Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. is already under pressure barely two weeks into his reign, as 92 robbery-extortion cases filed against police officers in July alone cast doubt on his reform program.
According to Inquirer, Azurin on Wednesday (August 17) warned police commanders to discipline their personnel or face the sack. "If you are not going to do your job, then the entire station or substation will be relieved and they will be replaced with more responsible and accountable PNP personnel."
He added, "Instilling discipline is a routinary action that must (take) priority so we can implant integrity in our work."
Multiple arrests of policemen
On Tuesday, Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (Imeg) personnel arrested Patrolman Jerome Arroyo in Taguig City as part of the PNP’s internal anti-graft efforts
On the same day, Imeg agents also arrested three Manila Police District (MPD) personnel for extortion. Police Staff Sgt. Erwin Licuasen, 34; Cpl. Chimber Importa, 33; and Patrolman Leopoldo Tuazon, 39, are all from the Paco precinct of MPD’s Ermita police station.
The operation resulted from a complaint by a tricycle operator who claimed his driver was arrested and his tricycle impounded on Sunday. Newly installed MPD director Brig. Gen. Andre Dizon subsequently relieved the entire Paco precinct force, including its commander, Maj. Jomar Ermino.
Imeg conducts law enforcement operations against active PNP personnel, as well as dismissed and retired officers involved in any illegal activities such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, and financial crimes.
Earlier, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has lauded the newly-installed police chief's pronouncement that it plans to reform the police ranks, and called on him to collaborate with to help nurture a “more compassionate police force.”
“CHR looks forward to its translation to human rights-based policing where due process consistently prevails and violence is significantly reduced, if not totally eliminated,” CHR’s Executive Director, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said.
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