INTERIOR and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año vowed anew on Sunday, January 12 to weed out the national police agency of erring policemen who continue to taint the image of the Philippine National Police (PNP) amid the controversies it involves.
Año made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte said he would cleanse the PNP first before appointing a new chief PNP.
He instructed Año to lead the cleansing.
“I will make sure the scalawags in the PNP organization are weed out. We will continue to do until the last scalawag is out. It is very important to get the trust and confidence of the public and we can only do so if we get rid of rotten eggs,” Año said.
“The PNP is really doing good in its campaign against illegal drugs and criminality. Unfortunately may kaunting sumisira ng imahe at ito ang tatanggalin natin,” he added.
It has already been two months since there is no regular chief PNP. It was when then PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde relinquished his post over implication on the ninja cops.
Duterte appointed Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa on an officer-in-charge capacity.
He earlier said he wants Año to supervise the PNP.
"(With) Año who supervises the (PNP), the police would be more equipped with the powers under the law to effect the changes. I want those tainted or those who have records about drugs, out. Due process din (We will give them due process). We'll have an investigation,” said Duterte.
For his first plan for the PNP, Año said he ordered them to go back to basics in which they should instill professionalism and discipline among their ranks.
“Well the site of a policeman will command respect and confidence from the public but for the criminal to tremble in fear. Ibig sabihin physically fit, strong with moral courage at gumagawa ng tama,” he said.
“Then on our campaign against drugs, criminality, violent extremism and communist insurgency we will be the strongest partner of other agencies especially in the national task force to end local communist armed conflict. On illegal
drugs we will reassess our performance for the last years and for 2019, we will reassess and then we will adjust our strategy,” he added.
Año admitted that it is a challenge for the PNP to refute the claims of Vice President Leni Robredo that the war in drugs is a failure.
Meanwhile, Año said he wants the PNP to pick only the best and brightest applicants to fill the police force's 17,000 vacancies.
Año said the PNP should ensure a stringent recruitment and hiring process where those who are not mentally and physically fit for the PNP are weeded out and only the "crème de la crème" (very best) will be chosen.
“The cleansing program should already begin in the hiring. It will save the police organization from a lot of headaches later on if we do the hiring and recruitment process properly and seriously,” Año said.
Stressing that their salaries have been double by President Duterte, Año said aspiring police officers should have excellent capabilities and the heart for public service.
“The days of ‘mahina utak nito, magpulis ka na lang’ (Your mind is week so you should just become a police officer) is over. We want the best in our law enforcement agencies ,” he stressed.
Also, he warned ranking officials not to use the "bata-bata" system or there will be sanctions meted out to offenders.
“Huwag ninyong pansinin kung may backer man na mataas na opisyal o kaya bata-bata ng mga nakakataas. Kahit sino pa ang kamag-anak o kakilala ng magpupulis, kung hindi naman siya qualified, hindi siya dapat maging pulis (Don't mind those who have ties with ranking officials or pets of those who are in position. Even if they are relatives of anyone in the police force, if they are not qualified, they cannot become police officers),” he noted.
He also said the process should be transparent from day one in all stages of the recruitment process to prevent any irregularities. (SunStar Philippines)