Saturday, November 26, 2016

168. Gen. Bato and the ideal police organization

I caught a clip of Gen. "Bato" dela Rosa weeping on national TV the other day after the testimony of Kerwin Espinosa who testified that Espinosa's been bribing high ranking policemen to maintain Espinosa's drug business all these years. If the allegations of corruption are true, I'm sure Espinosa is not the first, the last, or the only drug dealer paying off policemen for protection. And Gen. Bato would continue to weep at this ghastly thought that the police institution is corrupt. I think the mistake is in believing that the police organization, or any government institution tasked to enforce the law with the power of the gun, is ever going to be close to its theoretical model of being the protector of the people. Gen. Bato notes that the police are also human beings subject to temptations  and full of  needs and desires that may not coincide with their sworn duties. Thus, the institution, as in any human organization, is wired to be corrupt and bound to be corrupt. This brings us to the oft-quoted question, who will police the police? Assuming there is such police (sort of a super-police), will it not be as corrupt? Oh, there are more things to cry about, Gen. Bato. Yet, the problem of the Philippine police is not unique. Many nations suffer the malady of corruption in their police institutions; each corrupt in its own way, betraying the ancient precepts  of the warrior class, and  some more corrupt than others. And this is so not for any spectacular reason but simply because they are human beings. And if we begin to view the world of politics from the premise that every person who wields power is a human being, predisposed to corruption and bound to be corrupted, then we should be thinking twice on whether someone should wield power on the rest of us at all. 

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