Commentary: Nerez bags one bird; how many others to catch?
By Behn Fer. Hortaleza, Jr.
Dagupan City (29 August) -- Kudos to the Pangasinan PNP command—whatever its shortcomings—for bagging that gun-for-hire and member of the notorious original Quitaleg kidnap-for-ransom gang Roland Pidlaoan in Urbiztondo last Sunday.
Pangasinan Police Director Isagani Nerez certainly needed that one boost to his image as top law enforcer of the province after seemingly being thrown pie in the face by those rampaging guns-for-hire operating in the province who have killed so many high profile victims, including elected officials the past three years.
Nerez did not forget, of course, to say that this piece of achievement for the bulletin board was upon the marching order given him by Governor Amado T. Espino "to get all guns-for-hire and their coddlers."
Lets hope he follows it up with more arrests especially of suspects in the killings of mayors, vice mayors, councilors and barangay officials to show he really means business. As one swallow doe not make a summer, according to the Americans, one hired killer's arrest won't free the good police superintendent from Board Member Alfie Bince's grim admonition that he should leave Pangasinan by December if he couldn't satisfactorily catch suspects in most of the past celebrated killings here by that time.
And while we're on the subject of criminal arrests, for once we're happy Nerez let the media on into the background of the arrested Pidlaoan by extensively narrating the guy's connections and the many cases where the gang is supposedly involved, especially in kidnap cases here the past couple of years.
At least now media can put into context most of the superficial news they've been able to piece together—unofficially—in the past because police investigators either did not know how to drop the meaty hints or they were deathly afraid of speaking to media lest they displease or disobey the orders of their superiors.
This is what I've been saying all along: That for the police work to be better appreciated by a skeptical public, and media too, the PNP must sometimes lift the veil of secrecy surrounding its operations to give its public a glimpse of its investigations and not give them the general line "We're-on-top-of-the situation-guys-dontcha-worry!"
The reading public is not as stupid as many in the police establishment think; it can see through charades, cover-ups and outright cheating of facts.
Alcala town is showing the way on how to rein in unwarranted cheating of passengers or the riding public by its own tricycles for hire.
The Sangguniang bayan led by Vice Mayor Clemente Arboleda has passed a resolution prescribing new fare rates for all routes (barangay) in the city to be followed under pain of penalties. The town law specifies discounted rates for students and senior citizens, for good measure..
Would that the cities, especially Dagupan, more efficiently police their overcharging trike units too; they give a real blackeye to visitors who are charged stratospheric Fares for even short distances. Who's in charge of the store here?...(PIA-Pangasinan) [top]