Senior Superintendent Marcelino Pedrozo is in a world of trouble. But it’s not like this officer, who has been accused of ordering his men to violently disperse the anti-American rally near the US Embassy in Manila last Wednesday, is a stranger to controversy.
According to witnesses, including a GMA News crew that caught Pedrozo’s statements on tape, the rally had gone on mostly without incident until he arrived. And then, the highest police officer on the scene (Pedrozo was deputy chief for operations of the Manila Police Department) decided to shake things up a little.
“You’re not arresting anyone, and there’s so many of them?” Pedrozo told his men, as caught on tape. “Let things get chaotic, we’re the police here. We can’t allow ourselves to lose to these people. How will we explain this to the embassy? So disperse them. Fight them! What kind of cops are you if you don’t fight?”
True, the protesters had earlier broken through the police cordon protecting the embassy. They had even seized the hose of a fire truck that had started bombarding them with water cannon, reaching as far as the embassy gate, which they defaced with red paint.
But there was still no call for Pedrozo’s order to violently disperse the rally because the cops would look bad to the Americans. And later, Pedrozo would even have the gall to deny that he made the statements that were caught on tape.
More than a decade ago, in 2005, Pedrozo was relieved as Malate station commander by no less than PNP Chief Edgardo Aglipay for alleged involvement in kidnapping and extortion. How he was able to return to the police force remains a mystery.
I know that the leftists and the indigenous people who joined the embassy rally were also to blame for the violence because they staged the protest without a permit and then engaged the outnumbered police in a pitched battle on Roxas Boulevard. But Pedrozo and his strategy of brutal counter-attack (which included the now-famous use of a police van as a dispersal technique) was just plain wrong.
This cop is a menace to society, even if he styles himself as a hero to the Americans. He should get what’s due to him.
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Predictably, some politicians have decided that it would be worth their while to ride on the issue of the violent dispersal by the Manila police of protesters in front of the US Embassy last Wednesday. As usual, some pols were more successful than others in attempting to gain some free publicity on the backs of the protesters.
One of those who failed miserably in the ghoulish enterprise of making political hay out of a lamentable incident was Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino. The man who made it to the Senate chiefly by impersonating a prominent dead relative said he was “shocked” by what happened outside the embassy.
Aquino’s latest blatant attempt at “epal” came after his previous bid to gain some attention failed to generate publicity for him. Bam’s recent call for an investigation of the phenomenon of trolling on social media —launched in all likelihood to defend the remaining loyalists of his family’s Yellow regime —flopped so pathetically, not even the media took notice of it.
The violence near the embassy must have made Aquino and his publicists heave a sigh of relief. Here was an actual story, they thought, unlike one of the senator’s earlier attention-getting proposals that sought to institutionalize the giving of leftover food to the poor.
But the pro-Duterte Mindanation website was quick to see through the hypocrisy of this identity-thieving Aquino. The site posted the following public letter addressed to the senator:
Dear Bambam Aquino,
Like we already told you before, whenever you think you have anything relevant to say, please check if it is something that you should have also said when your cousin Noynoy was the president.
We feel we have to remind you again because of your most recent statement saying, among other inanities, that you were “shocked” by what you saw at the rally that happened in front of the US Embassy. Why this would even surprise you is, for us, the bigger shocker, considering the Aquino family’s own personal history of violence against the lower classes.
You pontificate about what you say is our country’s “history of protest and allowing dissent” while ignoring the many deaths that can be laid directly at the feet of your two pestilential relatives Cory and Noynoy.
From the massacre of farmers in Mendiola to the more recent deadly dispersal in Kidapawan, to the hundreds of violent clashes between the police, the Aquino goons, and the farmers at your Hacienda Luisita, the Aquino’s stand side by side with the Marcoses as the families that have brought most harm to this nation.
So spare us your sanctimonious preaching and fake concern for the poor. As far as we are concerned, you are now merely a placeholder for whomever we will elect to take your seat in 2019.
Hopefully next time we can get someone more useful to replace you, like a monkey, or maybe a trained poodle. Or a goldfish.