EDITORIAL | The voiceless speaks: The story of Pandan's PO1 Bagay

The story of PO1 Dan Bagay of Pandan, Catanduanes invites us to re-examine our institutions and re-assess how and why injustices occur particularly to those who do not have a voice with which to defend themselves.

In an effort to clear his name and speak what he believes to be the truth, he approached the Bicol Standard.

Bagay introduced himself as a cop with a strong and unflinching commitment to law enforcement.

Earlier he was awarded the Medalya ng Kagalingan along with seven other Pandan cops after recovering 71 bundles of shabu amounting to Php 2 million.

Apart from this award, LGU Pandan passed a resolution of commendation for his efforts in the anti-drug campaign.

He narrated that he was personally responsible for initiating the issuance of over 40 search warrants directed against persons involved in illegal drugs, illegal gambling, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, illegal fishing, and most of all, illegal logging.

While at the height of his efforts, however, he was relieved and temporarily reassigned to Camp Simeon Ola.

Some interpreted it as a sign that he was involved in illegal activities, a charge he vehemently denies.

"I am even willing to undergo investigation, provided that those who will conduct it are impartial, and not the ones who had me relieved of my post at the Municipal Police Station without due cause in the first place," he said.

"As of now, I am not comfortable in this present assignment, because I know that some of those whose names I mentioned are involved in illegal activities. Some of them are holding higher positions and could influence the result of whatever investigation is done," he explained.

He said he probably stepped on the toes of some colleagues, who to his knowledge were protectors of those involved in protecting illegal loggers, illegal fishers, and illegal gamblers.

However, this never deterred him from his commitment to the oath he took when he became a police officer.

"I am just, however, a PO1, the lowest rank in the PNP organization. I have neither a voice nor an influence, and because of this, I need to be heard by those who believe in me," he said.

This early, his plea has not gone unnoticed. Already, the Sangguniang Bayan of Pandan is appealing to Bicol PNP Regional Director PCSupt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe to reassign PO1 Bagay back to Pandan.

But a lot remains to be done. A lot needs to be fixed, if only to ensure that the same case does not happen to other cops.

It is disheartening to note that a bemedalled and beloved cop like PO1 Bagay had to experience such disappointment, when there are already too few like him in the service.

"Kun arog man sana kaini an sakong organisasyon, mahale na lang ako, ta dai ako digdi bagay," PO1 Bagay concluded.