Does Ateneo Blue Eagles player John Apacible deserve to be forgiven for his violent rampage?

What sorts of police do the Philippines deploy? If there is anything to be learned from the case of Ateneo de Manila University star basketball player John Apacible who went on a violent drunken rampage in the wee hours of last Sunday, it is that Philippine Police officers do not make us feel safe.

A video captured by the primary object of Apacible’s fearsome rage that night provides a disturbing account of just how inutile Filipino police officers attending to the incident were.

It is quite evident that the officers tolerated being disrespected by Apacible who easily brushed them aside as he pressed forward in his attack. The person taking the video footage can be observed retreating from Apacible as these officers put in a spineless effort to restrain the Ateneo Blue Eagles forward who towers six feet and four inches and likely packs enough punch in his arms to knock the teeth off anyone who gets in his way.

Just the same, police officers are expected to disarm and immobilise anyone who they deem poses a threat to other people. During the melee caught in that video, Apacible had clearly crossed enough lines to warrant a more, shall we say, physical approach to restraining him. For one thing, he was already caught driving while intoxicated and should have been, right there and then, placed under arrest. The police officers had let that one slide. But one would think physically assaulting a police officer would attract zero tolerance. In this case that one slid past as well.

Well, gee whiz.

How much latitude does one give this boy?

It seems the Ateneo itself is in on the softly-softly approach to dealing with Apacible’s inexcusable behaviour. An image of what looks like an apology letter issued by Apacible was posted today on the ADMU Facebook page. The letter reads in poorly-written Tagalog…

Ako po ay humihingi ng tawad sa nagawa ko nung nakaraang araw. Alam ko pong ako ay nagkamali at dahil dito sobra po akong nahihiya sa aking pamilya, team, school at sa lahat ng naapektuhan nito.

Inisip ko lang ang aking sarili at nakalimutan ko po ang aking mga responsabilidad. Handa po akong tanggapin ang anumang maaring kalabasan ng aking pagkakamali.

Muli, ako po ay humihingi ng tawad.

Translated in English…

I am asking for forgiveness for what I did the previous day. I know I did wrong and because of this I am exceedingly ashamed of myself before my family, team, school and all who were affected by my actions.

I was only thinking about myself and forgot about my responsibilities. I am ready to accept any consequences arising from my mistake.

Again, I am asking for forgiveness.

The best and most sincere way to atone for one’s crime is to serve the time. Interestingly enough, Apacible made no acknowledgement in the above “apology” statement of his violation of the law (disrespect for the state), his assault on the police officers attempting to restrain him, and his attemped assault on the cameraman and the passing vehicles he allegedly struck during his rampage.

Zero tolerance is exercised by police forces in most modern countries when it comes to dealing with violent people.
Zero tolerance is exercised by police forces in most modern countries when it comes to dealing with violent people.

Indeed, above all else, any wrongdoing that impacts the community is a state matter and falls squarely within the shoulders of the Law to deal with. The sanctions effected by the Ateneo is a private matter between Apacible and the University. But whatever “justice” the Ateneo ultimately delivers does not in any way change Apacible’s accountability to the state and the Filipino public.

While there are dozens of mainstream news channels reporting on the disciplinary “action” taken by the Ateneo on the matter, there is hardly any information about what the Philippine Police have to say about the incident and the poor form of their police officers attending to the scene. This small incident represents a microcosm of everything that is wrong with law enforcement in the Philippines — from the substandard quality of the police officers themselves to the more macro dysfunction in the way the law is selectively applied based on the social status of the accused.

More importantly, Apacible’s behaviour exhibited in the above video is clearly an insight into the very foundation of the perverted values upon which the crooked, self-righteous, and self-entitled way many wealthy, powerful and influential people in the Philippines may have been raised. If the Philippines’ criminal justice system and the Philippine Police fail the Filipino people they supposedly serve and grant Apacible a Get-Out-of-Jail pass, they will demonstrate the extent to which their institutions have been wholly complicit in turning Philippine society into the criminal society that it is today.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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43 Comments on "Does Ateneo Blue Eagles player John Apacible deserve to be forgiven for his violent rampage?"

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toby
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I don’t subscribe to the notion that police officers should be law enforcers. They should be peace keepers.

