Thursday, September 11, 2014

That EDSA Hulidap: My pulis take.

When the photo of THAT “gun poking” incident in EDSA first appeared in the newspapers, I immediately commented, “incompetent government. pero ang pinakab0b0 dito ay ang pnp. nakakahiya...pero hula ko lang: kalawit operation ng mga pulis yun...”  eto link:

Weeks later, after all the hullabaloo died down, it turns out that I was exactly right.  Let me gloat about that for a moment but I think I am not the only policeman who first thought of that.  I am sure that other policemen worth their salt also have that same instinct.  Why?  Because birds of the same feather flock together!  Or say it takes one to know one.  So am I also doing hulidap?  Hell no.  Make no mistake about it.  I also do kalawit but not to rob a person but to extract information and I condemn in strongest terms the

actions of PCI Joseph de Vera and his cohorts.  They deserved that the whole book be thrown to them.  Now having made that clear, let me continue with this article.

In intelligence parlance, that operation caught on camera is an example of a variation of a black bag job employed by many police and military units worldwide including here in the Philippines.  Even the NPAs employ this tactic.  In the PNP, it is called “kalawit” and it started with noble intentions.  Let us start with the basics and define what is black bag job.  To preclude bias, let me just quote an internet based open source:

From Wikipedia:

Black bag operations (or black bag jobs) are covert or clandestine entries into structures to obtain information for human intelligence operations.   This usually entails breaking and entering into denied areas. Some of the tactics, techniques and procedures associated with black bag operations are: lock picking, safe cracking, key impressions, fingerprinting, photography, electronic surveillance (including audio and video surveillance), mail manipulation (flaps and seals), forgery, and a host of other related skills. The term “black bag” refers to the little black bag in which burglars carry their tools.  “The CIA remains responsible for conducting these highly classified operations overseas, while the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) performs the exact same function inside the U.S. and its territories.”

In black bag operations, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents illegally entered offices of targeted individuals and organizations, and photographed information found in their records.  This practice was used by the FBI from 1942 until 1967.  In July 1966, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover ordered the practice discontinued.  The use of “black bag jobs” by the FBI was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court on 19 June 1972 in the Plamondon case, United States v. U.S. District Court, 407 U.S. 297.  The FBI still carries out numerous “black bag” entry-and-search missions, in which the search is covert and the target of the investigation is not informed that the search took place.  If the investigation involves a criminal matter a judicial warrant is required; in national security cases the operation must be approved by a secret body called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The CIA has used black-bag operations to steal cryptography and other secrets from foreign government offices outside the United States. The practice dates back at least as far as 1916.

The British, Israeli, Russian, and other intelligence agencies are known to use black-bag operations to steal secrets. When the technique is used to obtain codes it may be called Black-bag cryptanalysis.

Now here is my pulis take:

In the Philippines, black bag operations are part of the basic intelligence curriculum in both the PNP and the AFP.  One subject in basic intelligence course is called DASE-DAME and one of the topics is lock picking.  Students are actually taught how to surreptitiously defeat various kinds of locks.  There is even a field training exercise for the subject that semi-live targets are employed and there were some incidents of misencounter resulting in the death of students.

Per se, this kind of operation is strictly illegal.  Under the law, this is robbery.  Kaya lang, kaya nga tinatawag na undercover or covert operations kasi nga hindi dapat mahuli.  Originally, this knowledge is used by intelligence units for noble reasons like gathering information, planting surveillance devices, and for myriad of other reasons in furtherance of a specific mission.  In the olden days where the attitude of policemen is still “mission first,” operatives are able to resist the temptation to steal valuables in the target house because doing so will burn out the operations.  Because temptation is real then and now.  You are in a house.  You entered surreptitiously, no different from a thief or akyat bahay except for the intention.  Whereas the thief intends to steal, you are there for a noble mission such as photographing the interior of the house for a raid later or planting a surveillance device for monitoring.  But the temptation is also there.  A jewelry box maybe accessible.  Taking it may or may not jeopardize the mission.  Nobody knows except you and your God if you have one.  Your call.

In instances that a black bag operation is not enough to obtain the information needed, a variant is employed wherein a target personality is surreptitiously kidnapped and detained until the desired information is obtained.  The kalawit is done as clean as possible, meaning there is no evidence that will implicate the perpetrators, and the subject is set free after the operations with no personal gain whatsoever for the operatives.  The temptation is also present here because this operation can easily be converted into a kidnapping for ransom or extortion operations.

But alas, something obviously went horribly and terribly wrong along the way.  The people did succumb to the temptation.  The black bag job became outright robbery and the kalawit became robbery extortion that later on became kidnap for ransom and conducted with criminal intention right at the very start.  It has to be noted that the basic skills and ingredients required for those noble and ignoble operations are essentially the same.  All the policemen needs is an informer/asset/snitch who knows the exact whereabouts of the money or drugs and the police swoops in without a warrant.  Anyway, why would you need a warrant if you have no intention of filing a case just like the EDSA boys did and all you want is the money?

That brings me to my last prediction for this issue.  I predict that that this case will eventually die down a natural death because the complainants are real drug dealers and they will not pursue the case once the media furor dies down.  Ooops, think before you bash me.  I will not use the argument that I have inside information that this is the second time that these people were robbed by the police.  The first one happened in March this year and P750,000 was taken from them plus 4Kg of shabu.  In this case that went viral because of THAT photo, it was not P2M taken from them but P3.5M.  In addition, 7Kg of shabu was also seized from them. 

