PNPA alumni told: Self-evaluation is key to police success
CAVITE, Philippines – After a week which saw controversy over some 40 erring cops fired for alleged extortion, National Police Commission (Napolcom) Vice Chairman Rogelio Casurao told alumni of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) to stay true to what the institution was: the “lawmen’s academy.”
The PNPA Alumni may have been gathered on what is considered “hallowed grounds” but the past week’s events were not lost on their superiors who once again brought up the issue of “scalawag” cops.
It’s one that has been brought up in past homecomings as the PNP was urged to focus on “internal cleansing” to get rid of corrupt officials within their ranks.
On Saturday, March 9, Casurao called for it once more as PNPA alumni gathered Camp General Mariano Castañeda for the institution’s 39th alumni homecoming. He urged the graduates to “self-evaluate,” saying this was the key to “all success.” (IN PHOTOS: A homecoming for the PNP Academy's Lakans, Lakambinis)
“No other profession demands a higher ethical standard than that of law enforcement. Understandably, a tremendous degree of expectations are placed upon police officers and rightly so – they have the power and authority to deprive a citizen of liberty, property, and yes, even life,” Casurao said.
Casurao described the issue of corrupt cops as only one of the many “battles” the PNP was facing. He lumped it with other issues he described as challenges to peace and order in the country: breakdown of peace talks with leftist groups, terrorism, and the anti-illegal drugs campaign.
“Officers virtually live in a fish bowl with their norm of conduct both on and off duty subject of public scrutiny like no other public servant…. it has been manifest time and again…the acts of a few bad eggs in the PNP magnified exponentially through the media are significant enough to cast aspersion on the entire organization,” he said.
The entire anti-drug team of the Pasay City Police Station 1 was sacked on Wednesday, March 6, after allegedly extorting from the family of a detained drug suspect in exchange for freedom. Only one cop was arrested from the anti-drug team, while rest were able to escape.
In confronting one of the cops, Metro Manila police chief Director Guillermo Eleazar interrogated and shouted at the cop. (READ: PNPA alumni adopt NCRPO chief Eleazar, Duterte son-in-law)
Despite this, Casurao said the PNP “sympathized” with Metro Manila police chief Director Guillermo Eleazar. He said Eleazar’s outburst at one of these erring cops was understood in the context of “extreme frustration” over corrupt members among its ranks.
The Napolcom official warned the PNPA’s ranks that perceptions towards scenarios like these no matter how “biased,” affected the PNP’s reputation.
“Do we just take everything in stride then? Comforted by the fact that these bad eggs constitute a bare minimum of those in the police service, far from it. Perceptions however biased it may be represent reality in the minds of the public,” Casurao said.
He told the PNPA the national government and senior police officials did its share to counter erring cops within its ranks through measures like subjecting its own force to the narco list, supposedly investigating cops through its Internal Affairs Service, and conducting mandatory drug tests.
Aside from these, he mentioned the government’s effort to increase the pay of all police officers across all ranks “in exchange for honest and public service.”
“In order to lessen the temptation to commit corrupt practices, the national government has substantially raised in 2018 the compensation of police…because of the efforts of no less than the President to give due compensation to our law enforces in exchange for honest and public service,” Casurao said.
Casurao told the PNPA alumni to do their part and think about why they got into public service. To meet the PNP’s goals, he said, continuing evaluation of its ranks was “highly in order.” He urged alumni to continue striving for justice, integrity, and service.
“In all of these battles, it cannot be denied that the potency of the PNP's most vital weapon, its human resource in terms of competence, commitment, and professionalism, will dictate the tempo of the battles it is fighting and will be fighting in the days to come,” Casurao added. – Rappler.com