Erring cops in viral controversies top priority in police force’s reformation program

<i>Photo: Philippine National Police/FB. </i>
Photo: Philippine National Police/FB.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has launched a revitalized reformation program as part of its “internal cleansing” and top on their list of officers to school on values are those caught in viral controversies.

“They are our targets. Those who went viral, they’re our priority. Those who appeared in Viber [messages], on videos, on YouTube, they’re all our priority,” PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said in a press briefing yesterday.

He said they are in the process of consolidating reports and names of cops who violated laws or protocols. This includes those who were caught sleeping on the job or drinking and gambling in public places. Erring cops will then be asked to report to the police force’s national headquarters, Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Albayalde said the PNP’s revitalized reformation program will have a “restorative approach” and a “squad concept” wherein a squad leader guides six to eight members and works to keep them in line with the rules of the force.

“This is one way of changing the attitude of our policemen,” Albayalde said.

Police records from July 2016 to June 20 of this year show that more than 2,400 police officers with various administrative cases were dismissed. Four hundred eight one were demoted, 4,161 suspended, 195 got their salaries forfeited, 619 were reprimanded, and 41 were placed under restrictive custody.

Philippine police officers have a bad rap for being corrupt and power-hungry, which is only worsened by recent viral controversies involving cops.

Just yesterday, the PNP announced that a Marikina City police officer has been dismissed after he allegedly beat up an 8-year-old boy in Pasig City. A Parañaque City police officer was relieved from his post in July last year after he was caught on camera slapping a bus driver. Cops in Koronadal, South Cotabato were also fired in April after they were seen in a video drinking and gambling inside a police station.

Worst of all, of course, are the thousands alleged extrajudicial killings in anti-drug operations. The most recent high profile case involves the death of 3-year-old Myca Ulpina who got shot in a crossfire between cops and her drug suspect father inside their home in Rodriguez, Rizal. Nineteen police officers who were part of the operation and their police chief have been temporarily relieved.

Albayalde said that the reformation program will focus on “values formation, spiritual development, and [the] strengthening of families of our PNP personnel.”

He estimates that about 27,000 police personnel will undergo the training, which will include those who have been suspended or reprimanded. However, he said that some cops just can’t be reformed and must be dismissed.

“Those [whom] we can no longer restore, forget about them, they’re dismissed … they will be barred perpetually from entering the Philippine National Police organization,” Albayalde said.

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