The Philippine National Police is recruiting 17,000 aspirants this year to replace scalawag cops as part of internal cleansing efforts, PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said.
The new PNP chief also ordered a reshuffle in 11 key positions. Southern Police District director Brig. Gen. Eliseo Cruz was transferred to Police Regional Office 4A (Calabarzon) as its new director, replacing Brig. Gen. Felipe Natividad who was moved to the Special Action Force as its new head. Brig. Gen. Nelson Bondoc was assigned as the new director of Police Regional Office 4B (Mimaropa).
“The internal cleansing will start with the recruitment of 17,000 policemen this year. We want to get rid of corruption and the padrino system,” Eleazar said in an interview with Dobol B TV.
“Our problems are rooted with unqualified cops – those who kill recklessly, those who commit crimes even against their own relatives. In the first place, they should not have been allowed to join the police force if they were screened properly during the recruitment process,” he added.
Eleazar said this year's recruitment will use the QR code system to avoid patronage where personal ties or friendships are able to influence the outcome of applications.
Under the QR code, the applicant's name and photograph will not be displayed.
Eleazar also promised to hasten the investigation on rogue policemen.
“They should be placed under preventive suspension so due process can be observed. A lot are aspiring to join the PNP and replace these scalawags so we will not think twice about replacing them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Eleazar said they are waiting for the Supreme Court to approve the protocols that will guide law enforcers on the proper use of body-worn cameras in their operations.
Eleazar said the use of body cameras will not only improve police operations but will protect both the law enforcers and the people, particularly the target of the search warrant.
The PNP early this year acquired 2,696 body-worn cameras and their associated systems from San Juan City-based EVI Distribution Inc.
Each major police station will be given 16 body cameras, eight of which will be used by patrolling operatives while the remaining eight will be reserved for other operations.
The cameras will be equipped with SIM cards that will be used to feed videos to the PNP Command Center.
The body cameras are waterproof and can record video for up to eight hours.
The officers wearing them cannot interfere with its configuration and they cannot turn those off while on duty.
Eleazar said the body cameras have already been distributed in the city police stations.