Image courtesy of www.newsinfo.inquirer.net
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Dir. Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa called out the lady cops who were caught taking pictures with actor Mark Anthony Fernandez after he was arrested for possessing a kilogram of marijuana in San Fernando, Pampanga on Tuesday.
Although Dela Rosa said he understands that the two Angeles City policewomen may have been “overwhelmed” with Fernandez’s presence, the police chief said they could face administrative complaint for conduct unbecoming of a police officer.
“I don’t like that picture because as law enforcers, ano ba? Na-starstruck ka pa rin sa isang criminal offender, ‘di ba? Hinuli siya ‘di ba at ngayon magpapapicture ka pa doon? On the other hand, naiintindihan ko rin naman ang aking mga policewomen dahil nakalimutan siguro nila na sila ay pulis,” dela Rosa said in an interview on Wednesday.
(I don’t like that picture because as law enforcers, what are you thinking? You act starstruck in front of a criminal offender, right? He was nabbed, yet you would ask for a photo with him? On the other hand, I understand my policewomen because they might have forgotten they are police officers.)
“Na-overwhelm lang sila, nakalimutan nila na sila’y pulis. Nangingibabaw sa kanila yung kanilang pagka-movie fan siguro o pagka-dalaga or pagka-babae na nakita nila ‘yung actor na magandang lalaki, nagpapaselfie sila (They were overwhelmed and might have forgotten they are police officers so their being movie fans and women dominated when they saw the good-looking actor and they took a selfie with him) so I both hate that picture at the same time, I understand by police women for their actuation,” dela Rosa added.
The two policewomen drew flak on social media after their photo with the 37-year-old actor went viral. In the photo, Fernandez was wearing the same polo shirt when the police presented him to the media at Camp Olivas in Pampanga. Fernandez denied owning the marijuana but admitted he uses the illegal substance as a cure for cancer.
Dela Rosa said he was concerned that the public might think the police have double standard in handling drug suspects.
“Baka sabihin nila that there is a double standard sa policing at law enforcement na ginagawa natin. Sa ordinaryong drug user or pusher eh saksak agad doon sa selda eh pag itong artista eh nagpapaselfie pa ‘yung mga pulis,” he said.
(The public might think that that there is a double standard in our policing and law enforcement. An ordinary drug user or pusher is put immediately inside the cell whereas when an actor was caught, the police officers were asking for a selfie.)
The police chief said he will refer the incident to the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service (IAS), the unit which probes erring cops.
“I will refer this matter to the Internal Affairs Service. Tanungin ko sila kung ano nalalabag nila na policies, ano nalalabag nila na batas (I would ask them what policies and law the policewomen have violated),” he said.
But unlike dela Rosa, Central Luzon police director Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino thinks the policewomen did not commit any violation.
“But pagsasabihan ko sila na hindi proper magpa-picture sa isang suspect. Nagkataon lang naman kasi na celebrity ‘yung suspect. Hindi naman nila ‘yun sinasadya (But I would reprimand them that it is not appropriate to take photos with a suspect. It just happened that the suspect is a celebrity. They didn’t mean to do it),” Aquino said.