MORE than 900 policemen from Caloocan City who underwent “retraining” after being relieved from their posts for their alleged involvement in various crimes have graduated from the program and would be back in the service soon, Director Oscar Albayalde of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said on Monday.
“By next week or within a week, there would be Caloocan cops who would be back in service,” Albayalde said after the graduation ceremony at the Camp Crame national headquarters in Quezon City.
Of the 1076 who underwent lectures and exams and other modules required under the retraining program, 972 passed, said Albayalde in an ambush interview.
Albayalde said that of the total, 104 policemen failed, including two who were marked “absent without leave.”
Thirty-two of the 104 who failed got scores below 50 in their exams while 41 others who scored from 51 to 69 would be given a second chance to be retrained.
Twenty-nine policemen will be reassigned outside Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, 49 policemen avoided their mandatory drug testing.
“The cops who failed would undergo pre-charge investigation,” Albayalde said.
Albayalde said the policemen involved in the killings of Kian de los Santos, 17, on August 16; Carl Arnaiz, 19, on August 18; and Reynaldo de Guzman, 14, the alleged accomplice of Arnaiz who was found dead in Nueva Ecija in early November were not included in the retraining and were placed under restrictive custody.
Albayalde said human rights was one of the “focus” lessons during the training. He said the policemen were trained in “spiritual enhancement” and “value formation.”
Albayalde said the policemen were also given refresher courses in law and jurisprudence. He said University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law sometimes conducted these lectures.
“We did this training because it seems that there is a culture of [criminality]in the [Caloocan police] station,” Albayalde said.
Albayalde assured Caloocan police that the retraining was not exclusively for them. The police chief said it was being done for a long time “continuously” and “nationwide”. He said they have no reason to be upset with the retraining because they were still being “paid with a salary” as they trained.
On September 15, Albayalde relieved the entire Caloocan City police force after being linked to a series of serious offenses, including the teen killings.
Among the crimes that Caloocan police were accused of was robbery involving an elderly woman who complained that 13 rookies from the Caloocan Police Assistance Center 12 took her cash, jewelry and gadgets at 9 p.m. in her home on September 7. RJ CARBONELL