Cop who blocked Aquino convoy draws more flakBy Jamie Marie Elona
MANILA, Philippines—No other policeman in the country can be recalled to have committed the same offense as the Quezon City Police District cop who was relieved for refusing to yield to President Benigno Aquino III’s convoy along Commonwealth Avenue Tuesday, a Philippine National Police spokesman said Wednesday.
Asked if relieved Senior Police Officer 2 Ricardo Pascua was the first ever policeman to have allegedly committed what the military called “gross disrespect to the Commander-in-Chief” by not yielding to the call of the Presidential Security Group to move aside from path of Aquino’s convoy, Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said he can’t recall any other case in which a cop was the person involved.
“As far as I know, this is the first time I heard of such case involving a policeman,” Cerbo said as he rejected the explanation that Pascua was “unaware” that it was the President’s convoy.
“I didn’t know the President was coming. Wala kasing wangwang (Because there was no siren),” Pascua told reporters in explaining why he did not yield to the oncoming convoy. He asked for the President’s forgiveness.
As a result of the incident, Pascua has been relieved of his post, according to Chief Superintendent Mario de la Vega, head of the Quezon City Police District.
“He’s an SPO2, a seasoned officer . . . of all people, a policeman should know [the protocol],” Cerbo said, noting that every motorists should give way to a president’s convoy as a sign of respect to the dignity of his/her being the highest in command of the country.
Meanwhile, following reports that Pascua, who was driving a Mitsubishi Adventure (ZJK-679), didn’t have his driver’s license when the incident happened, Cerbo said that all angles will be looked into as part of the due process that Pascua is entitled to.
If he would be found liable for the offense, Cerbo said he may face administrative charges.
The President set down a “no wangwang” policy after he took office two years ago, regarding the use of sirens as a symbol of arrogance and abuse by those in positions of power.