RIDDING the Philippine National Police (PNP), the country’s premier law enforcement agency, of scalawags and other rotten eggs is just one of the challenges facing the police leadership.
There are only a few erring police officers and men but their nefarious activities continue to tarnish the image of this impoverished Asian nation and the Filipino people in the international community.
Ridding the 175,000-member police agency, headed by Director-General Oscar “Odie” D. Albayalde, of scalawags and misfits is better said than done due to lack of witnesses in some cases.
“Madalas, maraming testigo ang natatakot na lumantad dahil alam nilang hindi biru-birong kalabanin ang isang pulis dahil ito ay armado,” lamented a lady sidewalk vendor in the metropolis.
But it is heartening to note that the newly-created PNP-Integrated Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG), headed by Col. Romeo Caramat Jr., is determined to hit hard at unscrupulous cops.
Last Wednesday, the IMEG made its first arrest when it caught four policemen and a civilian employee of the PNP drinking and gambling online inside a bar near Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Caramat identified the suspects as Senior Master Sgt. Demetrio Laroya, Staff Sgt. Erwin Gobis and Cpl. Ariel Pasion, all of the PNP Health Service, and Staff Sgt. Gerry Ocampo of the PNP Crime Laboratory.
IMEG operatives also arrested Leo Ocinar, a civilian employee of the PNP Directorate for Personnel Records and Management, Fidel Agustin, a former policeman and Teddy Carpio.
Caramat, a Pangasinense, said Carpio is the operator of the illegal online “sabong” (cockfight) betting station inside the Belen Lutong Bahay Restaurant on 3rd Avenue in Cubao, Quezon City.
President Duterte, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, PNP chief Director-General Oscar D. Albayalde and Col. Romeo Caramat Jr. need all the help they can get if they are to succeed in ridding the PNP of scalawags.