Nonetheless, I do agree that they should have did what was needed to calm that drunk driver down and prevent him from driving. Then invite him to the precinct.

Anton
Guest

Aren’t Police officers “Law enforcers”?IT is thier job to “enforce” the law. You cant keep the peace without enforcing the law SPECIALLY in the Philippines. Wake up dude!

toby
Guest

“Aren’t Police officers “Law enforcers”?IT is thier job to “enforce” the law. You cant keep the peace without enforcing the law SPECIALLY in the Philippines.”

You need to study the history of the police system.

They are not, originally, law enforcers.

Read up, dude!!

catalyst
Guest

I think you’re mistaking “law enforcers” and “law makers”. Legislators are makers. Makers of what? LAW. Police are enforcers. Enforcers of what? The LAW written by our legislators.

On the other hand, the school has and should have NO SAY as to what proper action the state and the government would give to Apacible. The government should apply the laws made regarding the matter, take the no prisoners approach, just let him do the time for EVERY offense incurred.

Kumando Joe
Guest

Invite him to the precinct? You must be “iffing” drunk yourself. That a-hole should have been handcuffed and thrown to the wolves for their feast.

Kumando Joe
Guest

This meant for @ toby.

toby
Guest

You need to think before you speak.

Read the part before “invite him to the precinct”.

Then reevaluate your stupid response to me.

Kumando Joe
Guest

I did! And u really think this a-Hole, self-proclaimed “councilor” is going to show up at the precinct? For what..photo shoot!? The Pulis could not even made him to calm down or obey their orders…Come on Man!!!

zaxx
Member
This is the norm in the Phil. If you flash the “I’m a star” or “I’m poor” card, they’ll often just let you go. There was a night, a motorcycle driver came driving towards my car on an impending head on collision. I quickly swerved out of his way only to have him slam on the side of my car. I didn’t make it – my car was a broken mess. We later found out the driver was drunk, didn’t have a helmet on, had no license to drive, and was just months into paying installment for his new motorcycle.… Read more »
catalyst
Guest

If there’s one thing where Filipinos practice “Zero Tolerance” the best, it’s for not letting any iron-fisted ruler to govern us, and that’s just sad.

OnesimusUnbound
Guest
The barangay captain calls us over to settle matters and the punch line was a shocker – they wanted me to pay for hospital bills coz the guy (a bloody mess himself) is poor, merely living in a pigpen house. Really? the nerve! You might end up being asked to pay for the damages of the motorcycle because he “is poor, merely living in a pigpen house”. Why not scare them and move the case to the court. Normally, those involve in such incident goes to the barangay captain to try to settle the case. Now, if the issue cannot… Read more »
Pallacertus
Guest
And then what? When the case is settled and the court rules for zaxx, who pays? The government? I’m sorry, but his taxes still go towards paying for that smashed bike, and zaxx hates paying for anyone’s shit, even if he happens to be poor. The fact that he won’t be alone in paying for the bike doesn’t mean jack. Then who else pays? Probably the poor guy himself — except that the barangay captain himself said the guy can’t pay the hospital bills. So what happens? Maybe zaxx here will take the law into his own hands — except… Read more »
OnesimusUnbound
Guest
Base on zaxx’s story, I’ll say that the motorcycle rider was the one responsible on the accident he brought upon himself, considering he is – drunk (this alone is enough to make the rider liable) – without license – without helmet (his injury would have been reduced if he wore one) Moreover, the rider should be responsible enough not to drive drunk as drunkenness impairs judgment and slows down reaction time. The rider is poor and unable to pay his hospital bill, so what? He, on his free will, rode the motor drunk. This sort of accident won’t happen in… Read more »
zaxx
Member

Onesimus your summary is as cute as the baby face Avatar you got there.

Well maybe the guy has a death wish with a checklist :
Drive drunk [ chk ]
Drive at night for minimal visibility [ chk ]
No helmet for maximum injury [ chk ]
No license for maximum jail time [ chk ]
Use new motorcycle I can’t even pay for [ chk ]
Cause as much trouble to a hapless random victim [ chk ]

This is class-A perfect storm stupidity – only in the Philippines!

