Rookie cops facing corruption allegations reach 70%

MANILA, Philippines — Some policemen continue to be involved in various corrupt practices such as extortion. And most of them have the rank of Police Officer One or PO1.

Out of more than 180,000 uniformed PNP personnel, over 75,000 are ranked PO1.

Data from the PNP Internal Affairs Service show at least 70 percent of the rookie policemen or those with PO1 to PO3 ranks are facing administrative charges.

In 2015, police officers with PO1 and PO3 ranks topped the list of 700 charged cops, ranking from PO1 up to police superintendent.

In 2016, out of the more than 400 accused, nearly 150 bore PO1 ranks.

And last year, over 100 PO1s were among the 1,000 policemen who faced charges.

Data from the NAPOLCOM in 2016 showed that of the 4,000 rookie cops with pending cases, 1,000 of them were PO1s.

Where does the problem lie when they are supposed to be the most disciplined officers as they just got out of the six-month-long training?

When the salary of the PO1s was raised to 100 percent this January, PNP chief PDG Ronald Bato dela Rosa hoped that PO1s would no longer be involved in corrupt practices.

But just this Tuesday, the Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) nabbed several rookie cops for allegedly extorting money from motorists passing through a checkpoint in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.

For NAPOLCOM vice – chairman, Atty. Rogelio Casurao, doubling the salary will not correct the ways of an erring police officer.

“Will you agree that doubling your salary will make you a better person? Will it change your character? Is that a valid conclusion? For me, the direct effect of this to a cop is that he can now buy things that he wasn’t able to before because of his higher take-home pay,” said Casurao, “but I will not easily agree that he will now become a better policeman than when he was still receiving lower salary before. It remains to be seen.”

He pointed out that plenty of the PO1s are on the front lines so they are the ones who are usually charged.

“PO1s are the ones exposed to the public. They are assigned to patrols. They deal with the community directly, that explains why they are always facing charges,” Casurao said.

“They are the ones involved in various conflicts because that is where there’s actual contact with the community. It’s either you get a direct confrontation with criminality. If there’s interaction there is always a concomitant effect to that.”

But for PNP chief Bato dela Rosa, they need to focus on police training and to do this, the PNP should be given the authority to train police recruits

“We will pray that we will be given again the authority to train police recruits, we will really focus on it,” he said.

At present, the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) handles the training of police recruits and not the Philippine National Police. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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