DESPITE the Duterte administration’s massive crackdown against “rotten eggs” in the government service, there are still misfits and scalawags in the 190,000-member Philippine National Police (PNP).
To the millions of peace-loving Filipinos, particularly the poor and lowly in the impoverished countryside, these few misguided men and women in police uniform are evils and menace to society.
But to the credit of the PNP leadership, headed by Director-General Oscar “Odie” D. Albayalde, there are no “sacred cows” in the national police agency’s multi-pronged internal cleansing program.
In fact, agents of the PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force recently killed a “ninja cop” in a gunfight in South Cotabato, according to CITF commander S/Supt. Romeo M. Caramat Jr.
The country’s top “Mamang Pulis” called on the remaining misfits and scalawags in uniform to mend their ways or end up six feet underground should they fight it out with their colleagues.
Killed by operatives of Caramat, a bemedalled police officer from vote-rich Pangasinan, was Police Officer 1 Rommil Barcellano of the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office (SCPPO).
Caramat said the suspect resisted arrest and tried to shoot the poseur during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Zone 2 in Koronadal City, forcing back-up operatives to return fire.
Barcellano was tagged as the leader of an organized crime group engaged in recycling and selling of seized illegal drugs as well as robbery-holdup and gun-for-hire activities in Mindanao.
Although they are few, the nefarious activities of erring police officers and men continue to tarnish the image of the PNP not only in the Philippines but also in the international community.
That’s why the PNP leadership is on the right track in intensifying the campaign against police scalawags, particularly those involved in the highly-profitable but illegal drug business.