THE all-out crackdown against rogues in uniform being implemented by Philippine National Police chief, General Oscar Albayalde and National Capital Region Police Office director, Chief Superintendent Gilor Eleazar has caught the attention of everybody including former PNP chief-turned-Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson who wants it to be unrelenting and spare no one.
And Sen. Lacson of Philippine Military Academy Class 1971 means it when he says it. I’ve been a personal witness on how then Gen. Lacson, as chief of the now defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force and PNP from 1999 to January 2001 launched a massive campaign against inept, corrupt and scalawags or ICUs in the PNP during his term and the public loves it much.
His powerful PAOCTF became a nemesis of rogues in uniform that literally, ‘kotong’ cops victimizing jeepney and bus drivers and market vendors in the country literally disappeared during Lacson’s time. These ordinary Juan and Juana dela Cruz fully appreciated Ping’s crusade, gave him and the PNP a record satisfaction rating and trust and confidence and voted him into Senate and as they say, the rest is history.
Hear these recent words from Sen. Lacson when asked to comment on Gen. Albayalde’s internal cleansing program being as deadly and chilling as the war on drugs: ”Ang nakikita natin ngayon, there’s a renewed effort to go after the rogues in uniform. Sabi ko nga recurring ang news reports nanggaling sa inyo sa mga reporters na nagko-cover sa PNP sa Crame, laging may nahuhuli. Bakit? Hindi dahil sa dumami ang police scalawags kundi nag-step up ang liderato ng PNP lalo sa NCRPO para hulihin.
“May extra effort sila nagko-conduct ng intelligence operations to identify and entrap these people. Kasi maaaring nariyan talaga sila pero ’di binibigyan ng pansin o attention kaya hindi natin nalalaman. Pero ngayon dahil maigting ang kampanya ni Gen. Eleazar laban sa scalawags, at kanyang district directors, nakikita natin ang resulta. And I hope ma-replicate ito sa ibang mga regions dahil NCR lang parati natin naririnig na may accomplishment against scalawags. So sana maging nationwide ang kampanya sa scalawags,” he said.
He also has this to say on what Gen. Albayalde needs to do to further improve discipline in the police force: “Sa akin dapat walang let-up especially ang anti-kotong operations. Di sa pagbubuhat ng sariling bangko, talagang effective kung talagang no let-up, indiscriminate at sustained. And when he paid me a courtesy call nagkausap kami upon his appointment yan din pinagusapan namin sabi niya Sir paano ang maganda?
“Sabi ko initially mag-concentrate kayo sa internal cleansing kasi ’yan ang napakalaking problema, para ma-restore mo ang trust and confidence ng mga tao. And same with Chief Superintendent Eleazar. When we talked about the problems upon his assumption sa NCR, ganoon din pinag-usapan namin. And he told me then na gagawin namin ’yan Sir. And rightly so, ginagawa talaga nila. Kaya nga karamihan ng anti-scalawag operations sa NCR,” according to Sen. Lacson.
As Sen. Lacson had emphasized, what Gen. Albayalde needs to do is to see to it that his internal cleansing program won’t stop. It’s actually a program which needs the full cooperation of the police from the generals up to the Police Officers 1 and most importantly, the public which needs to inform the PNP on any abusive or illegal act of policemen in the streets.
As Gen. Lacson said during his stint as PNP chief, it doesn’t matter if he will be left with only 10,000 police officers and men as long as they are quality officers who can do the job. It’s really quality over quantity and Gen. Albayalde I’m sure is veering on that right direction. This week, Gen. Albayalde said that a total of 1,828 rogues in police uniform have been dismissed from the service since the start of the Duterte administration in July 2016.
Records showed that since 2016 until the first semester of 2018, a total of 1,828 PNP personnel were summarily dismissed from the service for serious infractions. Those dismissed were among 6,401 errant PNP personnel who were meted administrative penalties for various offenses ranging from involvement in criminal activity, grave misconduct, serious neglect of duty, involvement in criminal cases, serious irregularity, malversation, dishonesty, and graft and corruption.
Aside from those penalized for administrative offenses, 498 more personnel were investigated for drug-related cases including 266 who tested positive for drug use and 232 for involvement in drug activity. A total of 261 uniformed and non-uniformed personnel who tested positive for drug use were likewise dismissed from the service, while 92 more were fired, 23 were suspended and nine demoted for involvement in drug activity.
Gen. Albayalde’s campaign is bearing significant results. This week, an entrapment operation in Taguig City left one cop dead and three arrested for kidnapping and rob-extort. It’s a case of good cops versus bad cops.
Come to think of it, members of the PMA are leading the country’s war against scalawags: Albayalde, Eleazar of PMA Class 1987, the PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force headed by Senior Supt. Bong Caramat of PMA Class 1992; PNP Director for Intelligence, Director Greg Pimentel of PMA Class 1985 and PNP Intelligence Group director, Chief Supt. Egay Gonzales, a classmate of Albayalde from PMA Class 1986.
This week, PNP-CITF agents arrested three Valenzuela City policemen accused of extorting from junkshop operator in Valenzuela City every night. Last week, they also arrested the chief investigator of the Quezon City Police District Station 9 in Anonas, Q.C. for demanding P3,000 from the mother of a detainee in exchange for documents needed to process the man’s bail application.
So far, PNP-CITF operatives have shot dead three policemen involved in drugs apart from jailing 12 active policemen found to be involved in different criminal activities including ‘hulidap’ and ‘bangketa’ activities, robbery-extortion and kidnapping-for-ransom since last June. Chilling isn’t it?