Editorial: Double standards

·2 min read

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has been caught in a social media storm of angry netizens for its failure to arrest the sports utility vehicle driver who hit and ran over security guard Christian Joseph Floralde in Mandaluyong City. A team of police officers pursuing the driver, later identified as Jose Antonio Sanvicente, failed to capture him as it was stopped by the guards of the subdivision where Sanvicente and his family live.

If the warrantless arrest happened at the time, it could be justified as a “hot pursuit operation.” Police did not force their way inside the residential area obviously resided by people who do not belong to the margins.

Sanvicente surrendered to the police on June 15, 2022, 10 days after the hit-and-run incident last June 5. He publicly apologized to Floralde, who luckily survived the incident.

This case could be compared to an incident that happened in Barangay Casili, Consolacion town, Cebu on the evening of June 5: the murder of Staff Sergeant Careby-Clyde Alinsug.

Alinsug, a member of the Consolacion police’s anti-narcotics unit, was killed by Reynaldo “Tatskie” Ydil, who was later tagged by the local police as a member of a drug syndicate in Central Visayas. After learning about Alinsug’s death, operatives of the Cebu Police

Provincial Office (CPPO) immediately formed a team and pursued Ydil, who ended up dead after he reportedly engaged the police in a gunfight in Cebu City on June 6.

The CPPO said the police officer along with a civilian asset had been conducting surveillance on illegal activities in Casili when the shooting occurred, killing Alinsug and wounding the asset.

Not to demean the death of Alinsug who died in the line of duty, but the PNP leadership must be asked: Why was the CPPO quick to neutralize the suspect? Was it because it involved one of its men who succumbed to a brutal fate?

Netizens have the right to get mad at the PNP for its failure to apprehend Sanvicente hours after the hit-and-run incident in Mandaluyong because they know it is easy for its operatives to raid a poor neighborhood.

A blindfolded Lady Justice symbolizes this: Justice must be rendered without any prejudice to ensure a fair result.

The PNP, as an organization, is not blindfolded. It can see injustices, criminal activities but it sometimes either closes its eyes or looks in a different direction when powers that be or people in high society are accused of being involved in unlawful acts.

It is an injustice if an institution tasked to enforce laws plays blind or practices double standards.

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