It is important, when dealing with cops, to do so in a calm and confident manner.
Answering a neighborhood watchman’s gruff “What’s in that bottle?” with a smirk and a grin that can only be described as “shit-eating” does not fall under this. Not even a little, not even at all.
Calmly and confidently (which is to say not pissing yourself in fear of a beating) brandishing a year-expired driver’s license, it turns out, is like waving a rag in front of a bull. Or, as it were, waving not-money in front of a street cop.
“Wag ka nang mayabang, baka mamaya hindi ka na mayabang,” one watchman—the one who seemed to be in charge—warned. It was, as threats go, pretty mild. Don’t be arrogant because you might not be arrogant later, translated roughly. Along with the implied threat of how we would be handled if we did not behave (ie roughly).
And so, two of your dispatchers were arrested in a Makati district. The infraction? Drinking in public. Is anybody even surprised?
As Dispatcher One (Quicker Thinker) tweeted as the cops rolled up: “Arrested for public drunkenedd. Prseinto singko.” Dispatcher Two (Sure Goner) tweeted as well, opting for the cryptic and the vernacular: “Arrested! Shet!”
If anything, people should be surprised that it went as well as it did. There was no random violence. No special troops were needed to take them down with tranquilizer darts or a prayer to any and all gods of war. They had not descended to the level of ravening beasts, though SG was already showing signs of early-onset hibernation, e.g. staggering.
One defense, quickly shot down by the hard-nosed watchmen of Barangay San Antonio in Makati City, was that nobody witnessed any actual drinking. For all we knew, the bottles of brandy and Coke by our feet had always been there, fauna endemic to the Malugay area.
While this reasoning makes perfect sense to a drunk, it did not fly with the watchmen who had not, correctly, been drinking in public at the time and were therefore in full control of logic and basic motor skills. And by motor skills, we mean they hustled us into their motorcycle sidecar and pbb-bb-bb-bb’ed us away to the ominously named Presinto Singko.
Ever friendly, SG proceeded to cheerfully introduce herself to the watchmen, adding with disgusting pride that QT was her boyfriend. Despite the statement not having any legal standing other than the original profession of love — made just last week while jointly inebriated, of course — it made QT blush. An act made easier by the brandy he had been been drinking. Allegedly drinking.
At this point, QT had already lost whatever buzz he had, facilitated no doubt by seeing the bank of CCTV monitors that Makati cops watch in a dark room right next to the public restroom in their station.
And also this shocking news/rumor/assertion: the feeds go straight to Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay Jr. and to the Vice President himself.
Faced with this, and a desk sergeant who was in no mood for our burgis bullshit, there was nothing for it but to cop a plea.
Our dispatchers could fight the charge, he said, which would mean night court, a medical exam, and a hefty fee (or three days in jail). Or, admit that we were drinking on the mean streets of Makati, get reprimanded, and set loose.
And that is what happened, with one major concession: QT would take the rap alone. SG, clearly drunk, was in no condition to have been drinking on the street after all. Her being slumped over on the sergeant’s desk res ipsa loquitur although she could not.
Duly reprimanded and set free with the condition to not do it again, there was only one way the night could end: brought by patrol tricycle back to The Collective, where our dispatchers should have been doing their drinking in the first place.