hands.

His specific directives to all police chiefs tells me he operates and manages by objectives which is a good sign of a manager. By specifying numbers in his orders, he has established the parameters from which he can make his officers accountable. Translation: Less than two missions is bad, two on the dot is good, more than two is excellent! That should be fair to all. No secrets, no favoritism.

So, I cannot but share the high level of confidence expressed by Guv Pogi in his capabilities.

But like they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, let’s see how far he can go to serve Pangasinan.

Using his own standard, his command must account to Pangasinan 96 missions weekly (48 towns/cities at 2 missions each). This is what I call measured accountability. However, this does not mean that the number should not and will not be calibrated because it should depending on results of evaluation of initial period of implementation of objectives.

Also, in fairness to Col. Maranan, it should be clear that his directive is for 2 missions, not a quota for arrests! Nonetheless, a weekly report on number of arrests from serving search warrants and buy-bust operations will keep communities aware of how the war on drugs has intensified through the weeks and months. 

So to Col. Maranan, good luck and good hunting!!

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SNAPPY POLICE IN DAGUPAN. Then there is P/Lt. Col. Percival Pineda, Dagupan OIC police chief, originally police chief of Parañaque City who has a different view how his station can be effective in the community.

His mantra: A smiling well-groomed police force, invites respect for the badge and uniform. It encourages cooperation from members of the community because of its approachable and friendly image.

I have to agree that snappy looking men and women in uniform evokes a very positive response to a disciplined force. Translating that on the ground, members of the community would understand that a snappy officer with a warm smile is doing his/her job as discipline dictates. In other words, the accosting officer will not and cannot be suspected of being a corrupt ‘tong’ officer and will therefore discourage erring citizens to bribe the law enforcer. Very positive image.

On the other hand, our culture of “pagbigyan” (to be considerate) in lieu of tong or lagay, can also upset the situation. A friendly police officer can also be mistaken to be soft and  expected to be considerate by those who are in the habit of exploiting others. But a firm hand and smile can easily convince others that discipline is what will benefit the community benefit.

The only thing I seem to miss in the new chief’s marching order is whether there will be higher police visibility in the streets under his watch. It is something I have not seen in city streets and barangay roads for a long, long time unless they are manning checkpoints. For too long, most uniformed police officers are seen only inside headquarters and sub stations. The only figures on the streets seen by Dagupeños representing lawful authority are the traffic enforcers.

I hope that the order for snappy friendly appearance is intended for higher visibility in the streets, not for paporma inside stations only. 

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LINGAYEN, SOON A CITY?  I have not doubt that the election of Cong. Pol Bataoil as next mayor of Lingayen is the best thing yet that can happen to the sleepy town of Lingayen.

His numerous contributions to the development of infrastructure in Lingayen as a congressman is outstanding by any measure. 

As mayor, I know he will have a 9-year term because of the benefits he would have delivered to the townsfolk. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Lingayen becomes the fifth  city in Pangasinan within his 9-year administration because of its improved financial status.

Unfortunately for Congressman-elect Jumel Espino, he will have to work overtime just to match the amount of energy that his predecessor exhibited. His misfortune is his performance will forever be compared with Mr. Bataoil’s.

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A NEW BRIAN? Speaking of being compared, I’m afraid Dagupan Mayor-elect Brian Lim will be in the same situation as Cong-elect Jumel Espino.

A Mayor Brian will have to hit the ground running as well from Day 1 to avoid being the non-achiever early on compared to Mayor Belen Fernandez.  For instance, It would earn him brownie points if he can immediately initiate an activity that will guarantee that the city will never have to suffer prolonged flooding, the main issue he had raised vs. Mayor Belen during the campaign period. Rainy season is just a rainfall l away.

As things stand today, Mayor Belen is seen working double time to complete what she had promised and started.  The energy is simply awesome, a trait that would not be seen in most mayors that had just lost a re-election.

But there is one thing that a Mayor Brian can do from Day 1 to have a united community behind him. After the highly emotional and divisive campaign, he can impress upon the city that he is a new man, a statesman and will not be a vengeful politician at the expense of his constituents.

It would endear him to Dagupeños if on the day he takes his oath, he gives the city the assurance that he will see to the continuance of all unfinished projects of his predecessor, and will not only continue but improve on the effective programs of Mayor Belen, including those of his late father, Mayor BSL

Will he have that in him not only to be magnanimous but to be humble as to acknowledge his predecessor’s successful programs that benefitted the city if only to unite a divided people? I pray he has it to show he is a new Brian.

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