THE reason for the “unlimited supply” of rogue policemen in the Philippine National Police (PNP), despite efforts to weed them out, is an alleged “recycling” in the National Police Commission (Napolcom), the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) claimed on Sunday.
Dante Jimenez, founding chairman of the anti-crime advocacy group, urged Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno to immediately act on cases against police officers at Napolcom.
The Napolcom, under Republic Act 8551, or the “PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998” has authority to conduct pre-charge investigation of police anomalies and irregularities, and summary dismissal of erring police officers.
Jimenez said that while not all police officers facing cases at Napolcom should be considered rogue, the commission must expedite the resolution of cases to prevent police officers who were really involved in criminal acts from finding means to return to the police service.
The VACC head however did not provide specific cases of erring policemen who were able to return to service, but said he had received credible information that many police officers who have been involved in illegal activities were able to get back to the service.
“We called on Secretary Sueno to please look into the issue, police are being recycled by the Napolcom,” he said.
Jimenez claimed policemen who have been slapped with administrative cases were able to return to service because of the alleged “reinstatement for sale” scheme in the commission.
Police officers with pending cases are being reinstated in exchange for a fee, he claimed, providing the PNP with a “continuous supply of bad eggs.”
The VACC also said it would ask the House of Representatives and the Senate to investigate, in aid of legislation, the alleged reinstatement scheme at Napolcom.
Jimenez said PNP chief Ronald de la Rosa and Sueno were partly to blame for the existence of “undisciplined” police officers in the PNP, because of their failure to clean the rank and file.
De la Rosa and Sueno, he said, should apply the strategy of the government’s anti-drugs and anti-crime to their campaign against erring police officers.
“They should allot more attention on these so-called bad eggs. They are part of the cabinet, they are the alter ego of the President, but what are they doing? They are to be blamed,” Jimenez told The Manila Times.
The VACC earlier expressed objection to the suggestion for the PNP to temporary suspend it anti-illegal drugs campaign “Oplan Tokhang” until the organization cleans up its ranks.
Senator Grace Poe also on Sunday urged the PNP leadership to stop the “fraternity mentality” within the organization that had seemingly encouraged police officers involved in criminal activities to become more brazen.
Poe, who used to head the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, cited the supposed misplaced loyalty among police officers who tolerate the wrongdoings of their fellow policemen or officials.
“They (policemen) have the sworn duty to protect the people. Their loyalty should be with the Filipino people and not with their officials,” she said in a radio interview aired over DZBB.
If law enforcers can’t follow their mandate to protect the people, then the President and the head of the PNP should see to it that these police officers are removed from the organization, she stressed.
She added that if Dela Rosa allows erring policemen to stay in the organization, it will be difficult to control them and many would be encouraged to do the same.
Poe said President Rodrigo Duterte, who had been vocal in his support to the police, should issue a warning against abusive law enforcers that they will be removed from the service and thrown in jail.
“Without the reminder that the government is serious in going after police scalawags, the campaign to cleanse the PNP will not be successful,” she pointed out.
Dela Rosa has been heavily criticized for the kidnap-slay of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo allegedly by some policemen.
Some senators has called on the PNP to temporary suspend the illegal drugs campaign and focus first on ridding the organization of misfits.
But Poe said the war on drugs can continue as long as the police organization can ensure that its men will not abuse their authority.
“Oplan Tokhang needs to continue, but it doesn’t mean that the PNP can just kill anybody without due process,” she added.