BAGUIO

Codasi recounts POSD ordeal

MADINO Codasi recounts his ordeal with the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) in his affidavit submitted to the City Prosecutor's Office and the Commission on Human Rights.

Codasi filed complaint for violation of Republic Act (RA) 7277 as amended by RA 9442 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, cyber libel and libel against the POSD.

Codasi said he is PWD suffering from visual impairment.

"My right eye is totally blind while my left eye could only see dark shadowy images even during the bright daytime. Even when objects or things are near me, I could only see images which are dark for which I cannot even see clearly people's faces," said Codasi.

Codasi added that on the 21st day of November around 2 p.m., he was at his stall at the flower section of the Baguio City Public Market with Wilbur Beldio, a friend and porter. They decided to go home to La Trinidad.

Codasi and Belido tried to wait for a taxi at Magsaysay area but when the wait became too long, they both decided to cross the street to hail a cab from across the street.

"I followed him (Belido) with his steps and his body image as my guide while walking, while we were crossing the street, we heard someone through a megaphone saying Bawal tumawid diyan. After hearing the call, we stood at the middle of the road and proceeded to cross after we let pass the vehicles approaching," Codasi added.

Codasi and Belido crossed the street and waited for a taxi when POSD personnel started shouting at both, saying they were hardheaded and said they were warned that the street was not for crossing.

"We immediately asked for forgiveness, admitted our mistake and pleaded mercy from them and then we told them we did not know we were the ones being shouted at through the megaphone earlier. Wilbur reasoned that the big box of flowers he was carrying was heavy and the pedestrian lane is far from where we initially tried to flag a taxi, that is why he opted to cross the avenue...the POSD personnel asked for identification. When I gave them my PWD ID, I told them that I am a PWD and pleaded not to issue a citation ticket against me. Wilbur pleaded as well to the POSD enforcers not to issue a citation ticket, however the POSD enforcer never listened to his plea and even threatened my friend Wilbur that they will remove him as a porter at the Baguio City Public Market," Codasi added.

Codasi attempted again to ask for mercy from POSD personnel Norman Wanas and POSD officer only known as Gaki, but was issued a citation ticket for jaywalking and committed that he will not repeat the same violation to no avail.

"While Wanas required me to affix my signature at the citation ticket, he became mad and shouted at me because I did not align my signature on the space provided where it should be signed and he continued shouting at me asking me why I did not align my signature on the space provided. I felt so humiliated because Wanas continued shouting at me even so at once I told him I was a PWD. I slightly raised my voice thinking he could not hear me and answered that I could not see the space where I must sign because of my visual impairment," Codasi said.

Codasi said because of the incident, he felt ashamed of himself as a PWD and thought he "was being lowly looked upon because of my disability."

In his affidavit, Codasi said the POSD portrayed that he is using his disability to run from the arms of the law.

"They portrayed that because I am disabled, I could force myself out of any infractions of law I committed... in sum, the actions vilified me as a member of the PWD community and it brought me to lose my self-esteem and the Facebook post of the POSD continues to this day to incite, ridicule against me as a person with disability," Codasi said.

Due to series of incidents, a petition to dismiss Marvin Garcia Herrera, head of the POSD, on the grounds of maltreatment, harassment, official misconduct, and abuse of official position was launched online last week.

Herrera, in an interview, stood by actions of the POSD, saying no maltreatment or abuse was done.


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