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Go after scalawags, not couples holding hands, PNP urged

A House member urged leaders of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to focus on cleansing its ranks instead of running after couples engaging in public display of affection.

PBA party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles expressed his disappointment over the latest series of scandals involving PNP personnel whose image is at its all-time low.

Nograles said that it is absurd for the PNP to prioritize the restrictions on couples as part of addressing the increasing number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

“Physical distancing is a collective effort in the fight against the virus but the men and women of the PNP have bigger fish to fry. The top brass should review their priorities,” Nograles said.

“What is happening with our PNP? There are more immediate and pressing matters other than running after couples. The security guards and the Barangay tanods are already actively reminding people of physical distancing,” he added.

Nograles reminded the PNP that only a few days ago, policemen were involved in the killing of Mayor Ronald Aquino of Calbayog City but instead of taking the necessary action to get to the bottom of the incident, the PNP leadership immediately declared that it was a shootout.

A few weeks ago, the PNP was also involved in a questionable armed encounter with operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA). Several months ago, the PNP was involved in gunning down Army intelligence officers in Sulu and in the shooting of a discharged Army corporal in Quezon City.

“Unless the top brass wants the people to fear the police instead of see them as professional public servants, then the PNP has to take action against scalawags and misfits,” Nograles said.

Nograles, the principal author of House Bill no. 3065, otherwise known as the Internal Affairs Reform and Reorganization Act purposely to provide the IAS full autonomy in the investigation and prosecution of police scalawags, serves as a Member of the National Advisory Council on PNP Internal Affairs.

“I am happy to report that the House Committee on Public Order and Safety is pushing hard on the reforms in our police ranks and is prioritizing the reform of the internal affairs service. At least we have a chance to legislation before the PNP completely loses its credibility as a professional law enforcement organization,” he stressed.