Why ban volunteer firetrucks
from Makati, Junjun Binay?
|His fellow volunteer firemen demand justice for Ronald R. Infante they believe was murdered by incompetent Makati cops.|
By BERTENI "TOTO" CATALUÑA CAUSING
President, Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM)
It’s all about justice. So why ban these volunteer firetrucks from setting foot in Makati City?
Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM) demands answers to this question.
Grieving firemen told ALAM that fire trucks have been banned from Makati City a brigade of volunteers paraded their trucks in the financial district and unloaded their water cannons into the air in an expression of extreme disgust to the city police for unreasonably shooting to death a fire-fighting volunteer and the latter’s mechanic last April Fool’s Day.
|Firefighters in black shirts light candle|
On the story of ALAM president Berteni “Toto” Cataluña Causing posted on his blog site, www.totocausing.blogspot.com/2012 /04/murdered-by-makati-cops.html, entitled “Murdered by Makati cops,” an anonymous person posted a comment that reads:
“As of now unconfirmed reports were being distributed to volunteers that all firetrucks from volunteer brigades are banned from Makati for doing the motorcade and orders are from Binay. I don't know which Binay is it. But that's against the law and the law applies to all otherwise none at all.... We should make them pay for what they did and not the other way around just like what the president promised a "Matuwid Na Daan.... "
A fire volunteer named “Pigeon 8” posted a separate comment to this blog and he said:
“KAMING MGA BUMBERO SUNOG AT APOY ANG PINAPATAY........ DYAN BA SA BANGKAL BUMBERO ANG PINAPATAY????????????????”
A blogger named “dhene” said in own reaction, as follows:
“Dapat lahat ng may sala pati lbc at media managot... may lecnsya mga baril na dala nila.”
|Candles erected right where the victims fell.|
Another blogger named “RJ”, obviously a volunteer fireman, said:
“Halos naitago sa media ang totoong nangyari... Police claimed that the CCTV within the premises isn’t working… May nag-cover ba na media? But asan? Why can’t they show it on national television ? Takot ba sila sa MAYOR ng Makati? Or takot sila kay VP Binay? We want the public to know what really happened, we want this to be aired... We in the community of volunteer firefighters are crying for justice for Ronald Infante and Jimmy Almanon... Now I’m wondering what does "To Serve and Protect" means? We are scared that mabaon na lang sa limot at makalusot ang mga pulis na may kagagawan nito... Hindi kami mga hayop na basta-basta na lang pinapatay... Taas noo kong pinagmamalaki sa mundo na kami ay volunteer na mga bumbero.. Walang hinihinging kapalit sa serbisyo na binibigay namin.”
|Firemen in black erect their candles where their comrade fell|
The wails of justice sounded out by the sirens have been getting louder and louder demanding justice for fire-fighting volunteer Ronald Infante who is known to his colleagues as “Severino Bravo.”
Infante was a businessman whose father hailed from Aklan. He donated several fire trucks to a volunteers group. At the same time, he actually joined fire-fighting operations whenever a fire call would come.
True Justice being one of the two main agenda of Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM), its president Causing and its chairman Jerry Sia Yap have been insisting that Makati cops responsible for the deaths of Infante and his aide must be tried in court for murder.
Last April 1, it was learned that Infante and his mechanic Jimmy Almanon were riding in tandem in Bangkal, Makati, a place that is considered as a haven of motor spare parts and mechanics of all kinds of vehicles. Another place is on Banawe St., Quezon City.
Reports had it that while negotiating a curve, the motorcycle Infante and Alamanon were riding was rammed by an LBC delivery van.
|Truck with "Severino" and the victim's wife (in glasses) march in grief|
The delivery van did not stop. Instead it escaped. This triggered Infante and Almanon to chase it.
In an interview later with the van driver, he claimed to television interviewers that he intentionally rammed the motorcycle because he was thinking he would be hijacked. He recalled he had an experience before that he was hijacked. He did not mention, however, how he was hijacked in that earlier incident.
