By Mar S. Arguelles
LEGAZPI CITY --- Police National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Monday said he would step up his campaign against police scalawags as he renewed his call for police misfits to shape up or face dismissal, suspension or transfer to other areas where they could be more productive.
The PNP is currently intensifying its police internal cleansing program to determine whether every policeman across the country is performing his mandated task well, Dela Rosa said.
The PNP chief said that the cleansing program would be a relentless campaign, “to see what reforms and changes we have made in a span of 12 months.”
Dela Rosa believes that he is the only PNP chief among previous administrations that in the span of 12 months was able to dismiss from the service at least 260 police officers accused of irregularities in the performance of their duties.
“Most of them were sacked due to involvement in illegal drugs; some were “kotong cops”—Hinuburan ko sila ng uniform, they don’t deserve it in the first place,” Dela Rosa said.
“I don’t mind if a police station manned by 20 policemen of which only five would remain and all the rest be dismissed -- what I would like to see is the quality of their work and their commitment rather than quantity with little impact to the service,” Dela Rosa claimed.
As this developed, Dela Rosa urged the police community to collaborate with local leaders and the community in weeding out police scalawags.
He doesn’t mind if his critics keep saying that throwing “bad eggs” (police scalawags) to other areas would not be productive as it would only cause another problem in the area.
“So far the system of deployment is working – the records are on the downtrend,” he said. He was referring to the reassignment of erring policemen wherein those from Luzon are deployed in Mindanao provinces with problematic peace and order situation and vice versa.
The system of police reassignment is a reformatory process wherein a bad policeman will disrupt his momentum in further committing more wrongdoings in his line of duty as a law enforcer, he said.
Dela Rosa on Monday led the turnover rites at Police Camp Gen. Simeon Ola here, where Police Chief Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe received his mandatory retirement order.
Buenafe, a native of Naga City, is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class. He was replaced by his mistah Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola, Jr., former National High Patrol Group Director, also a native of Naga City.
Dela Rosa in his keynote speech said that the region was lucky to have Bicolano police officials running the PNP regional office. “This has been a long practice of succession where Bicolanos are at the helm.”
He cited at least seven Bicolano police generals. They were: Generals Calleja, DeLos Santos, Guinto, Deona, Marquez, Buenafe and now, Gardiola. Incidentally, too, the latter two police officers, including Guinto, are alumni of the Ateneo de Naga High School.