Culture of Salvaging Operation Marches On!

by Joseph G. Lariosa


“Abraham drew near, and said, “Will you consume the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it?[3] … What if ten are found there?” He [The Lord] said, “I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake.”[4]    —  Genesis 18:23-32

CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) –  Last Jan. 16, 2013, the Chicago City Council signed off on nearly $33-million (1.3-billion Philippine pesos) in legal settlements for two notorious cases of police misconduct.

In what is believed to be the largest single settlement of its kind in city’s history, the aldermen (city councilors) approved a $22.5-million (924-million pesos) payment to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of Christina Eilman.

Eilman was a 21-year-old former California college student in the throes of a bipolar episode in May 2006 when police arrested her at Midway Airport and released her a day later in a crime-plagued Chicago’s South Side neighborhood, despite her parents’ long-distance attempts to get police to help them reach her. She was later abducted and sexually assaulted at knife point, then plummeted from the seventh floor of a vacant apartment in public housing. She suffered permanent brain damage and other lasting injuries.

The other settlement, for $10.25 million (430.5-million pesos), was in a case filed by Alton Logan, who spent 26 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. He alleged that former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge and his so-called midnight crew of detectives hid evidence of Logan’s innocence.


John Hagedorn, a professor of criminology, law and justice and one of the report’s authors told the Chicago Tribune, “The real problems are that an embarrassingly large number of police officers violate citizens’ rights, engage in corruption and commit crimes while avoiding discipline or escaping prosecution for many years.”

When a composite team of Philippine National Police and Philippine Army soldiers joined case operation plan of “Coplan Armado” in arresting a suspected jueteng gambling lord, Vic Siman, was there a Plan A or Plan B or Plan C in case Siman and his bodyguards resisted?

Or, was there only one plan – Plan A – to open fire if Siman and his group resisted?

What benefit would the composite team get if they fought fire with fire? Big Zero! You do not fight fire with gasoline. You fight fire with water – by holding fire or being vigilant. You can always regroup another day when the bad guys drop their guards!

Was there no Plan B to hold fire if the bodyguards are armed to the teeth? And wasn’t there a Plan C not to flag down Siman group if the composite team was sure that he was accompanied by innocent people?

Why the hurry in arresting Siman? Was it the end of the world? I thought Apocalypse was reset last December.

What would the composite team lose if they let Siman go? Perhaps, time of planning, botch execution and gasoline and people’s taxes to pay their salary.

Could they not conduct another intelligence and surveillance operation for Siman so that they can arrest him in his house or other haunts armed with search warrant? What the composite team needed was a good detective, who can isolate Siman at a corner and unarmed, using some element of a surprise while serving an arrest warrant.

Has the composite team forgotten the English 18th century jurist William Blackstone ratio in criminal law? “Better than ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.”

Or the 12th-century legal theorist Maimonides, who said, “it is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single
innocent one to death.”


Why didn’t the composite team apply the previous modus operandi of one of the proponents of Coplan Armado, Supt. Glenn Dumlao, whose Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) team abducted in broad daylight publicist Salvador Dacer and Dacer’s driver Emmanuel Corbito and gave them a few hours to live? Maybe because there will be very many witnesses when Dacer and Corbito were abducted near the boundary of Manila and Makati at the South Superhighway.

But if there was similarity in the twin killing of Dacer and Corbito to the Siman group to justify the killing, it came down to the labeling of Siman as a hired-gun killer. During the operation to kill Dacer, the killers were told by Dumlao’s assistant, C/Insp. Vicente “Boy” Arnado, that Dacer and Corbito were “two leaders of kidnapping with ransom and carnapping” and added, “dapat patayin at gawing polbos dahil ang mga iyan ay walang hiya.” (They should be killed and pulverized because they are shameless).

But why kill Siman, Dacer and Corbito? Why not took them to court and charged them with murder and kidnapping with ransom and carnapping?

Do the PNP or the Philippine Army have a budget in the amount of $22.5-million (924-million pesos) just to settle a single police misconduct like the City of Chicago which paid a bi-polar victim like Eilman?

Or an additional budget for $10.25 million (430.5-million pesos) for another police misconduct for Alton Logan, who was imprisoned for 26 years for a murder he did not commit?

The settlements we are talking about here are for those who survived police misconduct.

What about Siman and 12 others, who were killed? What if Siman and the 12 others were innocent after being given due process before a court of law?

What this composite team did was just as worse as the Avsecom men, who shot and killed, if not allowed former  Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino to be killed, while under their custody.

How much money is the PNP and Philippine Army going to give away to each of the victims, who have not even been charged in court but were already meted the death penalty, although capital punishment had been erased from the books?

Even if the Oplan Armado had the blessings of the Palace, Malacanang still would not have enough money to pay a similar amount of money given to human rights victims in Chicago.

It will be tuwid na daan (straight path) if the government overhaul the training of both the police and the military to be sensitive to the human rights of everybody – the criminals, the New Peoples Army, etc. and the innocents — by using common sense and by letting the law take its course and not taking the law into their own hands.

And, of course, by buying hazard insurance for PNP and Philippine Army to cover payment for future police misconduct operation! (

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