The Philippines’ crying cop

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crying cop1On July 22, President Benigno Aquino’s delivered his State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Quezon City. Among the attendees were protesters voicing their opposition with Aquino’s anti-poor policies. Riot police acted a barricade, eventually charging protestors due to the rocks being chucked at them. Amidst the chaos was a policeman who produced a peace sign to the protesters, calling for calmness, urging activists to not resort to violence, but to civil discussion. Thomas van Beersum, a Dutch national, approached this police officer, demanding to know why the police were using force.

“I am a policeman, I’m just doing my job,” the officer said.

In this moment of reflection, the officer, identified as Joseltio Sevilla of the Marikina police administration unit, began shedding tears. Instantly, Rem Zamora, a photojournalist, snapped a picture of the crying officer, transforming the image of a stern cop into an icon of humanity.

Zamora was curious, asking why he was crying.

“Because of hunger and no sleep,” Sevilla answered. “We have no rest and we have been stationed here for two days already and now it’s getting violent.”

Several people consoled Sevilla, two protesters hugged him, one offering her handkerchief.

“Seconds after, other policemen noticed what was happening and they snatched Sevilla from the front lines,” Zamora wrote. “He was gone.”

Sevilla has since taken a 15-day leave.Rhoda, his wife, requested the media respect their privacy, saying that her husband is a good person, but refusing to disclose his whereabouts.  “Please leave us alone,” she said. Rhoda stated that her husband was deployed as anti-riot policeman for the first time on July 22, and that he had a breakdown due to being overwhelmed by the events he had witnessed.

An outpour of support across the Philippines was sparked due to the actions of Sevilla. Zamora’s blog showed many vocal supporters.

“I wish everyone involved in events like this would be mindful that the person on the other side of the fence is also a struggling Filipino, having the same difficulties and concerns,” posted a commenter.

“Tears and pain remind us of our humanity,” posted another reader. “And that is the real meaning of PROGRESS!”

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

On July 22, President Benigno Aquino’s delivered his State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Quezon City. Among the attendees were protesters voicing their opposition with Aquino’s anti-poor policies. Riot police acted a barricade, eventually charging protestors due to the rocks being chucked at them. Amidst the chaos was a policeman who produced a peace sign to the protesters, calling for calmness, urging activists to not resort to violence, but to civil discussion. Thomas van Beersum, a Dutch national, approached this police officer, demanding to know why the police were using force.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

crying cop1On July 22, President Benigno Aquino’s delivered his State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Quezon City. Among the attendees were protesters voicing their opposition with Aquino’s anti-poor policies. Riot police acted a barricade, eventually charging protestors due to the rocks being chucked at them. Amidst the chaos was a policeman who produced a peace sign to the protesters, calling for calmness, urging activists to not resort to violence, but to civil discussion. Thomas van Beersum, a Dutch national, approached this police officer, demanding to know why the police were using force.

“I am a policeman, I’m just doing my job,” the officer said.

In this moment of reflection, the officer, identified as Joseltio Sevilla of the Marikina police administration unit, began shedding tears. Instantly, Rem Zamora, a photojournalist, snapped a picture of the crying officer, transforming the image of a stern cop into an icon of humanity.

Zamora was curious, asking why he was crying.

“Because of hunger and no sleep,” Sevilla answered. “We have no rest and we have been stationed here for two days already and now it’s getting violent.”

Several people consoled Sevilla, two protesters hugged him, one offering her handkerchief.

“Seconds after, other policemen noticed what was happening and they snatched Sevilla from the front lines,” Zamora wrote. “He was gone.”

Sevilla has since taken a 15-day leave.Rhoda, his wife, requested the media respect their privacy, saying that her husband is a good person, but refusing to disclose his whereabouts.  “Please leave us alone,” she said. Rhoda stated that her husband was deployed as anti-riot policeman for the first time on July 22, and that he had a breakdown due to being overwhelmed by the events he had witnessed.

An outpour of support across the Philippines was sparked due to the actions of Sevilla. Zamora’s blog showed many vocal supporters.

“I wish everyone involved in events like this would be mindful that the person on the other side of the fence is also a struggling Filipino, having the same difficulties and concerns,” posted a commenter.

“Tears and pain remind us of our humanity,” posted another reader. “And that is the real meaning of PROGRESS!”

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