cassowaryTHAT a lot of people don’t like the police is not surprising. The public and men in uniform (including the military) have always been inimical to each other. The public thinks cops can’t be trusted while cops think the public is so damn right. So the police created a non-crime related office called Police Community Relations (PCR) to convince the public they’re friends.

Like any police office, the PCR is composed of cops. But instead of going out in the streets to hunt for snatchers, PCR cops visit crime-prone communities and wear stupid Santa hats during Christmas, bringing gifts to little rugby boys and girls, who will eventually grow up to become big rugby boys and girls.

But I will not digress. As I was saying, the public has a general distrust for police, and only man’s ability to think twice is preventing civilians from attacking policemen whenever they meet in the street. But when it’s a bird that attacks cops, something about the country’s police profession must have gone terribly wrong. You must really suck at your job if you are hated by not just humans but also cassowaries, turkeys, ostriches, hens, roosters, ducks, geese, golden pheasants, common pheasants and other poultry animals.

The news over the weekend said four policemen in Zamboanga City suffered injuries after they were attacked by a cassowary at the training field of the Philippine National Police Regional

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Training School. A police official in the region said the four cops were attacked “one after another” and were “no match for

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the cassowary.”

Meaning, while the angry bird was pummeling one policeman, the other three were so busy wondering what a “cassowary” is to mount a counterattack.

One policeman: “Aaaaarghhh. Help! Help! I’m being attacked by a bird called cassowary!” The other three policemen: “Casso what?” Since there were four cops in the incident, the scene was acted out four times, with some modified lines like “Aaaargh! Get a dictionary, quick!”

So while the cassowary was beating one policeman after the other, the poor cops learned that “the cassowary is a very large flightless bird native to the tropical forests of New Guinea, nearby islands and northeastern Australia. The Southern Cassowary is the third tallest and second heaviest living bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu.”

Before the cops could start wondering what an emu is, the cassowary hopped back to its nest in a nearby aviary and gave high fives to fellow cassowaries.

In fairness to our beloved police, the Zamboanga incident wasn’t the first recorded cassowary attack on uniformed men. My intensive research showed cassowaries have a reputation for being dangerous to the military too. In fact, during World War II, American and Australian troops stationed in New Guinea were warned to steer clear of them. They can disembowel a trooper with one kick, my research said.

Engr. Rene dela Cruz, head of Zamboanga City’s General Service Office and in-charge of the aviary, said “the bird seems to be angry with people in uniform and we are still wondering why.”

The PNP is at a loss on how to deal with this latest threat. It doesn’t have a Police Birds Relations office. Its men are not trained to run after criminal birds. Should they handcuff them? Would the Miranda Doctrine apply?

Policeman: “Duck, you’re under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.

Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”

Duck: “Quack!”