The Philippine National Police (PNP) was absolutely right in blaming the National Police Commission (Napolcom) on Friday over its snail paced action in terminating two police officers, accused in a robbery-holdup incident in 2012.
The policemen were also involved two weeks ago in another robbery-holdup incident in San Juan that went viral after a netizen caught the crime in his camera and posted it on social media.
PNP Spokesperson C/Supt. Reuben Sindac said SPO1 Ramil Hachero and PO2 Jonathan Rodriguez should have been out of the service in 2012 if only the Napolcom did its job.
The PNP leadership back then recommended the two policemen dismissed from the service on administrative charges for extorting money from a civilian in 2012.
The Napolcom, created to administer the PNP entrance exam, conduct pre-charge investigation on erring cops, and the dismissal of rogue policemen, has failed to do its job these days due to widespread corruption within the said agency.
An official of the PNP, who asked not to be identified, claims police applicants these days do not have to worry if they fail the test given by the Napolcom so long as they have the money, they will still be recruited in the force.
While erring policemen recommended for dismissal by their superiors to Napolcom for major offenses, such as absence without leave insubordination, robbery, extortion, and grave abuse of authority, more often than not, get reinstated in the service after allegedly paying off members of the appellate board of the agency, said my source.
A Filipino-Chinese businessman, who happens to be my friend, fell victim too to robbery of two Quezon City cops in 2005. Despite an order for their dismissal by the PNP top brass back then, and strong pieces of evidence against the said policemen, the Napolcom ordered them reinstated back in service with full benefits and back pay three years later.
My friend’s ordeal was very much like the recent robbery hold-up incident in Edsa. Six cops in plainclothes aboard four unmarked vehicles waylaid his car near the La Loma police station.
However, instead of stopping, my jeweler friend and his brother sped off to the police station to ask for assistance, hoping the armed men would no longer chase them and leave them alone.
But to their dismay, the group followed them to the La Loma Police Station, and two of the armed men alighted from their car and identified themselves as SPO4 Celso Jeresano and PO3 Isias Merced, assigned at the Quezon City Police Headquarters.
The stupid La Loma cops, upon learning that the armed men are police officers too, left the two businessmen in the hands of Jeresano and Merced.
The rogue cops immediately ransacked their car and took off more than P10 million worth of jewelry from my friend claiming they were confiscating it as part of evidence on a robbery case.
The victims reported the matter to then PNP-NCR Chief Gen. Vidal Querol, who immediately had the two cops suspended, and later on dismissed from the service.
However, three years later, my friend was so surprised and got a scare of his life upon learning that the two cops were able to return to work compliments of the Napolcom Appellate Board, who dismissed the cases against them.
Fortunately, former Interior Sec. Jesse Robredo, who was also the chairman of Napolcom, upon learning of the said incident, directed the agency to have Jeresano and Merced dismissed from the service without any more appeals.
So, if you become victims of police abuses or corruption . . . you have a better chance of having these erring cops dismissed by the Ombudsman rather than by the Napolcom.
The Napolcom has become the protector of rogue cops . . . so it seems.