Caloocan policemen get tongue-lashing during send-off

Rambo Talabong

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Caloocan policemen get tongue-lashing during send-off
The last batch of Caloocan cops were sent off with an angry sermon from Metro Manila police chief Director Oscar Albayalde

MANILA, Philippines – Caloocan City cops got their final scolding in their home territory on Friday, September 29 from no less than Metro Manila police chief Director Oscar Albayalde.

The 450 cops—the last batch of Caloocan cops sent off—were made to stand face to face with their replacements from the Metro Manila Regional Public Safety Batallion, while an angered Albayalde delivered a send-off sermon between them.

Bakit sa tingin niyo pinalitan namin kayong lahat? Pati ang mababait? (Why do you think we replaced all of you? Even the good ones?),” Albayalde opened at the Northern Police District open area. “It’s because we work as a unit, not individually.”

This comes after a succession of controversial fatal operations demolished the reputation of the once-best police force in the Metro, prompting Albayalde to order the city-wide sacking. A total of 1,143 cops were slated for refresher trainings.

Albayalde spent most of his speech scolding them about ensuring regularity in police operations. The metro chief asked who among them had not read their police operations manual. Nobody raised their hands. Albayalde did not believe them.

Uulitin ko ha, nabasa na niyo lahat ang [police operations manual](POP) natin, ‘yung manual natin. Anong hindi natin maintindihan d’on? Kailangan ba nating i-translate ‘yun sa Tagalog, sa Ilocano o sa Bisaya, samantalang lahat tayo ay college graduate?” Albayalde said.

(I will repeat it, you all read our POP, our manual. What don’t we understand? Do we need to translate it to Tagalong, to Ilocano or Visayan, eventhough we are all college graduates?)

The cops were then chastised for their supposed lack of discipline, with Albayalde giving as example Caloocan cops who fail to show him courtesy when he passes by.

Dahil ba PO1 na dahil ba dalawa tatlong taon na kayo sa PNP? Ako nga kay Chief PNP sasaludo ako (Is it because you are already a [police officer 1], that you have served for two years in the PNP? I, myself, still salute to the chief of the PNP),” he quipped.

Discipline at last?

The controversy which led to the overhaul was marked by the killings of two boys: Kian delos Santos and Carl Arnaiz.

Delos Santos was killed in a drug raid by police who claimed he shot at them first. Investigation has since then pointed to the cops shooting the defenseless 17-year-old.

Arnaiz was killed while police were responding to a robbery. The 19-year-old supposedly shot at cops when he was pursued, prompting police to gun him down. Further investigation has also disclosed irregularities in his killing.

Both cases sparked national outrage over the Caloocan police.

With the replacement, retraining, and reorientation, Albayalde hoped that no more blunders will follow.

He closed his speech with a statement, equally a call and a threat to the departing cops.

Ang dami talaga sa ating ang titigas ng ulo sa totoo lang. Kung kayo, after your training, ganyan pa rin kayo, you better prepare. Kung ayaw niyo magbago bahala kayo. For sure, one way or another madidismiss kayo sa serbisyo,” Albayade said.

(There are really a lot of hard-headed cops among us, truth be told. If you are still that way after your training, you better prepare. If you do not want to change, it’s up to you. For sure, one way or the other, you will be dismisse from service.)

To begin, the relieved cops are expected to attend on Monday, October 2 their first day of retraining and reorientation at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig, almost 3 cities away from the Caloocan. – 

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.