LEGAZPI CITY --- The top official of the Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5) has ordered the speedy resolution of complaints filed by the spouses of policemen before the Regional Women’s Desk Office (RWDO) and Regional Internal Affairs Service (RIAS) at PRO5’s headquarters in Camp Simeon Ola here.
Chief Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, PRO5 director, said he issued the order because every personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has an obligation not only to secure peace and order but also to become role model of “clean living” in their communities so they could gain the respect and support of their fellow citizens in various PNP programs.
Sr. Insp. Ma.Luisa Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson, said data from October 14, 2014 up to the present show that there have been
15 cases of grave misconduct filed by the spouses of Bicol policemen that constitute violations of Republic Act (RA) 9262.
RA 9262 or “The Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004” defines various violent acts or abuses that may be committed by the policemen against their wives and children.
She said the complaints against the policemen range from “abandonment, living in with another woman, claims of financial support, mental and physical abuse, and other forms of domestic abuse.”
“Out of the 15 cases filed before RWDO and RIAS, five cases that involved marital conflict have been resolved,” she added.
Calubaquib said one of the five cases involved a police officer with a rank of Police Officer 3 who was dismissed from PNP service while another case that involved a police officer with a rank of Police Officer 2 was meted with suspension for 90 days.
She said another of the five cases involved a police officer with a rank of Senior Police Officer 1 who was demoted by one rank because of the complaint filed against him.
“The latest case, which involved a Police Officer 2, was resolved after it was dismissed because the erring policeman and his wife have agreed to an amicable settlement,” said Calubaquib.
She said some of the 15 complaints will likely face dismissal proceedings because the complainants had failed to appear in the scheduled hearings.
“We are presuming that the complainants and the respondents agreed to settle the complaints outside of the RWDO and RIAS or have decided to live with each other again,” she said.
Calubaquib said the recent cases of violence committed by some police officers against their wives prompted PRO5 to implement a program called “Men Opposing Violence Everywhere,” or MOVE, in all provincial police offices and PNP stations in the Bicol region.
“These police officers, who are facing charges with regards to violation of RA 9262 were obliged to join MOVE and automatically undergo seminars and workshops,” she said.
Calubaquib said MOVE was able to gain support from media, non-government organizations and other government agencies in facilitating the seminars and workshops.
Last year, Chief Insp. Arthur Gomez, who is the “regional focal person” for MOVE, was able to visit and organize the men in all PNP stations in the Bicol region regarding MOVE’s objectives.
He said the trainings and workshops tackled how the policemen could take care of the welfare of their families and avoid domestic violence.
“We trained them also how to investigate and deal with cases of domestic violence in their areas of responsibility,” said Gomez.
Buenafe said he ordered a speedy resolution to the pending cases because he believes that policemen should be able to uphold strong family ties.
“This is one way of the policemen gaining the love and respect of the community,” he said.
Buenafe said this would in turn lead to the community’s “unconditional support” to every program initiated by the PNP.
He added that a happy PNP officer with strong family ties tends to be more very effective in performing his duty and becomes more immune against vices and is likely not to engage in corrupt activities.
“Their family serves as an inspiration in doing good and in performing their obligations to the community,” Buenafe said.