Consider the following: 

1.      Who is the legitimate businessman that you know who carries around P2M to buy equipment for his business?  And do you know of any trader or dealer who NORMALLY accepts cash payment for his wares each amounting to millions?

2.      Why is it that if not for that single photo that exposed the incident, the "victims" would not have reported it to the police?  That is not normal for crissake!  Unless you are guilty of a crime.  Do not tell me that bull that they are afraid of the police.  They are from Mindanao and are employees of a politician.  Afraid my ass!
            3.      Why is it that those policemen are so brazen and confident that they brought the victims to their station and not even attempted to conceal their identities?  They even had the windshield of the Fortuner repaired in Banawe before returning it to the "victims."

Actually at this point, the "victims" must have been thanking the heavens that the picture surfaced only a bit late because had it been posted on the net immediately while they were still in the hands of the policemen, the latter would have been left with no choice but to proceed with the case against them and the story that will come out is a buy bust operation in La Loma followed by a car chase that reached EDSA.  That would be Section 5 with no bail and the evidence would have been P200,000 and half a kilogram of shabu.

Actually, if only those policemen moderated their greed and used the scenario that I had just presented, they would have accomplished a lot of positive things:  they removed two scoundrel drug dealers from the streets thus earning praise and adulation.  On the side, they would have earned the same amount of money minus the P200K evidence.  They should have asked their bosses how to do it properly.

Abangan kung tatama uli ang hula ko!  Hehehehe!


Looking at all those generals tumbling over one another during the press conference for the arrest of PCI Joseph de Vera who was presented to the media in a firing line, I cannot help but be amazed by their audacity, especially THAT GENERAL who in his junior officer days was busted by the ISAFP for drug dealing in Meycauayan, Bulacan.  He is just lucky that he came from a different academy than that of de Vera’s thus he still rose through the ranks and still became a very rich general.  Just look at his palatial houses and the frequency of his travels abroad!  Wala syang karapatang kondenahin si de Vera kasi parehong pareho lang sila!  It can even be argued that de Vera was just following his lead!

And I thought that firing line presentationvis not allowed even for civilian suspects?

Dahil ba PNPA LANG si de Vera?


  1. stumble upon your blog and I'm liking it already..:-)

    will be following your blog from now on

    1. salamat po. please do comment on the substance so that i will be able to see other perpectives. pwede din po kayo mag email ng article nyo at ipost ko dito sa blog.

      salamat po uli!

  2. it was great reading your take on this incident.

    i do agree with you that the supposed "victims" are as fishy as everybody else was in that operation. even civilians like me can smell and taste the "lansa" of the whole thing.

    however, the onus is on the pnp to maintain the moral high ground simply because they represent authority in this case. just because the "victims" are scoundrels does not give the pnp to right to act like thugs as well. you claim that this is not the first time the "victims" were apprehended. if that's really the case, imagine if the police did the right thing and took out these people from the streets legally, then we probably will not see the second incident. and if THAT picture was not taken, this unfortunate cycle would just go round and round and round for as long as our policemen are as soulless as the criminals they are supposed to protect us from.

    i long for the day when our policemen carry their badges with dignity and pride. i know temptations are real and ever present and i am sure there are lots of policemen who have not succumbed to its deathly enchantment, but so long as criminally thuggish behavior like these persists within the pnp, and is accepted as a norm by some, then every so often you would always have controversial topic to write about even after you retirement or your children's retirement.

    we would not want that would we?

    1. wow! great perspective. i cannot add anymore to your comment. alam nyo po, you would do very well in helping the pnp by giving short lectures to our policeman as guest lecturer. your clear frame of mind and direction is a bit rare nowadays in the pnp considering that many, sometimes including me, are already confused of what is actually right and what is wrong...

      thanks for the visit!

  3. PulisnaPogi..alam ko na alam mo na ang pinakamalaking sindikato sa kapulisan at sa AFP ay mga graduate ng PMA!

    1. hahaha, that calls for a separate article sir. watch out for this topic because this will be my next subject.

      thanks for the visit!

  4. Sir, bakit hindi umaalma ang mga hindi PMAers sa PNP????considering na minority nalang ng PNP ang mga PMAers??

    does this also reflect the status of our country na andaming naghahari harian pero di hamak na mas marami ang mga pinagmamataasan na ayaw pumalag???

    1. well, for me this is not about pma vs pnpa. eto po ang article:

  5. Sir, nabiktima ang kapatid ko ng hulidap kaya po ako nagbababasa ng mha blogs about the issue. Paano naman po yung katulad ng kapatid ko na set up ng mga hayop ng pulis. Dahil may dala siyang pera ay nagdrudrugs na siya? Nasa customs nagtratrabaho ang kapatid ko at ang dala niyang pera ay pang demorahe sa containers tapos huhulihin, hindi nakakita ng shabu o kahit drug test di nila ginawa, pera agad ang hinanap. Sir, di lahat ng biktima nagkukunwari. Di namin alam kung saan lalapit kasi wala na kaming tiwala sa mha pulis. Sirang sira. Anonh gagawin namin, ang mga taong dapat magprotekta sa amin, linoko kami.

    1. try nyo po lumapit sa public attorney's office para sa mas comprehensive na legal advice. sa city hall po usually makikita ang opisina nila or sa hall of justice...


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