The scene is in Quezon City. Almost everyday a citizen is shot, stabbed or beaten. At the center of this hurricane of crime is the Central Police District Command and its small brotherhood of men who are willing to give up their lives to fight for justice in this deadly world.
The phone bleats and my editor takes the call. A cop has been shot at the Novaliches Police Station. My mind was racing and my heart jumping in my throat. By the time my editor put the phone down, he said: “Mylah, two cops were shot.”
By the time our team got there, three cops lay dead. The fear, fury and stress were all over the place—among the guardians of the law.
Gunned down cops are overlooked in many slighting and painful ways. Some people do not feel sorry for cops who get killed. It’s as if that it is part of the job to get killed! Cops take the job to protect and help people. They know they could get shot, stabbed, or beaten, but nobody takes a degrading salary, just to die. It isn’t the kind of a hero’s death cops envision for themselves.
There is no blaze of glory in their tragic deaths while they are on duty. There is nothing glorious about dying in a shabby, spitted-streaked precinct, splattered with brains and blood like a congealed stew. Yet, tragedies like these happen more often than the romantic gun fight that most cops envision and daydream of as the endings of their personal movies.
It was the illusion of tears and nothing more. Rain water collects in small beads and runs to the hollows of her beautiful face. Her dark brown eyes stare obliquely across the wet grass of the clover leaf exchange. Her left hand was fully extended, with the small, thin fingers apparently reaching out for something or someone who was no longer there.
In the early morning of half past two, a bracing wind caught P/Lt. Fluto Casayaruan of the Quezon City Police Homicide Section, as he cut through a crowd that has gathered to catch a glimpse of the dead woman sprawled on the knoll. It was a typical killing with no known witness, no specific motive and no suspect. The homicide cop muttered an animal curse under his breath.
But for the Central District homicide detectives, neither heat, nor rain nor gloom will stop these men from their rendezvous with callousness.
Homicide is a world in itself. As the investigator grabs his gun, a note pad and a flashlight, he is entrusted with the pursuit of the most extraordinary of crimes. He takes up the cudgel for the slain victims and avenge those lost to the world.
The Quezon City cops survive by learning to read the chain of command—the way leaves are read by wanderers. They don’t just watch and stand while bodies fall and careers get derailed. They ride out with the same stubborn, unyielding belief—that if they do their job and give what they can afford to give—then everything will fall into place. They do not simply survive, they endure.