Dodong and Debold
Dodong, as netizens know, is Joseph Jimeda, a.k.a. ex-detainee Mang Dodong.
Thanks to kindhearted souls and legal aid from the Public Attorney’s Office, the 58-year-old fish vendor finally managed to scrape together the P3,500 bail bond and complete the documents needed for his release on Tuesday afternoon after he pleaded guilty to the offense of simple disobedience to a person in authority.
Mang Dodong had spent about 12 days in detention at the Navotas Sports Complex for crossing over to the city from his home in Caloocan to buy fish from the Navotas Fishport that he could sell at a mini market or talipapa. He had done this for a long time, but on May 7, he was apprehended for failure to present a quarantine pass. Without a mobile phone, Mang Dodong could not inform his relatives about what had befallen him.
Hours after Mang Dodong regained his freedom on Tuesday, President Duterte addressed the nation, saying that while “the law is the law,” he could not let go of the commander of the National Capital Region Police Office, Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, over a gathering for the NCRPO chief’s 55th birthday on May 8, a day after Mang Dodong’s arrest.
Sinas, who issued a public apology for the so-called mañanita, was thankful and has made no offer to step down, at least while he is facing multiple probes for administrative and criminal offenses. The probes are being conducted by the police Internal Affairs Service and National Bureau of Investigation.
Another police officer, Capt. Peter Paul Sison, who was caught in a mañanita for the mayor of Sto. Tomas town in Pangasinan was quickly sacked as town police chief. Mayor Timoteo Villar III himself is facing a probe for the incident wherein Sison was videotaped presenting him with a birthday cake.
Meanwhile, Sinas, who was shown blowing a candle on one of two cakes presented to him during his mañanita, appears untouchable.
The law is the law – for children of a lesser God like Mang Dodong, but so far, not for Debold.