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PNP chief bent on weeding out thousands of rogue cops

By Mar Serrano and Connie Destura LEGAZPI CITY ---- Police Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said he would get rid of 3,500 rogue policemen who are tarnishing the good image of the Philippine National Police (PNP). Dela Rosa, in an interview Friday last week, said, “I will make sure that the days of these police scalawags would end soonest, as the police internal cleansing process is ongoing in full speed.” “We will try our best to cleanse our ranks as I have said before; it cannot be done overnight or weeks, months or a year,” he said. Dela Rosa said measures have been instituted to address the problem on police scalawags but he lamented that “we have already passed the one-year period but there are still cops who [continue to] commit wrongdoings.” The PNP chief said that of the 175,000-strong police force in the country, around 2 percent or 3,500 are considered police scalawags and these are mostly based in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. The number of cases against bad cops is still insignificant although being magnified by people who are opposed to the campaign to cleanse the PNP of scalawags, specifically with regard the government’s war against drugs, Dela Rosa said. Dela Rosa cited the purging of close to 300 policemen who are facing charges or found to have committed misconduct. “Those cops involved in grave misconduct, we make it clear that they would no longer be admitted back to the service,” he said. He even cited the case of the 1,000 policemen in Caloocan City who were removed from the station and told to undergo retraining and be reassigned to other stations in Metro Manila. Asked what would be the impact of the dismissal of thousands of recidivist cops to the entire PNP organization, Dela Rosa said 2 percent is insignificant but would be very significant on the quality of service it has to deliver to the public. Dela Rosa, who led the 116th Police Service Anniversary celebration here, urged his men to practice what he called “Kuyogin ang Police” meaning “discipline or police your own ranks”. Anti-drug campaign When asked if there are organizations out to sabotage the government’s campaign against drugs, he said there are unconfirmed reports that certain people are making moves to disrupt the fight against this menace. “I still have to validate whether there are indeed people orchestrating this or maybe, these people are manipulated to go against the campaign – ang drug problem na ito ay gamitan,” Dela Rosa said. EU human rights issue When asked to comment on the statement of the European Union Human Rights Council asking the Philippine government to investigate the alleged cases of extra-judicial killing (EJK) in connection with the government campaign against drugs, Dela Rosa said: “They (EU) don’t have to dictate on us what we have to do. Is the Philippines under EU?” “We are doing our job, we are investigating the cases where we have to establish that some of the EJK cases are not drug-related and are personal clashes that are being blamed on the campaign on drugs,” he said. According to Dela Rosa, the government’s campaign against drugs is certainly destroying the illegal business of drug lords, and “they won’t take this sitting down because they are losing billions of pesos so they wanted the campaign to fail.”

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