Saturday, May 03, 2014

Nancy and Ted Failon...

This article was written in the aftermath of the kotong operations of QCPD Cops busted by the PNP spokesman and another incident where the son of NCRPO Director Espina was victimized.  Here are the links to the stories:

‘Kotong’ cops get a scare from PNP’s Sindac

Unlucky pick: 2 QC cops target Metro Manila police chief's son for 'kotong'

The case of PO1 Ronaldo Englis, PO1 Ronald Mansibang, and PO1 Lucky dela Pena is nothing new in QCPD circles or the NCRPO policemen in general—nor the making out in cars.

Let me start the discussion with the making out in the car as many of you manyaks out there are definitely interested, for most likely, you have also done this yourself (Thinkers are doers!  Hah!).  Though I cannot support this claim with empirical data, I believe that hundreds of these cases happen daily all over Metro Manila and the rest of the world!  This is called "necking" by NCRPO policemen, ostensibly with the same origins as "petting."  This is sometimes coded as "NANCY" from the phonetic equivalent of letter N.

Do you still remember that news article a while back about the high incidence of STDs among call center agents?  It was disclosed in the same study that most of the transmissions happen when partners make out in cars their cars during coffee breaks where the use of condoms and hygiene is an issue.  Likewise, in big private establishments with secured parking such as the international financial company in the corner of Ortigas and EDSA and the airports and seaports, among the favorite pastimes of security officers monitoring the CCTVs is looking for rocking cars hosting quickie sessions of lovers having their quickie trysts.  Especially in THAT international financial company, married foreign expats love (with all the pun intended) to make out with their equally married local clerks, giving justice to the joke definition of a “happily married couple:  one husband out with another man’s wife.”  Heck, even the UP police for so long a time reports this activity right inside UP grounds and the security guards of Ateneo are not far behind.  And Camp Crame guards too!  There was even a time when an undercover TV show (i think it was Imbestigodor or XXX) documented the trysts of two lovers regularly making out in a school bus parked in a community basketball court after the children are dropped off to school.

Why is making out in the car seem to be a fad (if you haven’t noticed it yet)?  Well for some, it is just for the pure thrill of it.  This is so for a very well known politician in Quezon City.  I remember in one freewheeling informal huntahan before the start of a meeting, the topic veered towards this phenomenon of making out and the police kotong activities that befell on some unlucky ones.  This guy jokingly related a personal experience wherein he was surprised one night by members of QCPD while he was busy making out with his girlfriend.  When the cops recognized him, they profusely apologized and attempted to leave.  He proudly related that instead of allowing the policemen to leave, he gave them 2K and told them to stay around and guard his car while he finished his quickie!  Hahaha!

The reasons of people making out in cars are varied from practical to flimsy.  Actually, these reasons determine the hotspots where these activities were being made and veteran policemen know what kind of people they will encounter in the various areas where these happen.  The sharp policeman is also accurate in reading the chance of a successful kotong operation.

The common denominator why the Espina and Sindac cases turned out to be a disaster kotong case for the policemen is not really the fact that the victims know a high ranking police official but rather, the misreading of the policemen of their intended victims, just like Cedric Lee and company misread Vhong Navarro.  They did not consider the possibility that their victims might call their bluff and be “forced to good.”  In both the Espina and Sindac cases, the intended victims were single youngsters—a red flag for the “matalas” na pulis.  Aside from the very real possibility that these kids are still palamunin or at the very least “subsidized” by their parents, there is that high probability that these people are single and unattached, thus may not be really afraid of the most common threat of cops:  exposure, especially to the media.  Thus aside from the difficulty in shelling out the money which they may not have in the first place, these youngsters are actually more susceptible to vocally and vehemently fight for their rights.

