Mindanao as scalawags dump lamented

AT the continuation of the joint probe conducted by the Committees on Justice and Human Rights and the Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon), Senator Richard J. Gordon said the Philippine National Police should remove erring members instead of packing them off to Mindanao.

“It is very, very unfair to Mindanao. It is a beautiful place but it is becoming dirty dahil lagi na lang doon tinatapon pag may kaso. Itinatapon niyo lang sila sa Mindanao, you are perpetrating the scalawags in uniform by doing that,” he said during Thursday’s hearing.

Gordon said that while he is not after anybody in particular, erring policemen should be summarily dismissed instead of being transferred to Mindanao and, in the process, spending intelligence funds monitoring them.

“If somebody is a scalawag, he should be out fast. By sending them to Mindanao, you have to constantly monitor them and use intelligence funds to do it. You are using the funds against your own men. Why are we allowing ourselves to be punished by these people? They are the ones who should be punished,” he stressed.

Senators Panfilo Lacson and Ronaldo Dela Rosa, who are former PNP chiefs, explained that the practice, which has become a culture in the PNP, is used as a threat to erring policemen and to stop their illegal activities by removing them from the normal environment where they operate.

“My take on it is that when somebody makes a mistake, he should be promptly investigated, the investigation should be finished fast so he can be charged immediately and summarily dismissed. I’m not after anybody but we want to professionalize the police and restore the dignity and integrity of our police force,” Gordon said.