I’M saying this in the wake of information relayed to me by many of my friends in the police force that the PNP Internal Affairs Service is allegedly sitting on the cases of dozens of policemen who were targeted by the initial purging launched by the Philippine National Police in 2016.
Several sources told me that instead of recommending the dismissal order of these rogue cops, some officials of the PNP-IAS seems to be delaying their decisions knowing fully well the repercussions of their move at the end of the Duterte government and when a not friendly administration takes over.
I can understand the sentiment and position of these officers but still, I think the PNP deserves all the help it can get from their ‘ ‘internal affairs unit’ in the war against misfits and scalawags in the police force. An honest-to-goodness investigation backed up by solid evidence and witnesses are the most powerful tools that the PNP and the IAS can have against these rogues in uniform should these misfits start to appeal their cases after the Duterte administration is over.
I have many friends from the PNP-IAS who are known for their hard work and dedication to duty. However, I really need to know what is their batting average when it comes to firing rogues in uniform since July 2016?
The question here is how many cases have been resolved by the PNP-IAS since July 2016 when the PNP launched its vaunted war on drugs. How many policemen in President Duterte’s ‘narco-list’ or those arrested in police anti-narcotics operations have been dismissed already as a result of the PNP-IAS investigation?
How many are still pending over the past three years too since the PNP chief cannot approve any IAS recommendation if there are no documents in his table? These questions need an answer since without the PNP-IAS’ help, the PNP’s effort to cleanse its backyard will go to naught for sure.
REFORMING THE POLICE FORCE
At present, the PNP headed by General Oscar Albayalde is embarking on a revitalized police program to help address the presence of scalawags in uniform: the so-called Squading System where God-centered police officers literally act as their brothers’ keepers.
Under the program which is being supervised by PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa, some 5,582 of nearly 27,000 policemen who have been subjected to internal disciplinary measures since July 2016 will undergo a 30-day retraining.
Yesterday, Gen. Albayalde met the latest batch of policemen who will undergo a retraining as part of his vow to be a willing and able enforcer of reform and discipline in the PNP. The PNP chief referred to the PNP Training Service-supervised 30-day Focused Reformation/Reorientation and Moral Enhancement for Police Officer in Line with Internal Cleansing Efforts or FORM POLICE.
The PNP chief said that the program is part of their effort to develop esteemed and highly reputable police personnel and he sees it as a more effective re-training program to correct misdemeanors and other less serious prohibited acts committed by errant police personnel.
Gen. Albayalde emphasized that FORM POLICE is not a punishment rather a restorative approach at internal cleansing through a continuing re-training program that personnel must undergo to promote our desire to completely reform the organization—starting from the 5,582 police officers with resolved administrative cases since July 2016 until June 20, 2019.
“Values formation and reorientation is the core concept of FORM POLICE. The values espoused in the police service are recited in the Police Officers’ Pledge during simultaneous flag raising ceremonies in police camps across the country every Monday. Kung ang pulis memorized niya ‘yan and he puts it into action, or puts it into his heart, at hindi lang basta memorized yung officers’ pledge, he will be guided accordingly,” the PNP chief stressed.
Under the new internal cleansing program, police officers will be divided into squads — to be composed of six to eight members and led by a squad leader who has a rank of at least a Staff Sergeant. The participants are policemen who have been charged administratively for various offenses including being AWOL and those whose abusive acts became viral video.
Basically, it’s a program wherein senior non-commissioned officers would give pep talk and offer brotherly advise to their subordinates provided they have the moral ascendancy to do it. I’m talking of the word ‘moral ascendancy’ because these police sergeants and corporals will be acting as mentors for junior policemen who were suspended, demoted or their pay forfeited after being involved in abusive activities including extortion or were caught literally sleeping or drinking while on duty or gambling in prohibited places.
Also to be included in the program are policemen whose abusive acts and other misdemeanors were caught on CCTV and uploaded in YouTube and other social media. “It’s one way of changing the attitude of our policemen thru spiritual and values formation. What is good here is hindi natin palalampasin kahit minor misdemeanors. Pero ang priority natin ay yung mga puwede pang marestore and ma-reintegrate sa organization,’ said Gen. Gamboa, a lawyer-classmate from PMA ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 of Gen. Albayalde.
Gamboa said that under the program, squad leaders will have more responsibility in reforming their squad members. “Our priority is the National Capital Region wherein Police Officers 1 or Patrolmen will be headed by a Corporal or a Sergeant,” he said.
Gamboa told me they also need to have a Special Action Force-like training for their recruits in order to produce more quality policemen. “Hindi mo puwedeng gawing civilian-like ang training sa PNP. Sa training pa lang, dapat me transformation na,” he said.
Last year, the Eastern Police District then headed by Brigadier General Bernabe M. Balba launched the program at the Christ Commission Fellowship in Frontera Verde in Pasig City in line with their all-out support to the PNP’s internal cleansing strategy.
Other police regional offices including the National Capital Region Police Office and PROs 3, 4-A and 7 have also launched the same program which primarily focuses in preventing PNP members from being involved in illegal activities thru its Squad Organization which closely monitor each of their members.
The system incorporates the essential components of the programs “My Brother’s Keeper” or MBK and Bless our Cops Support Group or BOCSG. MBK closely monitors the attendance and compliances of their members and at the same time help identify officers engaged in illegal activities. On the other hand, BOCSG is a group of volunteer church ministers, priests, pastors from different faith-based organizations which act as value and spiritual coaches to their members. I join the PNP in this noble quest.