Pallacertus
Guest
So you’d rather let the guy die as fit punishment? I’m genuinely curious if you’re gonna go that low in your thirst for vengeance. You lose your car, he loses his life — not quite a fair deal since he’s poor and obviously of far less worth than your car — but I reckon butchering a few more people with combined incomes that match yours and then poof — vengeance sated, and a brand new Jaguar (with human skins for seat coverings) to boom under your iron boots. Starting with the family, of course, for how dare they live on… Read more »
catalyst
Guest
I think OnesimusUnbound is trying to say that the captain made a bad call of asking Zaxx to pay for the motorcycle driver’s medical fees, it only shows that the barangay cannot handle this case well, therefore should’ve elevated in proper court. It shouldn’t be in Zaxx’s conscience if he dies (or died, i don’t know) because what happened was an accident that wasn’t even his making in the first place. Being poor is not an excuse for being stupid, what the driver did was stupid, and he got hurt for being one. If Zaxx paid for it (which I… Read more »
Pallacertus
Guest
It won’t be in zaxx’ conscience if the poor guy died straightaway. It won’t be in zaxx’ conscience if he didn’t pay for the guy’s treatment and he died later on in horrible screaming agony — if he knew the extent of the latter’s injuries and thus deemed him unsavable after consultation with doctors. It would be in zaxx’ conscience if he didn’t pay for the guy’s treatment and he died later on, if he knew that the injuries that the latter sustained were grave but still treatable. I would likely call him a big flopping dick for that last… Read more »
joeld
Guest

The guy should have thought of all the possible consequence before deciding to drive his motorcycle drunk.

That is what is missing with the pinoy society, accountability for actions/decisions made, from the highest office on the land to the lowly drunk motorcycle driver. Only by being held accountable for one’s action can this country move forward.

toby
Guest

So begs the question to those who think that the police are suppose to be law enforcers:

Should they also enforce such stupid laws?

catalyst
Guest
@toby even if a law is stupid, as an enforcer, you should abide by it (as mentioned in the movie starring Raymart Santiago, Iskalawag) ang batas ay batas (old school lol). Doing the opposite would break the chain of command, the order, deeming the “law” pointless because the enforcer didn’t do his job and that’s the bottomline. The rules regarding the matter is not stupid, it was taken lightly and was ignored. And as for your historically driven info about the police, how can the police act as keepers of peace and order without following certain protocols? The rules of… Read more »
toby
Guest

@catalyst

when did I argue against protocols?

and no, if the law is stupid, enforcing it becomes unethical

just like ‘doing my job’ is not a excuse for committing unethical acts, obeying a stupid law cannot be justified by ‘doing my job’.

blind obedience to the STUPID pro-squatter law is just downright unethical.

why?

because it enables theft and the violation of the basic human right to private property.

Pallacertus
Guest

Drunk driving is solely a Pinoy affliction how?

No, wait, lemme rephrase that — drunk driving is solely a Pinoy affliction WUT!?

zaxx
Member
NO Drunk Debating too guys! I don’t think GRP will not pay for your broken PC/smartphone screens. Or does GRP have 3rd party liability? 🙂 Hey thanks for the in-depth analysis on my little mis-adventure (conscience, insurance, vengeance,..) – I didn’t think of it that deeply. I was just like “DUH?????”. I even had to pay installments for my P12,000 TV set (yes I was that poor years ago) and you expect me to dish out money for your stupidity? Here’s the final punchline: My party walked away with the guy’s cheap cellphone – as his payment for my car’s… Read more »
Jim DiGriz
Guest
I’m sorry to hear that this happened to you zaxx. What you describe happens all the time, every day. Just today I was driving on Quirino Avenue and some fuckhead on a bicycle transporting some crap was driving on my lane against the traffic. And that’s when I blow a fuse, because I know what happens when you run that stupid asshole over. It’s your fault, he is so kawawa because he has no money! FUCK THOSE PEOPLE! Since when does being poor allow you to break the law and just do what you please? Don’t pay a single centavo… Read more »
zaxx
Member

This road mishap of mine was really memorable, so I made it into a full article in the other blog site where blatant Pinoy Failure is the main theme:

http://www.philippinefailblog.com/the-perfect-storm-driver/

Feel free to spread around. I think this guy which I call the “Perfect-Storm Driver” is so classic that he deserves his place in the annals of epic fail history.

