Jamias and 'selective justice, praise'

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Senior Supt. Elmer Jamias told reporters how he was praised in 1999 by then MMDA chair Jejomar Binay, in stark contrast with the "insults" he says he sustained in a standoff with the vice president in front of the Makati city hall (inset).

Editor's note: Any opinions expressed here are solely the author's.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The policeman with whom Vice President Jejomar had a staredown during a fracas in the Makati city hall quadrangle was no ordinary street cop.

He is Elmer Jamias — a full-pledged police colonel — who made a name for himself when he was still under the Manila Police District (MPD).

In fact, he was hailed as one of the outstanding Manilans in 1999 under the criminal justice system category. He also served as president of the PNP Academy Alumni Association.

Jamias' exploits as a tough cop against criminals were even depicted in a 2000 bio-pic titled "Jamias: Barako ng Maynila" ["Fearless/Tough Guy of Manila"]. Senator Jinggoy Estrada, the son of Binay's UNA ally Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, played the part of Jamias in the movie.

Back then, movies about outstanding policemen — mostly from the erstwhile Western Police District (WPD) dubbed as Manila's Finest — were popular in the industry. To name a few: Mediavillo, Yanquiling, Alfredo Lim, Jaime Santiago and Makati's Joe Pring.

Jamias' track record

Jamias has had his share of recognition as well as "run-ins" with the law.

The current deputy director for administration of the Southern Police District (SPD) was relieved in June 2007 as unit commander of MPD's Traffic Enforcement Office in Port Area due to extortion charges by a group of tricycle drivers.

In 2010 when Jamias was Muntinlupa's chief of police, Jamias was also relieved over allegations of issuing a police ID to a civilian, who was arrested for extortion.

Selective justice vs. selective praise

Two days after the Makati standoff, Jamias showed the media a copy of Binay's commendation letter for him 16 years ago.

As then chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Binay lavishly praised Jamias and even wanted to "clone" him so we could have more exemplary cops like him.

What was Jamias trying to point out by harking back to the old letter?

Apparently to show the 180-degree turnaround in the VP's acts: from generous praises to painful insults and threat.

Binay and his camp had always harped on the alleged "selective justice" by the administration and the Liberal Party in enforcing the law.

Jamias could counter that when things went Binay's way, one gets a pat on the back. If not, one gets a slap in the face.

And this, the veteran police official said, should not go unpunished.