FORMER Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday said the Philippine National Police (PNP) needs an intense and sustained internal cleansing in order to regain the trust of the public.
Lacson warned that failure to rid the institution of rogue police officers who are involved in robbery, drugs, extortion and kidnapping could further erode public trust and affect the government’s overall peace and order campaign.
“In case the PNP leadership hasn’t noticed, most reported crimes involving policemen mention PO1s [Police Officers 1] or PO2s [Police Officers 2] as prominent participants,” Lacson, who was PNP chief during the administration of former President Joseph Estrada, said.
“A thorough review of their recruitment system and training program, therefore, should be undertaken immediately,” he added.
Lacson, during his time as chief of the PNP, instituted reforms in the police force and went after corrupt policemen and organized-crime syndicates.
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) said the situation now is different because aside from the spike in criminality, police officers are also involved in the commission of crimes.
VACC Chairman Dante Jimenez said the reason why police officers are involved in criminal activities is that their leader, PNP chief Alan Purisima, is also being implicated in various controversies.
Jimenez added that Purisima has no moral ascendancy and should be replaced to save the institution from further damage.
Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito also called on Purisima to resign.
The senator noted that the worsening peace and order in the country and the involvement of some members of the PNP in crimes indicate that there is a widespread demoralization and loss of morale among policemen and this should be addressed immediately.