PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said the recent National Police Commission’s (Napolcom) move to dismiss 75 rogue policemen from the service and penalize 91 others is clear indication that the PNP is indeed ‘very serious’ when it comes to its internal cleansing effort.
“Patunay lamang na gumagana ang mekanismo ng PNP sa pagdidisiplina sa ating kapulisan,” said Gen. Eleazar, an ex-officio member of the Napolcom which issued the resolution against the 166 erring policemen.
The Napolcom said that of the 166, a total of 75 were dismissed from the police force, 48 were given a one-rank demotion while 43 others were suspended from the force, all without pay during the duration of their suspension.
“These 166 police scalawags who were sanctioned are proof that the police organization does not tolerate any wrongdoing or criminal involvement of our men. Lalo na sa Napolcom, hindi nila ito palalagpasin,” Gen. Eleazar said.
The PNP chief assured that the administrative cases lodged against these police scalawags underwent a thorough investigation and that due process was strictly followed.
He also assured the citizenry that the PNP and the Napolcom are strong partners in the government’s continuing no-nonsense effort to rid the 210,000-strong police organization of inept, abusive and corrupt policemen.
“We are targeting to further speed up the process in resolving administrative cases against erring policemen so we could immediately remove misfits who do not deserve to wear the uniform,” Gen. Eleazar said.
“Asahan ng publiko na magpapatuloy ang pagsasampa ng kaso laban sa mga tiwaling pulis at pagsipa sa serbisyo sa mga bugok sa hanay bilang bahagi ng aking commitment na linisin ang PNP,” he added.
The top cop earlier said they have found possible administrative lapses committed by some members of the force in at least 61 anti-narcotics operations since the PNP started waging a war on drugs on orders of President Rodrigo Duterte since July 1, 2016.
“These 61 cases were mentioned by the Inspector General of the PNP Internal Affairs Service during our meeting with Secretary of Justice Menardo I. Guevarra. The PNP-IAS found lapses in those operations prompting them to file administrative charges against the involved policemen,” the top cop told the Journal Group without mentioning any particulars on the 61 cases.
Gen. Eleazar also emphasized that it was President Duterte who instructed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review these cases. “The DOJ has been coordinating with us and we have to support their investigation of all cases conducted by the police which resulted in the death of suspects,” he said.
The PNP chief said that the PNP-IAS since 2016 has been conducting a ‘motu-proprio’ investigation into police operations wherein suspects were killed although thoe probe relies on evidence on hand and the presence of witnesses.
Gen. Sinas, joined by the PNP-IAS chief, lawyer Alfegar Triambulo and the head of the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management had a meeting with Sec. Guevarra to thresh out matters regarding the presidential directive to investigate the killing of suspects in anti-narcotics operations.
“It was the President who gave his instruction to the SOJ so we have to support that,” he said as he vowed to provide records of the investigation conducted on the 61 cases.
“It’s up to the DOJ. But we are giving our full support and coordination in reviewing these cases to show the public that we are not hiding anything, kasi kung puro allegations lang, unfair naman sa PNP,” he said.
According to the PNP chief, they are to provide the DOJ with the records of the investigation including the result of the paraffin and ballistics tests conducted. He added that it will be up for the DOJ to share to the Commission on Human Rights those records.
Gen. Eleazar became the 1st PNP chief under the Duterte administration to order the release of their investigation records to the DOJ saying they are really serious in partnering with the DOJ’s effort to come up with the truth of alleged EJKs or ‘extra-judicial killings’ by members of the police as a result of the Duterte government’s vaunted war on drugs since 2016.
In fact, he said that the PNP and the DOJ are set to sign an agreement pertaining to police cooperation in the department’s probe of so-called EJKs.
He said that the agreements “intend to convey our sincere intention to cooperate in the investigation of so-called extrajudicial killings in the war on drugs.”
Gen. Eleazar said that during his meeting with Guevarra, they discussed the conduct of an investigation into alleged EJKs in the war on drugs.
“I assure our good Justice Secretary that the PNP has no tolerance for rogues, including those who may have committed unjustified killings in the course of anti-illegal drug operations, and that we are serious in cleansing our ranks,” the PNP chief stressed.
He added that cleansing the ranks of police scalawags has been one of his priority campaigns since he assumed the top PNP post.
“Our agencies are committed to address this long-time concern on EJKs and we see the agreement as a step towards further strengthening our ties. Our willingness to open some of our records to the DOJ is already a big development in terms of our relations,” Gen. Eleazar said.
“The DOJ shares the same view and understands why we only allow them access to 61 records of investigation against policemen. It is possible that, in the course of the DOJ’s probe, we can make more records available for its scrutiny,” he added.