Policeman to Fr. Robert Reyes on Edsa: ‘Marian po ako!’
Around 10 p.m. on Feb. 22, the Inquirer received a distressed text message from the group of farmers, fishermen, indigenous peoples, rural women, youth organizations, informal settlers and clergy holding a nine-day vigil of fasting and novena, “Dasal at Ayuno Laban sa Cha-Cha, Para sa Demokrasya,” at the People Power Monument (PPM) on Edsa.
The vigil, on its sixth night, was in danger of being dispersed, said the message. Two police officers went to PPM in the afternoon to serve notice that the vigilant group would have to clear the area by midnight to allow workers to set up for a program prepared by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
Fr. Robert Reyes, the activist priest, told the Inquirer that the police could stop the group’s fasting and novena.
When the police returned, its leader, a certain PNP senior inspector Protestades, approached Father Reyes and, in an extremely apologetic tone, said: “Pasensiya na po, napag-utusan lang… Religious po ako…”
And then the cop rolled up his blue shirt sleeves to reveal tattoos of the Black Nazarene on his left and right biceps.
But that was not the ultimate revelation.
The congenial police officer unbuttoned his shirt to show another tattoo, this time on his chest—that of the Virgin Mary.
“Marian po ako!” he stressed, to assure Father Reyes he meant no harm.—POCHOLO CONCEPCION
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.