MOJ in hot water after controversial alleged 911 call
*See complete transcript of the call at the bottom of the article
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) found itself in hot water after a controversial alleged 911 call made rounds in the social media recently.
The recorded phone conversation revealed that a caller phoned 911 customer service to ask for assistance from the police to check on his children whom he said had informed him that they were being hurt. It was not mentioned in the recording, however, as to who were hurting the children.
The alleged 911 dispatcher, as a response, instead told the caller to check on his children himself as it was his responsibility as their father to ensure their safety. The caller then went on explaining that he cannot just go to the house since the “paper”, which netizens presumed to be a restraining order, prohibits him from going to the place. The exchange went on for about a minute.
Netizens were outraged about the recording, saying that as a public officer it is the responsibility of the police to respond to the request. Others, however, expressed skepticism that the caller had just probably made that call to aggravate the officer while some questioned the competence of the cops.
The MOJ immediately issued a public statement on January 9, expressing its concern about the controversial audio recording.
Special Assistant to the Minister of Justice (MOJ) Keiden Kintol told Island Times that Justice Minister and Vice President Raynold Oilouch was saddened by the news and had immediately ordered officers to look into it and confirm its legitimacy.
“He (Oilouch) immediately instructed his people to go and look into it and make sure that it is accurate and if it is accurate, then who is the actual officer that is responsible? And what happened to the case afterwards?” Kintol said.
Kintol added that MOJ is still investigating whether the call was really made or whether it was just a hoax or a fake call.
“That’s still under investigation. Although nothing has been confirmed yet that it is an actual call, [that] it’s not a hoax, or a fake call, and that [the person involved] is really an officer from the ministry. That still remains to be confirmed whether that is in fact an actual record,” Kintol explained.
Kintol said that once it is confirmed that the call was legit and that the presumed officer is really from the ministry, MOJ will take the appropriate action.
“One thing is certain, there will be actions. There will be sanctions,” Kintol said.
The MOJ, through their public statement, stated that it does not condone this kind of behavior.
“The Vice President have been very vocal in his meetings with the Ministry’s Officials that, “he will support them and fight to the end for them, if they continue to do the right thing and act professional no matter what. The most important thing that he stresses the most is respect not only to each other, but especially to the public as well,” the statement read.
Below is the full English transcript of the viral audio. The conversation was in Palauan language:
911 Responder: Good evening. Police Station.
Caller: Good evening Officer, I am calling again. Has someone gone to see my kids in Airai?
Responder at 911: Hey, if you want to know, please go to Airai and see your kids. We have sent the police already but they have other reports to do so you if you want to know your kids’ situation and you really love your kids, you go and see the extent of their injuries and do your own report. We don’t run your errands for you checking on your kids.
Caller: I am not saying you run errands for me…
Responder at 911: Yes, so if you want, go and see them, they are your kids. Don’t just stay there and call us telling us they are beaten up and you don’t know their injuries.
Caller: My kids are calling, reporting what is being done to them.
Responder at 911: So go and see them. They called you. They are your kids. If you call us and we go, how do we know what really happened to them?
Caller: When you guys go there, don’t you ask them what happened, talk to the person and ask….
Responder at 911: Even if we go, we cannot talk to these kids, they are minors. Even if we bring them here to Police Station, you as parent need to be here while we talk to them… so you go bring them here and make a report.
Caller: So if they get beaten and get injured, it is my responsibility?
Responder at 911: Yes, it is your responsibility if they get beaten and get injured because you are their father and it is your responsibility as their father, not the police’s responsibility. You need to be there as their father to see to them that they don’t get injured.
Caller: We are not married and they are living with their….
Responder at 911: So if you are not married, does this make these kids not your kids?
Caller: That is why I am asking your help…
Responder at 911: (imitating caller) “why I am asking for help” …if you are their father, you go get them if you really love them.
Caller: I cannot go to that house because this paper says I can’t go to that house that is why I am asking for your help…
Responder at 911: So tell your kids to call here…
End of Conversation