Issue of January 5, 2020
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DILG Secretary Año commends Baguio traffic cop in viral video
by Redjie Melvic Cawis / PIA

Department of the Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Año commended a Baguio City traffic policeman who put his life at risk while enforcing the law.

“He was literally hanging on for his life as he was performing his sworn duty. Salamat, Patrolman Julius Walang, sa tapat at walang takot na pagtupad sa iyong tungkulin.  Kailangan natin ng mga pulis na katulad mo na hindi nagdadalawang-isip na itaya ang buhay para sa tawag ng tungkulin,” Año said in a statement.

“May you be an inspiration, not just to the officers of the Philippine National Police, but to all of us in law enforcement as we perform our duty on a daily basis,” the Secretary added.

Walang was directing traffic along Abanao Street when a taxi driven by Jone Dominguez Buclay was obstructing the road. Walang told the cab driver to move on but the cab driver uttered bad words to the police officer, who issued the driver a citation ticket.

Instead of stopping, the taxi dried tried to flee to avoid the citation. However, Walang jumped over the hood and was dragged for several meters until a concerned citizen on a motorcycle, stopped the taxi.

The scene was caught in closed circuit television cameras, dash cam of vehicles, and cell phone cameras of bystanders and became viral online.

The taxi driver was brought to the police station where he was found intoxicated and would face charges for driving under the influence of liquor, direct assault upon an agent of authority, resisting arrest, grave threats, and oral defamation.

Año also requested Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta to investigate a judge who allegedly interfered at the Baguio City Police Office Station 7 to secure the immediate release of the taxi driver.

According to the police officers on duty at the station, the judge, reportedly a relative of the taxi driver, barged into the police station. The judge was seen leaving the premises of the police station together with the taxi driver.

“There is a proper forum to secure the release of the suspect and that is not the police station. He must wait for the police to process the case, the prosecutor to file charges against the suspect, and for the case to be raffled to his sala before he can assume jurisdiction. The said judge has to follow the law, just like all of us. As a guardian of the law, a judge must serve as an example in following the law and not in breaking it,” Año said.

He said such complete disregard of the law and use of the padrino system should never be tolerated and is unbecoming of an arbiter of the law. “Sana ay matulungan tayo ng SC at maimbestiga-han nila agad ang asal ng judge na ito. We should not let these people get away with abuse of power in our country.”

Supreme Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said his office is looking into incident and the involvement of the Baguio City judge.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong has also ordered an investigation of the incident.

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