Sometimes lessons are wasted…

Sometimes lessons are wasted…

Controversial health protocol violator PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas

The law applies to all, otherwise none at all.

— The late Senator and former Manila mayor Alfredo Siojo Lim

ACCORDING to our good friend, Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy director for administration Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, the PNP’s foundation has been built on the best practices and mistakes learned (by our policemen) along the way (as they perform their duties and functions).

Quoting from our brother-general, he stressed: “The foundation of the PNP of today was built not only on the blood, limb, and life of our brothers in uniforms but also on the best practices and even the mistakes wherein we all learned the lessons to make our organization truly responsive to our motto of serving and protecting the Filipino people.”

And bearing this in mind, he urged police and enlisted personnel to honor the countless officers of the force whose blood, sweat, and tears nurtured the PNP’s foundation.

“With this virtue of courage that saw us through three decades of shining service, the PNP marches on to greater heights of honor and glory through operational accomplishments and developmental programs, that have constantly gained for us the trust and confidence of the public,” he stressed.

His final words were simple: “The police force’s transformation in the past 30 years, along with the support of the public and the government, has helped in turning them into a ‘Super COP’, or the ‘Super-Caretaker of People (of the Filipino people).”

This has not lost its substance on us and we value these words the way most of us hope that we would be protected and served well by our men in uniform.

But being a police officer is not merely performing one’s duties at the utmost of one’s abilities. It does not merely rely on skills and training or in intelligence and experience. It is also built on principles that uphold righteousness and justice as well integrity and more importantly, conscience.

Recently, the PNP, in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), took active steps in reforesting a portion of the Marikina Watershed Area in Rizal as part of the its social responsibility to environmental protection and according to current PNP chief General Debold Menorias Sinas, “(the) initiative is not only socially relevant but is deeply rooted in the PNP core values of Maka-Diyos, Makabayan, Makatao at Maka-Kalikasan.

But the question is how conscientious is the Chief PNP in leading his men as well as a number of DENR employees and the police agency’s non-government organization 4×4 Expedition Philippines in the so-called massive tree-planting program in Rizal.

Sinas bragged that some 10,000 assorted seedlings of hardwood and fruit-bearing species were planted in portions of the 368-hectare reservation awarded to the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) under Presidential Proclamation 1355 series of 2007 in Sitio Canumay, Barangay San Jose, Antipolo City, Rizal.

Present during the activity were environment undersecretary for special concerns Edilberto Leonardo, actor and 4×4 Expedition Philippine ambassador Albert Martinez and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag, whose agency has also been awarded by DENR with land reserve.

Sinas said the PNP is committed to see these trees grow under the care of the PNP SAF to become living monuments of the national advocacy for environmental protection.

He also pledged to work closely with the DENR in addressing the protection of mangroves in the country, adding that, “the police can serve as instrument of the DENR in pursuit of ecological balance and against natural resource degradation due to ‘kaingin’, illegal mining, illegal logging, illegal fishing, and other violations of environment laws.

Well said perhaps but do the words ring true? And does our good Chief PNP speak them out with conscience and conviction?

Many are the officials of this country of ours who have promised—nigh vowed with their lives on the line—to protect our environment, but what happened after all these vows?

Our mountains are bald and bare and our forests have lost the luscious greenery that our ancestors enjoyed in the days of their youth when lakans and lakambinis walked with dignity and love for nature. Is this how our Chief PNP imagines how he wants it to be or is his involvement in tree planting just a mere gesture or photo opportunity for our good general to upgrade his tarnished image?

Just asking . . .


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