ENOUGH is enough when it comes to police abuses.
This is what Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde told his main field commanders when he met them at Camp Crame last week and announced that unit commanders whose men will be involved in abusive acts will be automatically relieved from their posts.
Irked by the involvement of rogue policemen in criminal activities and the three cases of deadly ambuscades in La Union this year, the latest of which killed Balaoan Vice-Mayor Alfred Concepcion and his aide on Wednesday last week, the PNP chief scolded concerned officers in a closed-door conference at the PNP Training Service in Camp Crame on Thursday last week, the Journal Group learned.
“The chief, PNP was fuming at the spate of embarrassing incidents, many of them attributed to the failure of some police commanders to take appropriate actions that could have prevented those incidents,” a senior official present when Gen. Albayalde ‘scolded’ his men for nearly 2-hours said.
Officials said the PNP chief made it clear that he has enough of abuses being committed by ‘our own personnel’ and thus, would like all concerned to exercise real leadership by ‘acting like a real commander on the ground and supervising closely their personnel.’
Gen. Albayalde said he will be employing a ‘1-strike policy,’ meaning those unit commanders whose personnel will be involved in abuses will be automatically relieved from their posts without any hesitation.
He also said all PNP provincial and city directors should know what to do and there is no need for them to wait for reminders as the PNP National Headquarters had already sent them countless directives.
The PNP chief also told all concerned officials to see to it that their patrol cars will be issued to 1 or 2 drivers only for proper maintenance and care. He also made it clear that he wants all police stations and offices clean, particularly their respective comfort rooms. To do this, Gen. Albayalde instructed his officials to avoid being depended on their ‘strikers’ or casual utility workers.
Last but not the least, the PNP chief ordered his ground commanders to submit well-written, grammatically correct and clear reports.
Officials said they are also assessing the performance of Police Regional Office 1 officials in the wake of the three deadly ambuscades in the province this year. The PRO1 which has jurisdiction over the provinces of La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur is headed by Chief Superintendent Romulo E. Sapitula who will retire on April 25 next year.
Last May 12, former La Union Representative Eufranio Eriguel, his two aides and a supporter were killed by gunmen who attacked them as they were attending a Sangguniang Kabataan meeting in Barangay Capas in Agoo municipality.
Last October 1, assassins shot dead Sudipen town Mayor Alexander Buquing, his policeman-bodyguard and a driver during a daring attack that also wounded the mayor’s wife, Vice-Mayor Wendy Joy Buquing.
The third incident was the killing of Concepcion and wounding of his daughter Mayor Aleli Concepcion.
The PNP chief told the officials he will implement a ‘one-strike policy’ on local officials if their personnel figure in cases of abuse including rape and extortion.
“They will be held responsible for the deeds and misdeeds of their personnel. There will be no second chances as we have issued them reminders time and time again,” Gen. Albayalde said.
Gen. Albayalde said that as they are in the thick of the campaign against illegal drugs and rogues in uniform, they need to address various security concerns to ensure that they remain responsive to the needs and expectations of the public.
“We mean business not business as usual. We expect that as well from all commanders as we implement our campaign against illegal drugs and misfits and scalawags in uniform and strengthen public engagement,” Gen. Albayalde said.