Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima lamented the state of affairs of law enforcement in the country during a press conference a few days past. He said, “With so many stories coming out, even members of the media are unwittingly being used because they are fed with false information. A criminal is becoming the hero. It’s now the reverse.”
In a recent incident, which literally brought down the career of bemedalled police officers, the pillar of law enforcement as typified by PNP was pictured as a bungling and negligent group. They are supposed to escort a fugitive to be brought back to the national penitentiary after an inquest proceeding but along the way, the police convoy was ambushed, the fugitive, accordingly, made a violent commotion, grabbing the neck of his escort, pulling out the escort’s firearm, shooting aimlessly until he was gunned down.
In an action filled world of make believe, in movies particularly, any one given that role, one who is subdued, manacled to the neck, his hands braced with metals, clamped in between two bulky fully armed personnel, and still despite restrictions, the fellow was able to create a commotion, to the extent that he was able to overpower his guards, successfully grabbing the neck of one and while cuffed, was able to snatch a firearm and while shackled ably fired a number of shots, then that man must be Houdini par excellence! He may have been gunned down but what a fight he gave.
A Fernando Poe Jr starrer would have made the film a blockbuster. Now, how would this be featured? This must be a plot where the gunner, even if he perished, may be seen as one projecting an act with heroic proportion.
That was how the police reported; it was the investigative version of the incident in the eyes of the escorting team. They, around 14 of them, were forced to use lethal force because of the threat. While their combined armed convoy was attacked and their vehicle peppered with bullets by motorcycle riding gunmen (although witnesses saw nothing except for two stationary vans), all the escorts were able to competently dodge the assault leaving the two escorted suspects splayed. None of the attackers numerous bullets however found its mark though. The suspects died from a hail bullets coming from the nozzle of his guards instead.
It stretches therefore credulity if an ordinary mind would accord heroism on the escort team. There is no denying the fact that the suspect, an incorrigible bank robber and a notorious criminal should perish in the most violent way. He should have been gunned down while being arrested, even if it is stage-managed along time ago.
The world would have accepted his fate and the version would have been acknowledged properly by a grateful nation. But he died fighting while in the custody of his captors. And what a fight he made. He would have shamed Tom Cruize, Sylvester Stallon, Lito Lapid, Ramon Revilla, Emilio Aguinaldo with such a feat!
And how do we make the scene and picture it for the world to appreciate? Heroes are conferred the honor and never endorsed. It is based on how a person deals with the demons of his environment. It is how he responds with dangers, how he confronts threats, how he tackles hazards.
A hero acts alone, left to the mercy of the elements and abandoned by his gods. It is how he acts and thinks beyond the pale of risks. It is how he is pictured that matters. Heroes are just made and never a concoction out of thin air. And to bungle in handling any person is a qualifying incident, which may transform him into a bigger person than he really was.
Fugitive Cadavero’s end was almost written. He disenfranchised himself in the eyes of the world. He lost his right to live. He abused himself to a large extent, wasted any opportunity to repent and he forsook any hope for redemption.
Justice would make such judgment a reality. But along the way something happened. Justice was called sooner in the guise of a violent intervention. And worst, the protagonists, the police, on whose custody the heel, the villain is entrusted, bungled. They were riding in a private vehicle; the fugitive manacled improperly, the route taken was out of the way along a pitched dark alley.
Suddenly the twist. After a hail of gunfire, the villain had been transformed into a hero.