ROGUES in uniform are taking advantage of “due process” to get away with their grave misconducts, thus the need to plug the loophole through enactment of tougher laws against misfits and scalawags, Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa said yesterday.
“If there’s one person in this country who wants to immediately dismiss rogues in police uniform, that’s me,” the PNP chief said amid a challenge aired by Senator Richard Gordon for the national police leadership to dismiss rogues in police service within 15-days.
Gen. de la Rosa said however that it would be much easier said than done. “I want to dismiss rogues in uniform right away. If I’m morally convinced that they committed a crime or abused their authority, I want to fire them immediately but you should understand that in this country, even the accused are heavily-protected by the law particularly when it comes to observance of due process,” he said.
The top cop said that in many cases, policemen dismissed from the service for serious grave offenses will appeal to the National Police Commission for reinstatement and claim they were denied “due process” when they were fired from the organization.
Police officials agreed saying that the same problem has been in existence since the PNP was created in 1991. Countless numbers of police officers and men who were dismissed from the force for cases ranging from drugs, robbery-holdup and murder, Journal Group sources said, have been reinstated after claiming they were denied due process during the investigation of their cases.
It’s the very same reason why some policemen who were caught on video engaged in shabu session or were positively identified by witnesses as killers or robbers were able to seek reinstatement after appealing their cases before the Napolcom and saying they were denied due process.
Officials said rogues in uniform simply wait for the retirement of the Chief,PNP or a PNP Regional Director who signed their dismissal papers before filing for reinstatement using their previous connections. It’s common knowledge in the force that dismissed police crooks were able to get reinstatement by bribing some corrupt government officers.
Senator Gordon said he is pro-law and order but doesn’t want “any rotten policeman” in this country.
“Speed is the name of the game,” he said in demanding that rogues be fired from the service within 15-days. Gordon even said that in the case of slain Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., the result of the Senate investigation alone is enough basis for the PNP to file charges against the police officers and men involved.
Gordon maintained that he is against the re-imposition of the death penalty.
“It doesn’t solve anything. Pag nagkamali minsan, hindi na natin mababawi,” he said.