(Watch Failon Ngayon , at 2 PM Sunday (September 14) at ANC Channel.)
I am glad to be back in the Philippines because I miss my social media work and advocacy. The following day, I got surprised to receive a call from ABS-CBN for a segment in Failon Ngayon . They needed a case study, from someone in social media “knowledgeable to discuss some crime arising from social media”. I initially declined the interview because I am not too fluent in Tagalog but they convinced me that my story was interesting. The incident was also disturbing because it involves the safety of our children and loved ones. I needed to bring my message across as well.
I was in Europe when I first saw a friend (@unlawyer) tweet on “People with guns in EDSA”. This happened at 2:45 PM on September 1. In Germany, that’s around 8:45 AM but I saw the tweet around 10:45 AM after I cooked lunch.
Apparently, Senator JV Ejercito saw my tweet and he likewise tweeted :
Karen Davila retweeted the senator’s tweet.
I am not the only one who caused the original photo to get viral. With the help of netizens and traditional media, the tweet became national news.
I found it very disturbing that the PNP did not know what this incident was about. On its Twitter account, the Philippine National Police assured netizens it was “verifying possible coordination of operating units” if the incident was a law enforcement operation.
Three days after, the Eastern Police district contacted me via Facebook if I knew the owner of the photo. They were investigating the incident. I told them that I only retweeted it from a friend who saw the original tweet. A week after the incident, Eastern Police District (EPD) Director Chief Supt. Abelardo Villacorta said at least 9 policemen were behind the incident on EDSA. The incident was a “hulidap” case of “abduction-extortion, as the victims were accosted by the policemen and the P2 million they were carrying were seized.”
I am like “policemen! Grabe kayo”. Nakakagalit. Walang hiya! The police are supposed to serve and to protect the people.
Policemen involved in crimes themselves is not news anymore but this is the first time , social media helped in the resolution of a case. The police has consistent history of being involved in crimes like- kidnap for hire, ransom. guns for hire.
di ba nakakaloka ?
I am certain there are similar incidents that occur but do not attract the same attention because it is not brought in the spotlight or went viral on social media.
What if our children are the next victims? I am mad that nothing has been done to at least erradicate corruption within the PNP. Why are policemen consistently involved in crimes? How do we respect these law enforcers who themselves violate the law?
There is corruption within the police. This culture of corruption has to stop.
I hope citizens will continue to be vigilant. I hope the government provides protection to online whistleblowers. I hope the cops involved will be the last of their kind. I hope something can be done to remove the rotten policemen so that the good policemen get to be noticed in the news, too.
“The PNP at this point needs an intense and sustained internal cleansing. If the problem of cops getting involved in robbery holdups, drugs, extortion and kidnapping is not addressed vigorously, the erosion of public trust on our policemen will take its toll on the government’s overall peace and order campaign,” Panfilo Lacson said.
Together, we can help keep our children safe. Let’s continue to be vigilant.