"He was literally hanging on for his life as he was performing his sworn duty. Salamat, Patrolman 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 in a statement.
"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," the Secretary added.
Last December 31, Walang was directing traffic along Abanao Street when a taxi being driven by Jone Dominguez Buclay was obstructing the road. Walang told the cab driver to move on but the cab driver uttered bad words to the police causing him to issue a citation ticket.
Instead of stopping, the taxi tried to flee to avoid the citation. However, Walang jumped over the hood and was dragged for several meters until the taxi was stopped by a concerned citizen on a motorcycle.
The scene was caught in closed circuit television cameras, dash cam of vehicles and cell phone cameras of by bystanders which became viral on line.
The taxi driver was brought to the police station where he was found to be under the influence of alcohol and would face charges for driving under the influence of liquor, direct assault upon an agent of authority, resisting arrest, grave threat, and oral defamation.
Sec. Ano also requested Supreme Court t Justice Diosdado Peralta to investigate a certain judge who allegedly interfered at the Baguio City Police Office Station 7 to secure the immediate release of the taxi driver.
According to the police officers on duty at the station, the said judge, reportedly a relative of the taxi owner, barged into the police station. The judge was 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."
Supreme Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez on Thursday said his office is looking into incident and the involvement of a Baguio City judge.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong earlier ordered an investigation of the incident. (JDP/ RMC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis