President Rodrigo R. Duterte vents out his anger as rogue police officers were presented to him at Malacañan Palace on August 7, 2018. (PPD file photo)
MANILA -- Some 8,440 erring police officers were slapped with administrative sanctions since 2016 under the Philippine National Police's (PNP) internal cleansing program.
PNP spokesperson, Col. Bernard Banac, said from January 2016 to February 28, 2019, a total of 2,528 policemen were dismissed from the service, 4,511 were suspended from their work, 601 were reprimanded, 507 were demoted in rank, 34 were placed in restriction, and 58 had their privileges withheld.
Banac said this is proof that the PNP is serious in weeding out rogue cops from their roster.
"We are the ones who are implementing laws against illegal drugs and then we see police officers actually involved in illegal drugs. That's not allowed because that is embarrassing for the PNP," he told reporters.
Banac assured that these police officers were given due process in their cases.
Of the 2,528 dismissed police officers, 441 were involved in illegal drug activities; 322 tested positive for illegal drugs; while 119 others were involved in illegal drug-related cases, such as being a protector or user.
The 119 involved in illegal drug activities were pinpointed by arrested drug personalities while some were caught in the act.
Despite a strict selection process, aspiring policemen who do dirty deeds could still be qualified during recruitment, Banac said.
"We are strict in the process of recruitment but it cannot be denied that there are recruits who can pass the interview and neuropsychiatric test. When it comes to the service, they can be exposed to biting the temptation, in which we can see the weakness of their values and character," he said.
Banac said the PNP is doing everything to change the negative mindset or behavior of police scalawags through counseling, leadership seminars, and Bible study, among others.
PNP Chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, warned all police personnel that he would never tolerate illegal acts or wrongdoings committed by anyone within their ranks.
"When a recruit takes his oath as a professional police officer, he automatically loses or waives some of his rights in favor of organizational discipline, duties and responsibilities. So, being scolded, reprimanded, bawled out, or dressed down for misdemeanor, misconduct or commission of crime is just part and parcel of his life being in the uniformed service," Albayalde said in a statement.
He also reiterated that the PNP is serious in enforcing culture change and character transformation among police officers.
“We continue to ask for the media's help because this way, we can emphasize that we are true and serious in our drive in wiping out scalawags within our ranks," Albayalde said in Filipino.
"This is a stern warning to all PNP personnel. We will be adding more teeth to our campaign against those rogues and scalawags among our ranks. We will not hesitate to relieve any official from their posts should any incident like this extortion and robbery case would happen again," he added.
Albayalde previously said that newly-recruited police officers would undergo Special Action Forces training as a way of disciplining them. (PNA)