At a dialogue yesterday at the DAR regarding the formation of an Inter-Agency Task Force to Protect Farmers Against Violence, I was surprised to see a DILG officer (specifically assigned in Bureau of Local Government Development [BLGD]) grin everytime malpractices in the local police were mentioned.
Point: The Task Force Cabanit supposedly created by the law enforcement forces in Davao City has not functioned allegedly because of pressure from the camp of Davao del Norte banana magnate Antonio Floirendo. Response: Grin.
Point: Some local police in Davao del Norte are in the payroll of the Floirendo plantations. Response: Grin.
Point: Local police supposedly responsible for the investigation of Ka Eric's murder have been out of sight, allegedly from out of pressure from the responsible people having political connections. Response: Grin.
I understood that that almost "no-comment" reaction was implicit admittance of such reality in the law enforcement: That many, if not all, elements in the police easily give in to the whims and caprices of the warlords and landlords.
A TFM staff claimed that the police of Silay City, Negros Occidental has been cooperative in the investigation of the recent murder of its peasant organizer, Ka Rico Adeva. But in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, the police can be mobilized any time by the landlords to harass the farmer-beneficiaries. In Davao City, the RIID (Regional Intelligence and Investigating Division) was far more committed to trace the assassins of Ka Eric. But in Balasan, Iloilo, the RIID elements themselves were the ones directly responsible for the murder of Ka Hernan Baria.
I wonder how this government can address these irregularities in the police, when the DILG people we are relating to can just grin and look undetermined as if there's nothing we can do about graft and corruption in the law enforcement.