Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Sheriff Abe Andres should be fired

Sheriff Abe Andres should be fired. This, after he refused to file charges against Mayor Sara Duterte.

Andres has a history of not knowing his job. In 2007 he was suspended for not doing his job properly. Now, he is still not doing his job properly.

Latest revelations show that there was a stay order issued by the judge that effectively stops him from carrying out the writ of demolition. In this case, Sara Duterte is right, although her resorting to violence was never and can never be justified—even though during the time of the now infamous “pananapak,” nobody was still aware of the stay order.

Be that as it may, Abe Andres is still mandated by law to file criminal and administrative cases against anybody who uses force to stop a lawful court order. It is part of his duties as sheriff. To understand his reluctance in filing the charges, as opposed to the seemingly ironic fervor, passion, and zeal that he displayed during the actual demolition just a few days ago, one has to understand the way sheriffs think.

In my personal experience, sheriffs rarely file cases or even just order the arrest of people, violently opposing the implementation of a court order. Based on my personal and first-hand knowledge, here are the reasons:

1. Most sheriffs are corrupt. They need to be bribed and paid by the plaintiffs before they implement a court order. This is not difficult to understand if you consider their monthly pay vis-à-vis their job description.

2. Before a sheriff implements a court order, he usually requests for police assistance (based on the orders of the judge). However, before police assistance is rendered, the “budget” is always settled first with the plaintiffs (The police actually expects this too!) “Budget” is usually P1,000 for each policeman, P5,000 to P50,000 to the chief of police, depending on the number of policemen he commits, and P500 to P800 for each demolition crew member. The lump sum is usually received by the sheriff days or weeks before the actual demolition. So it really needs no great stretch of the imagination to see how the sheriff makes money from this. (He asks a budget for 100 policemen but only requests for 50!)

3. In the first demolition attempt, if there are some glitches and for whatever reasons and the demolition does not push through, the budget is considered spent or “sunog” in their lingo. The sheriff just makes a report to the judge and even the flimsiest of reasons, like somebody is violently opposing it, is usually accepted without question by the judge. (In most probability, the sheriff shares part of the loot to the judge.) This is what the sheriffs look forward to because if the implementation fails, he only gives part of the “budget” to the personnel concerned. The “savings” is now added to the earlier cut he had.

Now you know why the success or failure of the demolition order is the least concern of the sheriff.

Putting into perspective the uncharacteristic eagerness of Sheriff Andres of immediately carrying out the demolition order despite the request of Mayor Duterte, in all probability, this is because he had already received the budget from the plaintiffs AND he is aware of the stay order. He needs to act fast and START the implementation. He knows that he will never finish it because of a lot of legal and political reasons, not the least of which is the request of Duterte and the stay order.

But because he had started implementing the order before it was halted by the thundering blows of the Mayora, the budget is now considered “sunog,” thus he needed a few days off to laugh all the way to the bank!

And he cannot file a case against the Mayora. First and foremost, he is a corrupt sheriff with lots of skeletons in his closet. So he does what he does best. He exploits to the hilt his role of the “kawawa,” “inapi,” and “takot.” This achieves a three-fold purpose: 1st, he hopes to keep his skeletons in the closet; 2nd, he does not make enemies with the Dutertes, and 3rd and most importantly, it further strengthens his position with the plaintiffs and justify the request for a higher budget in the next implementation.

He might even be expecting a “tip” from the plaintiffs, which he may call as “hazard pay!”

Whatever…he should be fired immediately if he continues to refuse to file charges against Mayor Duterte.

And that will be his last writ…

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