THE founding chairman of the Philippine based Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, Dante Jimenez, called on Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno to apply the Duterte administration’s strategy against illegal drugs on the government’s efforts to clean the ranks of the Philippine National Police of scalawags.
This developed after several policemen were tagged as suspects in last year’s slaying of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo inside Camp Crame, the Philippine National Police headquarters. At the same time, Jimenez said, Sueno should investigate reports about the rampant practice of “police recycling” at the National Police Commission which is reportedly the reason behind the “unlimited supply” of rogue policemen.
Jimenez said Sueno, in his capacity as concurrent NAPOLCOM chair, should immediately act on pending cases against policemen in the police commission. He noted that under Republic Act 8551, or the “PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998,” the NAPOLCOM has the authority to conduct pre-charge investigation of police anomalies and irregularities, and summary dismissal of erring police officers.
Jimenez explained that while not all police officers facing cases at NAPOLCOM should be considered rogue, the commission must expedite the resolution of cases to prevent police officers who were really involved in criminal acts from finding means to return to the police service. He added that “police recycling” at the NAPOLCOM is rampant and that it is the reason for the “unlimited supply” of rogue policemen despite efforts to weed them out.
Jimenez, however, failed to provide specific cases of erring policemen who were able to return to service. Nevertheless, he stressed that he has received received credible information that many police officers who have been involved in illegal activities were able to get back to the service after shelling out some cash.
“We called on Secretary Sueno to please look into this issue,” Jimenez said.
At the same time, Jimenez said, the VACC will also ask the House of Representatives and the Senate to investigate, in aid of legislation, the alleged reinstatement scheme at Napolcom.
Meanwhile, Jimenez said Sueno and PNP Director General Ronald de la Rosa and Sueno were partly to be blamed for the presence of “undisciplined” police officers in the PNP because of their failure to clean the rank and file. He said the strategy used in the government’s war against illegal drugs should be applied in the cleansing of the PNP.
“They should allot more attention on these so-called bad eggs. They are part of the cabinet, they are the alter ego of the President, but what are they doing? They are to be blamed,” Jimenez said.
As this developed, the NAPOLCOM, in a statement, denied Jimenez’ allegations that members of the commission are involve in selling reinstatements of policemen with pending cases.
NAPOLCOM Vice Chair and Executive Office Rogelio Casurao cited the commission’s records where it was reported that from 2003 to 2013, the NAPOLCOM rendered decisions on administrative cases filed against 143 PNP members. He noted that of out of this total number of policemen charged, 98 of them were dismissed from service.
“However, NAPOLCOM or Regional Appellate Board decisions dismissing a PNP member from the service are not final, though executory, since they are appealable to the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government or Civil Service Commission as the case may be. Decisions may be further appealed to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court,” Atty. Casurao explained.
He noted that the records also showed that from 1993 to 2012, the Department of Interior and Local Government ordered on appeal the reinstatement of 17 policemen who were earlier dismissed by the NAPOLCOM.
Furthermore, Casurao said, upon the assumption of the new set of Commissioners, the NAPOLCOM was able to dispose of 712 cases in just ten months.
Moreover, Casurao added that in order to expedite the disposition of summary dismissal cases against erring policemen, the present Commission has adopted the following measures: (1) Conduct of regular monthly en banc deliberations instead of the usual practice of ad referendum deliberations; (2) adoption of new set of procedures which do away with trial-type proceedings and which merely mandate the submission of position papers; and (3) the upgrading of present of positions and the creation of new positions to beef-up the manpower complement of the Commission
The NAPOLCOM also encourages the public and media to come forward and provide any information regarding rotten eggs within the police force.
“The NAPOLCOM sees the gravity of the allegations and we at the Commission assure the people that we will not tolerate police officers whose despicable acts smear the image of the PNP,” Casurao said.