“SON of a […] You joined the police force to put up a syndicate?”
Seven Pampanga policemen tagged in another Korean abduction case got an earful from Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa on Wednesday, as the police force began an internal cleanup.
De la Rosa was fuming mad when the seven policemen were presented to him by police officials of Central Luzon and Angeles City.
One by one, de la Rosa berated and cursed the policemen before asking them to do pushups before the media in Angeles City.
He asked one of them: “How many years have you spent in the service? Five years? You haven’t been promoted from Police Office 1? Is that why you joined the syndicate?”
Police Officers (PO) 3 Roentgen Domingo, Gomerson de Sola Evangelista and Arnold Gonzales; Police Officers 2 Ruben Rodriguez 3rd and Richard King Reyes Agapito; and Police Officers 1 Mark Joseph Salen Pineda and Jayson Jingco Ibe have been charged for kidnapping Min Hoon Park, Lee Ki Hun and Lee Jun Hyung on December 30 in Angeles City.
The incident happened two months after the October 18 abduction and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo also in Angeles on trumped-up drug charges, which triggered public outrage and forced the suspension of the PNP’s anti-illegal drug operations.
One of the police officers told the PNP chief they carried out a legitimate police operation, which further irked de la Rosa.
“Legitimate? Why did you ask for money and beat them up?” de la Rosa said.
An investigation against the police for grave misconduct found that the seven officers were the same persons captured on a CCTV camera in Friendship Plaza Subdivision as the ones who snatched the three Koreans.
The police allegedly demanded P300,000 for the release of the victims. The money was allegedly received by PO3 Domingo.
The Korean victims reported the incident to the Korean embassy in Manila, which forwarded the complaint to the PNP.
Spiritual retreat, exile for ‘bad eggs’
De la Rosa told reporters there were 3,000 “bad eggs” in the 165,000-strong police force. Rogue policemen will be sent to war-torn Mindanao while those who have gone on absences without leave will be dismissed, he said.
He admitted the PNP was demoralized in the aftermath of revelations policemen abducted Jee and killed him right inside the PNP’s Camp Crame headquarters in October 2016.
“We are affected by the negative reports about us. The bad police were highlighted. Those doing their jobs were not. We are somehow demoralized by the incident,” the PNP chief said.
Part of the cleansing process in the PNP, said de la Rosa, will be spiritual retreats and values formation to be conducted by Catholic, Protestant and Muslim religious leaders.