Acorda wants ‘honest-to-goodness’ counter-intel to unmask scalawags

April 28, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 217 views

A TRUE-BLUE intelligence officer, new Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr. wants an “honest-to-goodness” counter-intelligence to ferret out rogues in uniform or “scalawags” this time.

The member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Sambisig” Class of 1991 was the PNP Director for Intelligence (PNP-DI) before he was appointed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. as the 29th PNP chief, actually, the 2nd top cop to be designated by the Commander-in-Chief after now retired Gen. Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr.

In an ABS-CBN interview, the PNP chief appealed to his men to document the irregular activities of their superiors, noting that a good “counter-intelligence” would help them really cleanse their ranks, specifically of those involved in illegal drugs and other corrupt activities.

“Kailangan ng pagkakaisa, even the lowest, kahit yung mga juniors na mga PNP officers. Yung mga tinuruan natin sa Intelligence Training Group, yung mga Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCO) ang sabi ko, ‘let us use, yung counter-intelligence work’, so yung ating kapulisan, kung may ginagawang katiwalian yung ating superiors o head officers, please, let us document that,” he said.

Acorda, at the same time, appealed to the public to do the same and send their reports directly to him. “Huwag pong matakot, magsumbong po tayo sa ating kapulisan. Send the letters to me, and I will have these validated,” he said.

The PNP chief said that documented “misbehavior” by some police personnel will be thoroughly taken cognizance by the PNP Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) and the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) which he briefly headed.

Acorda also made it clear that they would only name high-ranking PNP officials found to have drug links only once criminal and administrative complaints have been filed against them formally.

The PNP chief had said he is against the idea of subjecting policemen to “public shaming” without any formal charges against them to prevent influencing public opinion and noting that these officers have also served the country.

“Ang nasa usapan namin is, we will only name names once the case is filed. Habang hindi pa na-file ang kaso, medyo para sa protection din nila kasi kailangan maging maingat tayo diyan. May pamilya din yan, kamag-anak. Kahit papaano ay nag-render ng service sa kapulisan,” he explained.

The 5-Man Advisory Group created by President Marcos Jr. to screen 3rd-Level PNP Officers who submitted their courtesy resignations to him last January cleared 917. However, a total of 36 will be subjected to a thorough study by the National Police Commission (Napolcom).

Acorda said he has ordered all 17 PNP Regional Directors to further step-up their campaign against rogue PNP personnel in their areas.

However, he maintained that there are just a few scalawags in the 228,000-strong police force who should be identified and expelled.

“I intend to conduct really kung sino po ‘yung mga nasa listahan at ayaw magbagong-buhay, ay talagang ooperate-an na natin. That is what I’m urging. Noong mineet natin ‘yung regional directors, ‘yan ang hiniling ko sa kanila – that the command responsibility, sa bawat paglilinis sa bawat level, is dapat masusunod,” he said.