Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año commended the Baguio traffic policeman who was almost run-over by an intoxicated taxi driver in a viral video for bravely enforcing the law at the risk of his own life and asked the Supreme Court (SC) to probe the alleged bullying done by a judge for the release of the suspect from police custody.
"He was literally hanging on for his life as he was performing his sworn duty. Salamat, Patronman 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. Mabuhay ka!," Año said.
"May you be an inspiration, not just to the police officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP), but to all of us in law enforcement as we perform our duty on a daily basis," he added.
In the viral video that was also aired in mainstream media, Walang, who is assigned at the Baguio City Traffic Enforcement Unit, courageously barred the way and held tightly on the hood of the cab driven by Jone Dominguez Buclay who tried to flee because of a traffic violation. Walang accosted the cabbie and tried to issue a citation ticket to him for causing traffic along Abanao Street in Baguio City.
"Makikita niyo talaga sa video na walang balak sumuko ang driver pero hindi pumayag yung patrolman kaya kumapit ito sa hood nang sasakyan para mapigilan yung driver sa pagtakas," he said.
The taxi driver was later on brought to the police station where he was found to be under the influence of alcohol and will face charges of direct assault upon an agent of authority, driving under the influence of liquor, resisting arrest, grave threat, and oral defamation.
The DILG Chief will also request Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta to investigate a certain judge who allegedly bullied and shouted at the police officers in the Baguio City Police Station to secure the untimely and immediate release of the taxi driver.
According to the police officers on duty at the station, the said judge suddenly barged into the police station intimidated and shouted at them without even asking about what really transpired in the incident. The said judge was also seen leaving the premises of the police station together with the taxi driver-suspect.
“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 guardian of the law, a judge must serve as an example in following the law and not in breaking it,” Año said.
He said that such complete disregard of the law and use of the padrino system should never be tolerated and is very unbecoming of him as an arbiter of the law. "Sana ay matulungan tayo ng SC at maimbestigahan nila agad ang asal ng judge na ito. We should not let these people get away with abuse of power in our country."