PNP’s culture of impunity continues
"Not even a pandemic can overshadow these deeds."
Unfortunately, not quite a few policemen have managed to blacken the image of Philippine National Police (PNP) yet again.
Instead of putting their lives on the line to serve and protect the public, they have shamelessly shown the culture of impunity and corruption.
Who can forget the agonizing wait for President Duterte to replace the former Chief PNP in the wake of the “Ninja cops” scandal that shamelessly undermined the vaunted anti-illegal drugs drive “Tokhang” and “Double-Barrel”?
That’s not to mention the cold-blooded murder of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo inside the Camp Crame, a tokhang turned kidnap-for-ransom case.
But the PNP’s darkest days, which would have been chronicled only in the defunct primetime TV series Ang Probinsyano, continued to these days of worst socio-economic crisis.
Don’t tell me they’re waiting again for the President himself to straighten up a rotten PNP. Or are they waiting for the next Chief PNP to be able to lead by example?
In April, there was the murder of retired Army corporal Winston Ragos, an unarmed mentally disturbed anti-terrorist war veteran who was shot to death like a sitting duck by a trigger-happy police sergeant after walking past a checkpoint in Quezon City.
Instead of leading by example, we have PNP officials exempting themselves from the Community Quarantine rules right inside Camp Bagong Diwa, a public facility, holding a mańanita party for P/Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas’ birthday last May 8.
Over two weeks ago, four Army plainclothes agents were massacred by nine policemen in Jolo, Sulu totally without provocation.
It turned out the military intelligence agents were in pursuit of a notorious Abu Sayyaf bomb expert and two recruits when they were waylaid by the policemen.
Three of the soldiers came out of their SUV with hands up when they were mowed down mercilessly by the cops. The fourth soldier was still inside the van holding a laptop computer when he was shot to death.
It appears that the cops were protecting known terrorist Mundi Sawadjaan whose group is believed responsible for the January 2019 bombing of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, killing 21 people and injuring 100 others.
Last week, two Cabugao, Ilocos Sur policemen, Sergeants Randy Ramos and Marawi Torda, abducted two girls, aged 15 and 18, on the pretext of lockdown violation. Instead of taking them to the precinct, the cops sexually assaulted the girls.
When the rapist cops learned that one of the girls reported the incident at another police station, they shot and killed her.
In another incident, a “business-minded” Mabalacat, Pampanga PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG) P/Cpl. Francisco Garao was caught selling P70,000 worth of shabu to PNP anti-drugs agents.
Still another incident caught on video is that of a policeman manhandling, grabbing a motorcyclist by his hair for no apparent reason. This went viral on social media.
In Bulacan, PNP Provincial Director Col. Lawrence Cajipe has ordered three Norzagaray policemen relieved of their duties for the wrongful arrest and false charges of robbery against a garbage collector who was later freed.
Cajipe said his men were wrong and now face administrative and criminal charges for the illegal detention and alleged torture of the garbage collector.
We need PNP officials like Cajipe and P/General Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the PNP directorial staff, who lead by example. Perhaps, things will be better for the 120,000-strong PNP.
These lamentable incidents are but a few of the symptoms of a moral breakdown in the PNP, a continuing culture of impunity which sadly not even the worst crisis as COVID-19 pandemic can possibly overshadow.
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