“Stop all forms of kotong and dismiss anyone if warranted.”
These were the marching orders re-elected Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada issued to Senior Supt. Joel Coronel, the new Manila Police District (MPD) Director.
“I can no longer stomach bad cops that continue to taint the MPD’s image and erode the continuing peace and order programs in Manila,” Estrada told Coronel, as he ordered the dismissal of corrupt police officers involved in extortion and protection racket.
Estrada, however, refused to give the names of the corrupt policemen.
Coronel replaced Director Ronaldo Nana, who was given an assignment at the National Capital Region Police Office.
Coronel vowed to carry out Estrada’s marching orders.
“We will do an internal cleansing, as directed by the mayor. He ordered us to investigate, identify, charge in court, and dismiss any member of the MPD who is into these illegal activities,” he said.
“Bago pa man makahawa ang mga bugok na itlog na ito, tanggalin mo na, [Before these rotten eggs can influence others, better dismiss them],” Estrada instructed Coronel.
Estrada said he had been receiving reports that there are still MPD lawmen involved in mulcting activities and protection racket, victimizing even legitimate business establishments.
His directive to Coronel was the first time the mayor ordered the Manila police head to clean up the MPD.
Estrada stressed that the “illegal vendors and operators of illegal transport terminals are also proliferating because they are under the protection of these unscrupulous policemen.”
He was probably referring to the Divisoria area, Claro M. Recto, Avenida, Pedro Gil St., Liwasang Bonifacio, Quiapo, España, and several others.
Estrada asserted that MPD policemen have no reason to engage in extortion activities
because they are well provided for by the city government. He said the city government has so far released P136 million for this purpose.
Estrada said he has so far allocated P1.9 billion for the city’s peace and order campaign, which enable the police to improve its crime solution efficiency. He also procured 41 new mobile patrol cars and 110 electrical personal transporters to improve the anti-crime operations of the city’s police force.