‘Neighbors without masks would come together in drinking sessions in the dark alleys of depressed communities and in private residences as well.’
PNP spokesman Gen. Bernie Banac should know better than to think that Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas’ flagrant violation of quarantine restrictions has not affected the performance of the police force and its public perception.
The police leadership is paying the price for what Sinas and his men have done. One obvious consequence of the Sinas example is defiant cops riding a motorbike in tandem, photos of which are frequently uploaded on Facebook. The exercise of power has repeatedly ignored its inner ascendancy that drives senior managers and top company executives to lead by good example.
Ordinary citizens have sadly taken the cue not to endure dishonesty and disregard for the law, but to take quarantine protocols similarly for granted. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if the continued rise of infections in Metro Manila is now attributed to both the poor or inefficient law enforcement and the deliberate acts of violation by emboldened citizens.
The relief of the police security escorts of San Juan Mayor Manuel Zamora and the filing of administrative charges against them as ordered by Sinas has contributed to the creeping demoralization of law enforcers. Behind Sinas’ back, a torrent of countess expletives came from every precinct in Metro Manila. Banac may be the last to admit that the low performance of the PNP has also caused spikes in infections at the NCR.
A major factor in the rampant infection spikes was the lifting of the ban on the sale of liquor. Neighbors without masks would come together in drinking sessions in the dark alleys of depressed communities and in private residences as well. In their drunken state they would spew out the coronavirus liberally and guarantee its further spread when they return to their homes.
The drunks would often demand more liquor from store owners even during late nights when stores are already closed. In many areas, the local government has virtually condoned the unauthorized selling of beer and heavy drinks by failing to go after groceries and stores without the proper permits to sell liquor.
The IATF, run by retired generals whose regular pastimes are customarily marked by a generous helping of brandy or beer, is aware of the Pinoys’ unbridled love for drink. A particular graph showed that the spikes in Manila, Quezon City, Makati, Pasay and Marikina came after the lifting of the liquor ban.
This year’s Independence Day ceases to be a traditional celebration as the nation moves to embrace a new generation of heroes – doctors and nurses, as well other frontliners – many of whom have given their lives to save many others during this virus war. One particularly haunting video came from a female nurse who declared that “every death is a failure.
We are not afraid to die.” The occasion would have been a perfect opportunity for President Duterte to publicly pay homage and express his empathy for the fatalities, instead of romanticizing their deaths that he said they should welcome as their ultimate service to the country.
Leaders who embodied the true language of suffering and sacrifice were at the forefront of the battle, leading their troops “up the “ramparts to die with them.