Almost a year ago, two rookie police officers were charged before the National Police Commission (Napolcom) for harassing executives of a small Makati-based business office by disguising as inspectors from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The newbies in the Philippine National Police (PNP), PO1 Jonker Durias and PO1 Ronnel Carcalas, were assigned with the PNP Maritime Group in Zamboanga but were on training in Palawan when the harassment happened in Makati on October 2, 2013.
Maricar Bitancur, manager of New Wave Offices, Inc., filed a complaint against them at the Makati City Police Sub-station 5 on the same day. Nothing happened.
On November 21, 2013, Bitancur’s lawyers brought the case to the attention of PNP Director General Alan Purisima and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd. Nothing has happened since then.
The Napolcom received the same case on December 9, 2013. No movement whatsoever since then. Durias and Carcalas have not even been asked to answer the charges of corruption, abuse of authority, and solicitation of gifts.
Should we wait for them to be involved in a gory crime or something similar to the daring September 1 robbery-kidnapping case on EDSA before they get punished? What if there is no conscientious citizen who would witness the crime and upload it on Twitter or Facebook? Will they just get off the hook and get involved in more criminal activities?
Durias and Carcalas are still so young in the PNP and yet they are already corrupt. They are a disgrace to the profession. But why do they seem to get pampering? Is it because there are too many of them facing cases that Napolcom has its hands full of bigger crimes?
A couple of days ago, news reports said Purisima recommended the dismissal from the service of five Quezon City policemen assigned to the La Loma station over a 2011 administrative case. Two of them, SPO1 Ramil Hachero and PO2 Jonathan Rodriguez, were among the eight policemen tagged in the Sept. 1 Edsa “hulidap” in which two employees of a Mindanao-based engineering contractor allegedly lost P2 million and were detained without charges at the La Loma police station for seven hours.
The three others recommended for dismissal were PO3s Eugene Lim and Ernesto Corpuz Jr., and PO1 Erwin Bautista.
The 2011 case involving the five police officers involved an illegal arrest of two Quezon City residents for drug possession on April 9, 2011, as part of their extortion racket.
Case records state that the complainants, both residents of Barangay Paang Bundok, were in a car waiting for the green light at the intersection of Don Manuel and Baco Streets in La Loma when the police accosted them and took them to the police station where the evidence against them were supposedly “planted.”
The officers claimed the victims were carrying packets of “shabu” and demanded P10,000 for their release. The two were freed after a relative of one of them produced the money. They later filed a complaint in the Napolcom.
Because the Edsa “hulidap” case is still “hot” in the media, we could expect Roxas, as Napolcom chairman, and vice chair Eduardo Escueta to sign the dismissal orders soon.
If the PNP and Napolcom are serious in weeding out rogue cops in the force, cases against these bad eggs should be resolved with dispatch.
Police officers have a sworn duty to serve and protect the citizens. Their mission is clear: to enforce the law, prevent and control crimes, maintain peace and order, and ensure public safety and internal security with the active support of the community.
Anyone brazenly bold and unflinching in their treatment of the citizens they are supposed to serve and protect should not be tolerated to stay any minute longer in the PNP organization. These scoundrels deserve rough treatment.
Calling them scalawags is being kind to them. The dictionary defines scalawag as “usually young person who causes trouble; a person who behaves badly but in an amusingly mischievous rather than harmful way; a rascal.” They do much more than that to the image that the PNP should have.
Those who fuel the drug trade and kidnap-for-ransom cases deserve far worse treatment that the law provides.
But why do they seem to be getting gentle treatment? Escueta said they deserve due process, too. That excuse only emboldens these rogue cops to do their thing.
Please don’t give the citizens an excuse to take the law into their hands.
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