Petrasanta Goes to Town-A A +A
By Ram Mercado
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
THE occasional display of old and disabled firearms, purported evidence of police seizures during anti-gun operations, reminds veteran newsmen of the ancient practice of recycling the same weapons, more or less, for propaganda effect.
In the distant past, the Constabulary, now police establishment in the region, had the impunity of sexing up their accomplishments by photo ops showing confiscated firearms of various makes and caliber. These could have come from the armory of seized weapons used as evidence in the courts against criminals including dissidents and organized crime groups.
The weapons on display as published by this paper last Monday are not dissimilar to the firearms already confiscated and stored as evidence long time ago.
When I was covering Camp Olivas during the martial regime, a PC-INP NCO and some enlisted who were in charge of the safekeeping of seized firearms were found to be in the business of selling discarded and unusable weapons that were then made functional and resold to ready buyers.
It is on record that hundreds of individuals in Region 3 had been apprehended for violations of the gun ban in the past two elections.
News reports, with accompanying pictures of seized firearms, tended to showcase the accomplishments of the PNP. None of the apprehended gun ban violators have been sent to jail. Did they pay their way out?
This is the stark reality -- or the funniest joke -- that PRO3 Regional Director C/S Raul Petrasanta will experience after assuming his new job at Camp Olivas.
According to the Sun.Star photo caption “27 different kinds of firearms and ammunition were seized in several PNP checkpoints since the start of the gun ban on September 28.”
It is feared -- and expected -- that like the hundreds of violators apprehended by the PNP in past campaigns the recent 27 violators and some will go scot-free, without the routine of being charged and hailed to court.
Director Petrasanta has the support of Central Luzon officials in overturning and reforming the old system whereby, for and in suspected consideration of payment or favor, the gun ban violators are set free without being charged at all.
Gen. Petrasanta is dared to release and publish the names of the apprehended gun ban violators to erase doubts and suspicions that the police under his watch will not engage in hanky panky. Let us see if the courts will render justice to the violators and end the business of letting the culprits go free by paying their way out. We know it as amicable settlement (areglu).
The new CL police chief can do wonders in maintaining peace and order in the communities by simply harassing riders-in-tandem. He can discourage dual bike riders by sustained and methodical actions of police patrols, mobile or in checkpoints.
By accosting the motorbike riders anywhere, using any lawful pretext such as checking registration, looking for guns and prohibited lethal weapons, and or illegal drugs, the riders in tandem will desist in their wanton trips and illegal activities.
A mandated quota of accosted bike riders should be given all police stations. That is the most effective proactive action to rid the streets of actual and potential criminals. If he can do this Gen. Petrasanta will be a cut above the rest (of his predecessors here).
No one has traveled the bridge of success
without ever crossing the streets of failure.
God never promised us an easy journey in life,
only safety on board.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on October 09, 2013.