MAKATI CITY, Mar 30 (Mabuhay) – Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay on Monday decried what he described as the apparent “misuse” of the Philippine National Police (PNP) force in the implementation of “selective suspension” of government officials not allied with the ruling party.
Speaking before thousands of supporters during the Monday flag raising ceremony at City Hall, Mayor Binay said he felt sympathy toward PNP personnel who often got caught in the middle of political conflicts, and called for an end to dirty political tactics.
“Every time I see members of the PNP posted around City Hall, I could not help but feel pity for them. They are merely obeying orders from their superiors, but they are in fact being used to break the law instead of enforcing it,” Binay said.
The mayor also thanked the 33 barangay chairmen and thousands of residents, the city councilors, department heads, and city hall employees, for solidly standing by him since the standoff started after the Office of the Ombudsman issued a preventive suspension order on him.
“There will be a hearing at 2pm at the Court of Appeals. I look forward to your continued presence and support,” he said.
Binay likewise pointed out a petition filed by the Office of the Ombudsman with the Supreme Court last week against the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Court of Appeals. “This merely shows that they recognize the TRO,” he said.
The mayor said he hoped the police would be more discerning of the real motives behind their superiors’ insistence on enforcing the Ombudsman’s suspension order on him despite the TRO.
“Selective suspension of local officials is again in season, and the police are being used to implement often baseless and unlawful suspension orders. But in a democracy, police power cannot be allowed to prevail over the true will of the people,” Binay said.
The mayor said severe bias was palpable in the treatment of local officials who belong to political parties other than or not allied with the Liberal Party. “While suspension orders for allies and partymates have remained unimplemented, battalions of police commandos and even armored tanks are being sent in to forcibly remove duly elected political rivals from office,” he observed.
Binay said ultimately, it is the people who are at the losing end. “As the ones paying for the salaries of the police and government officials, they have the right to expect us to serve their best interest,” he said. (MNS)