Cops know this very well:  there are people who are very much willing to pay under the right circumstances, especially if the cop simply does his job and stumbles upon them in a very compromising situation.  The most common example of this usually happens in upscale but non-gated communities such as Greenmeadows in QC, Gracepark in Caloocan, the open subdivisions in San Juan and the likes.  In these areas, a very common modus operandi of bosses having illicit relations with their househelps is to ask the latter to run errands, with them waiting in a predetermined area.  And this is not only about the male bosses doing hanky panky with their female househelp ha.  The biggest “revenue generator” is when the boss is female and the househelp is the male gardener.  Also big money awaits to the apprehending cop if the boss is male and the househelp is again...........the tadadaaaaaan! the male garderner!  Hahahaha!  If you happen to chance upon this pair, money will surely be offered even before you ask for it.  And here is another critical factor mastered by the older cops that these PO1s failed to learn:  correct reading of the limit of the victim.  There is a certain level that an intended victim might be “forced to good.”  At this juncture he/she might say, ok let’s go to the police station and talk about this.  If this happens, the cop knows that the negotiations is about to go zero.  He will avoid this situation if he can help it.  Most of the time, this happens when there is already a demand for the victim to withdraw money from an ATM because the cop is not satisfied with the cash on hand.  During the drive to the bank, there is plenty of time for the intended victim to think and clear his/her head.  And if he/she is able to unload his/her partner, the situation turns to worse for the cop because aside from being an attention bait (imagine a car pulling up to an ATM closely shadowed by a patrol car), the partner may create a scene that the cops will not like.  This is the reason why the more experienced cops settle for what can be found in the car at the moment of greatest confusion:  money, jewelry, and even guns!

For others, there is that reason of practicality.  Oo nga naman, mahal pa ang motel.  Kung taxi driver ka rin lang naman at ang napick up mo ay isang jokards sa Quezon Avenue, e di doon ka na lang sa parking area ng Capitol Medical Center.  P40 lang at sigurado pang hindi pinapasok ng mga pulis!  (Now you get another idea ha!).  This is aside from the fact that there are no motels in QC and the nearest is Sta Mesa if you are in the vicinity of Welcome Rotunda, the Caloocan Strip if you are in Balintawak, the Mariposa in Marcos Hiway in Marikina if you are in Cubao and the Pasig Row if you are in the eastern part of QC.  Sa trapik pa lang, ubos na oras mo.

What is my view on all this hullabaloo?  Well, anyway I look at it, kotong is the most abhorrent thing that a policeman can do.  Forcing a person to shell out money is the height of anarchy.  It is worse than robbery because the cop is supposed to be the vanguard that prevents anarchy.  But what if I am a cop who chanced upon a couple having sex in a car?  And mind you, I already have and seen almost all kinds of pairs there is possible.  The thing that I did was advise the couple to get dressed and get out of the area because their car might be carjacked from them.  This advice is very true and valid because there is that real possibility that carjackers may chance upon them and take away their car especially if they are in a dimly lit portion of the road.  When I do this, especially if they see me jotting down their plate numbers in the patrol car log book (hehehe), I need not demand anything.  Almost automatically, money is offered.  If it is “payat,” I simply flatly refuse it and tell the person to just keep it and not bother.  If it is substantial, I flash my most sheepish smile and tell him, “Nakupo baka bukas magreklamo pa po kayo.  Wag na lang.”  In both instances, believe me, may utang na loob pa sa akin ang tao pag tinanggap ko ang pera nya.  And mind you, I have made real friends from many of these instances ha.  There even comes a time later na nagpapagtawanan namin pag naisip namin kung paano kami unang nagkakilala.  Alam nila ang tunay na nangyari...

Is this kotong?  Well, definitely this is not something that you can brag about.  But on the other hand, is there a prohibition on this?  You do a good job, somebody gives you a tip.  Is that bad?  The closest that the law addresses this situation is in several articles of RA 3019 and several sections of NMC 2007-001 but most of these provisions do not address this situation squarely.  Let me clarify that this is entirely different from when you chance upon a person and there is an obligation for you to effect an arrest and you did not, such as when you found drugs in the possession of a person and you did not arrest him because he gave you money.  This is a grave offense defined under serious irregularities in the performance of a duty.  But in the situation where you chance upon a couple making out in a car?  Are you mandated to make an arrest?  Actually the most that you can do is to verify the identities of the persons by asking for valid identification cards and the ownership of the car.  And this is just an option actually.  Unless the car is not tinted and the people inside are plainly visible while doing their thing thereby making the act scandalous, I don’t think that there are valid grounds for police to detain them.  But what about from the viewpoint of the persons chanced upon?  Most of time, they know that what they are doing is wrong—not so much about being against the law but rather against their respective spouses.  And this is where the potential for money being offered comes in.  This was absent in both the Espina and Sindac cases, and both cases ended in disaster for the policemen.

If it happened to other people, it would have a totally different ending.  Ask Ted Failon…


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