PNP admits breakdown of discipline among ranks

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday admitted that the involvement of several policemen in recent criminal incidents is an indication that there is a breakdown of discipline among organization.

PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo said such trend is “alarming and must be corrected immediately.”

“There’s a serious breach and breakdown of discipline and the PNP is deeply concerned with the number of policemen involved in criminal incidents,” Bacalzo said.

For the past six weeks, at least 14 policemen, mostly rookies, were implicated in criminal incidents such as kidnap-for-ransom activities, rapes and other abuses.

“I would like to assure the public that the PNP will not tolerate this breach of discipline and violation of public trust,” Bacalzo said. “But in fairness to the commanders on the ground, they have taken steps to address these.”

“Most of the grave misconduct incidents were committed by new recruits, so we need to revisit our recruitment process and we have to ensure a complete background check on them (recruits),” he said.

The Program Management Office (PMO) of PNP has been directed to review the recruitment procedures and will focus on the mental fitness of those who are aspiring to enter police service.

Bacalzo added that all erring policemen, especially those involved in criminal incidents, should be detained at the municipal, city or provincial jails instead of being placed under police custody.

“This is to assure that there will be no whitewashing in our investigation and they (erring policemen) should be treated as common violators. Police stations are not detention cells,” Bacalzo said.

The PNP chief added that they will implement a three-strike police in which police station chiefs and precinct commanders would be relieved immediately if three of their subordinates are accused of committing grave misconduct. Anthony Vargas

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