Janico
Guest

He apologized (if true) and admitted his mistakes. The next thing to do is face the consequence of his act and accept responsibility/accountability. After that we can talk about forgiveness.

trent
Guest

He only did that because he was caught. Typical. Let him serve time and then we’ll talk about forgiveness.

toby
Guest

For the historically ignorant, FYI:

Law enforcers, originally, where the military.

The police system was invented primarily for the purpose of controlling unruly crowds. In other words, to maintain the peace and order.

Chris
Guest

Let me pull classic Webster’s dictionary on the word “Police”
: the people or the department of people who ENFORCE laws, investigate crimes, and make arrests

Yeah, sorry you’re in the wrong here. They ain’t the UN Peacekeepers. It’s their JOB to impose the law. Perhaps stop subscribing to the #blacklivesmatter rhetoric and actually remember what a standard police force is obligated to do.

TPB
Guest

The philippines isn’t modern. The police officers are just there for the job.

d_forsaken
Guest

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

d_forsaken
Guest
A system of justice does not need to pursue retribution. If the purpose of drug sentencing is to prevent harm, all we need to do is decide what to do with people who pose a genuine risk to society or cause tangible harm. There are perfectly rational ways of doing this; in fact, most societies already pursue such policies with respect to alcohol: we leave people free to drink and get inebriated, but set limits on where and when. In general, we prosecute drunk drivers, not inebriated pedestrians. In this sense, the justice system is in many respects a battleground… Read more »
Aeta
Guest

John Apacible: a self-serving and aristocratic Pinoy.

46Hayden007Toro99.9999
Guest
46Hayden007Toro99.9999

The Drunk Dude is old enough to know, what is wrong and what is right. He should face criminal charges in court.

The Police are afraid to arrest people with political influence. If Apacible would have been an ordinary citizen, like the rest of us. He would have been , “binugbog ng mga Pulis”. He has to be treated with “kds’s glove, because , he is an influential person.

This is the Aquino Justice system. One justice for the ordinary people. Another justice for the influential people. It is called: “selective justice”…

janico
Guest

I think the police who were there should be given desk jobs instead. They did not do justice to their uniform.

They were practically reduced by Mr. Apacible to mere barangay tanods or dumb usizeros.

I think what should happen next is to hear those police make public apology like Mr. Apacible for they could have made a big difference had they controlled the situation and assert their authority.

Gunther Benavidez
Guest
In my opinion, some of the barricades of our law enforcement and military personnel to perform their duties well are the following: 1. wrong judgement from the majority – since the thinking class are few and the rest are not. Imagine how these people will react, they will definitely place our police in negative light. 2. Media – media will sensationalize the issue and will make headlines like “Cager binugbog ng mga pulis” etc. Close minded Filipinos will interpret it as police brutality. These kind of people does not read the whole story but the headlines. We will then hear… Read more »
zaxx
Member
There’s another reason why police simply let a lot of scumbags off the hook. If the Phil incarcerated every possible offender, there would not be enough jails to contain them. And who will pay for the board and lodging of these prisoners? you – the tax payer. Maybe we should just allot an entire island to become one big prison cell – there they can all live in anarchy in a jungle – survival of the fittest. We can also send them to freezing Mongolia as free labor for this low-population country. We should bring back the death penalty to… Read more »
ice cube
Guest

Meme time pnp

When you loose your credibility so much you cant even do what’s right.

Seriously though invest in non-lethal deterrents for these upscale a-holes. I would have liked to seen this guy get tased or pepper spray.

CrisD
Guest

All I saw in the video was a barking idiot. Nothing more. Drunk? There’s a legally allowable amount of alcohol in the blood stream if you’re going to get behind the wheel and it wasn’t determined if that was exceeded. It’s a good thing this happened at a young age for this guy para mas maaga siyang maitutuwid.

hahacienda
Guest
Like the late great Lee Kuan Yew said about our forgiving nature: “It is a soft, forgiving culture. Only in the Philippines could a leader like Ferdinand Marcos, who pillaged his country for over 20 years, still be considered for a national burial. Insignificant amounts of the loot have been recovered, yet his wife and children were allowed to return and engage in politics.” So if the Marcoses can come back, engage in politics, and tell audacious lies like “Had my father continued to rule, we would’ve been the next Singapore,” then John Apacible can also walk away scot-free from… Read more »
Jim DiGriz
Guest

You are such a sad person.