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On Hoodlums In Uniform And The Unreformed PNP (Updated: No To Kuratong Baleleng Tactic)

October 20, 2009


Everyone’s talking about yesterday’s ala-Wild Wild West shootout at the plush Greenbelt 5 shopping mall (coming on the eve of that deadly gas explosion that killed 11 people and hurt over 100 others at Glorietta 2).

We can almost shout ourselves hoarse about the seeming lapse in the mall security and why silent electronic alarms were not available at the targeted Rolex watch shop.

But that’s all with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

What’s  frightening is how yet again the malefactors were actually clad in police SWAT/Bomb Squad outfits and armed to the teeth, with the lone slain gunman (thanks to the alertness and courage of Mayor Tinga’s police bodyguards) carrying both a 45-caliber pistol and an M-14 grenade launcher!

In his column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer today, Manolo Quezon quotes blogger Rico Mossesgeld as reporting that his father called Ayala Security around 3 p.m.

The account of the incident gathered by MLQ 3:

Greenbelt 5, seven armed men told mall security that they were investigating a bomb threat, so they were let in. They go to Washington store, smash open the glass. Mayor Tinga’s entourage was nearby; one of Freddie’s bodyguards shot one of the robbers. Not sure if shot robber is dead; other six fled immediately.

Wanna know why the criminals were wearing police uniform?

bomb-squadThat’s because such uniforms complete with regulation patches can be bought at any of the shops Boni Serrano Avenue, right across the Philippine National Police headquarters secondary main gate!

The normal practice should be for access to such item being restricted to bona fide policemen.

In fact it was nearly a year ago that newspapers even headline a polkice ban on civilians wearing such uniforms:


But no, because authorities take these things for granted incidents such as yesterday’s mall shoot out (and raids on taxicab company garages) sow terror on our civilian populace!

What’s more, you now hear authorities saying they’ve pinpointed the usual suspect robbery gang  (‘Alvin Flores Gang’) but nothing about why the group or groups have not been wiped out.

Seeing this, one can’t help thinking these criminals are in cahoots with rotten apples in the police establishment where long-touted structural reforms have never taken root.

Instead what we hear is the constant jockeying for promotions among star rank officers belonging to this and that PMA class with lap-doggish political links to the powers that be.

With ‘dogs’ running law and order institutions is it any wonder the PNP, is seems, has gone to the dogs!!!


IUn response to an early reader’s query, your Midfielder clarifies that the phrase

“why the group or groups have not been wiped out.” should not be taken as an endorse of extra-judicial execution ala the Kuratong Baleleng incident.


My real worry is about rogue police elements or their ‘friends’ actually being involved or of them being tolerated or protected.

I trust this clarifies.

I am indebted to Ms. Anne De Brux for her nudge. 🙂

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