My Father is a…
We can talk about the local traffic despite the pandemic, or the restrictions on children below the age of 15, or how Christmas parties still pushed through. We can analyze the pros and cons of considering face to face classes or the total firecracker ban. We could talk about the International Criminal Court investigation on President Duterte, or the controversies surrounding the purchase of the vaccine. We can laugh at how Donald Trump insists on resisting reality that he lost the elections; and at how he pathetically keeps losing his protest cases. We could talk about the reportedly new stronger Covid-19 strain from the United Kingdom. We could talk about Jupiter and Saturn’s conjunction which I previously thought only occurs as a part of speech. But we can’t help but talk out of sheer shock about the bold brutality of one of the blue boys. And I thought Christmas would be cruel because of Covid, now, a community’s celebration is crushed by a crazed cop. (isn’t it interesting that this comes after a wave of arrests of militant leaders which are alleged to be violation of human rights?)
We’ve seen people arguing over petty things before. We’ve seen how persons in authority abuse the power only entrusted to them. Sadly, there have been prior cases of uniformed officers inhumanely instigating deaths of innocents. But the added spice in this latest incident that leaves a strong and strange sting on the stomach is this child who churns as a cheerleader of sorts, with a yell, “My father is a policeman”. What a convoluted confidence on influence!
The context is an angry argument about agitation, with background on breach over boundaries, with previous cases of conflicts. The whole neighborhood probably knows that the warring parties are as bad as Montagues and Capulets, or Noranians and Vilmanians, yet a voice of childhood has the audacity to fan the flames of fury. The statement is a proud proclamation of power. The declaration seems to be unmindful of the past problems and the hen present pandemonium. In the middle of the trouble, someone saw it suitable to state the status for all to stand down. It could have been “my father is a barangay captain, my father is a mayor, or my father is a military officer. In a terrible time of tension, it seemed right to diffuse it by emphasizing status and authority which is different from saying, my father is a doctor, my father is an attorney or my father is a businessman. (Although, it would be weird if some relative in that scene suddenly yells out, my father is a teacher or my father is a columnist or my father is a masseur.)
Saying that someone’s father is a policeman has a nasty tone in it. The statement seems to imply that all the barangay folk should bow before the badge. It seems to mean that when the policeman asserts authority, everyone ought to hang their heads low in submissive silence, setting aside the surrounding situation. It gives the impression of a demand for resolved reverence for the supremacy of the status that stands before them. With this sort of authority before the people in that neighborhood, all the present peasants are purported to surrender their innate rights and admit defeat. Bow down because there’s a badge here?
Malacañang representatives were reported to describe the police officer as “isang bugok lang”, dismissing the gravity of such behavior among the ranks of the police. But statistically speaking, if one bad egg is in a basket, there is probability that there are at least few more eggs of similar character in that same basket. Similarly, there exists the same probability that some son, daughter, brother, sister or wife of that bad egg possesses the same audacity to raise a request for reverence for rank or reputation. The Commission on Human Rights has called to the public to spare the child and rightly so, but such attitude deserve some treatment of therapy.
A day after this incident blew up in social and broadcast media, the Chief of Police of Bato, Catanduanes, )right within our neighborhood), in his reaction to the aforementioned undeniably brutal murder, posted comments of reminders to the public to respect the police. When inquired if it was the victim’s faults for “disrespecting” the officer, this police chief had the audacity and nerve to type the affirmative response. This is another police officer with considerable rank who is saying that such brutal response, pointblank shooting on the heads of unarmed individuals are warranted because the police was disrespected. Once again, is one police officer sees the situation with this view, statistically speaking, there exists the probability that there would be at least a few more who see it the same way. To the PNP Chief, Sir, it seems that anger management is not the only issue that needs to be addressed among your ranks.
Is an audacious abuse of authority admissible?
Oh, by the way, merry Christmas.
“Not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock”
1 Peter 5:3