The death of policing as a profession in the Philippines

The long-suffering and long-criticized police officers suddenly found meaning in their police work, though clearly ill-advised – they can now brutally kill a town mayor who, for years, had maligned their occupation. Police morale is high, though clearly misguided – they can count on a president who promised immunity while they aggressively and violently performed their perceived righteous duties as police officers.

While we cannot begrudge the intentions of the President, a drug-free and crime-free Philippines, he has transformed the police into the biggest criminal institution in the Philippines. Professional police officers, those who were successfully trained and educated in the proper legal and moral police work, are stymied by the sudden but mistaken boost of morale of their fellow police officers.

Instructors and mentors in the PPSC, PNPA and PNTI can only lament this in frustration – these are not what they taught in the academy and training center. The top brass of the PNP, those who have remaining qualms about where the PNP is headed, are intimidated; else they will be transferred to low-prestige assignments, bypassed in promotions, or suspected of being drug protectors themselves.

Individual police officers are either forced to quit the police profession or to join the slaughter of their fellow Filipinos. While there are many good men and women in the PNP, product of years of painstaking reforms, they cannot do anything about the moral erosion of their profession. Philippine policing is systemically and systematically perverted. Filipino taxes are used as salaries of the organized scalawags.

The Filipino people have the misguided belief that this is the rebirth of Filipino policing. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. This is the death of policing as a profession in the Philippines. –

The author teaches Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice at Southern Illinois University. In 2014, he conducted a survey on the state of police professionalism in the Philippines. He also regularly conducts training for the police and other law enforcement agencies on a voluntary service. He can be reached at