A party-list legislator on Friday advised the police leadership to focus on ridding their ranks of scalawags and misfits instead of running after couples who publicly display affection.
Rep. Jericho Nograles of the Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list group finds it absurd for the PNP to prioritize the restrictions on couples.
“Physical distancing is a collective effort in the fight against the virus, but the men and women of the PNP have bigger fish to fry. The top brass should review their priorities,” Nograles said.
“What is happening with our PNP? There are more immediate and pressing matters other than running after couples. The security guards and the Barangay tanods are already actively reminding people of physical distancing.”
Nograles says the image of the Philippine National Police is at its all-time low because of the series of scandals involving police personnel.
He reminded the PNP that only a few days ago, policemen were involved in the killing of Mayor Ronald Aquino of Calbayog City but instead of taking the necessary action to get into the bottom of the incident, the PNP leadership immediately declared that it was a shootout.
A few weeks ago, the PNP was also involved in a questionable armed encounter with operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. Several months ago, the PNP was involved in shooting Army intelligence officers in Sulu and in the shooting of a discharged Army corporal in Quezon City.
“Unless the top brass wants the people to fear the police instead of seeing them as professional public servants, then the PNP has to take action against scalawags and misfits,” Nograles said.
Nograles, the principal author of House Bill 3065, otherwise known as the Internal Affairs Reform and Reorganization Act to provide the IAS full autonomy in the investigation and prosecution of police scalawags, serves as a Member of the National Advisory Council on PNP Internal Affairs.
“I am happy to report that the House Committee on Public Order and Safety is pushing hard on the reforms in our police ranks and is prioritizing the reform of the internal affairs service. At least we have a chance to legislate before the PNP completely loses its credibility as a professional law enforcement organization,” he said
“The present Internal Affairs Service has zero backlog in cases against police officers, but sadly, the recommendations to reprimand, fire, and file criminal and administrative cases are only recommendatory and not entirely independent of the PNP,” Nograles said.