The van driver told television newsmen that while he was running away he immediately sought help at a gas station, whose employees in turn called for police assistance and these Makati policemen responded quickly.
The cops claimed that after hearing the story of the van driver that he was being hijacked, they immediately believed in the driver without even entertaining any doubt considering that the policemen were not present when the alleged ramming incident occurred.
So that right at the instance when the chasing Infante and Almanon on board their motorcycle appeared in the sight of the policemen, the cops immediately opened fire in rapid sequence as if there was no more tomorrow.
The cops claimed to television newsmen that there was a shootout. However, there has been no witness saying that Infante and Almanon fired their pistols.
A .40 Glock pistol was recovered from Infante. A 9-mm gun was recovered from the mechanic. Firefighters claimed that the said guns were licensed to the two and that there were permits to carry that were issued for them.
Witnesses said they heard rapid fire from the policemen and it was trained on Infante and Almanon. It was succeeded by single shots from the cops’ pistols.
So that ALAM believes that the cops were already premeditated to kill anybody they saw who would fit the van driver’s description of two men riding on a motorcycle.
ALAM also believes that these policemen incompetently and immediately fired their guns without giving first an idea on whether the men on the motorbike would surrender anyway without a fight, even if the van driver was truthful in his allegations..
As it shows, ALAM believes that the first incompetence of the cops showed when they gave the declarations of the van driver the face value of truth when the cops did not have even any knowledge whether the claim of the driver was true or not.
ALAM also believes that the second act of incompetence of the cops showed when they immediately shot Infante and Almanon upon sight without giving first a warning for surrender.
Now that it turned out that Infante and Almanon are legitimatelaw-abiding persons who were only chasing for justice to make the van driver answer for ramming them, will ALAM agree to leave the issues just at that?
HOW CAN THESE MAKATI POLICEMEN MAKE AMENDS NOW?
Can these cops bring back the life they snuffed out?
ALAM insists it is only removal from the police service and imprisonment that can be just to the acts they did.
Members of the firefighting community are now crying for justice for Infante, who they love to call “Severino Bravo,” and for his mechanic.
In a reaction showing extreme disgust to the Makati police, a brigade of firefighting volunteers paraded their trucks in Makati and paused at the spot where Infante and Almanon was killed.
They then proceeded to the Makati Police Station and there the firemen unleashed their water cannons with all their might as their trucks sounded out a call for justice in the weirdest and the loudest sirens (wang-wang) could do.
Reports had it that this did not sit well with the administration of Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay Jr. , whose father Vice-President Jejomar Binay Sr. has just announced a determined bid to run for President in 2016 starting with a coalition called “UNA.”
While his father has been courting for supporters to his dream to become the president after President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, the junior acted as if he was driving away potential supporters of his father.
ALAM is asking Mayor Binay Jr.: “Are you protecting the errant Makati policemen?”
“If you cannot be fair to justice, how will your father be fair to the Filipino composed of various tribes, dialects and religions?” ALAM president Causing stressed.
|Firemen unload their water cannons in front of Makati Police Station|
Causing, a lawyer, stressed that the concerned Makati cops can be held liable for a trial for murder.
“There is a sufficient proof to constitute probable cause that these cops committed double murder,” Causing added.
Causing pointed out that the evidence of murder may be shown by the following:
(a) the fact that the policemen did not give a doubt to the van driver’s claim considering that these cops did not even know whether the stories of the van driver were true or not;
(b) the fact that they immediately resolved in their minds to kill anybody who would fit the descriptions given by the van driver; and
(c) the fact that the cops did not first give a warning for the oncoming motorcycle passenger and driver to surrender peacefully.
“It was not only a case of gross recklessness. It was a case of premeditated killing. Hence, it was murder,” stressed ALAM chairman Jerry S. Yap, who is also the president of National Press Club.
ALAM has been fighting for the establishment of PEOPLE’S JUSTICE SYSTEM where the judges are the people themselves through their representatives, not the judges who have been responsible for the severe deterioration of justice in the country, producing brutal warlords and corrupt officials who commit crimes with impunity and without fear of punishment.