PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar on Monday underscored the importance of regular neuro-psychiatric tests on police personnel following an alleged suicide attempt by a police trainee in Rosario, Cavite.
Based on initial reports the 25-year-old police trainee is from the PNP Maritime Group. He was found by his fellow trainees with a gunshot wound at the rooftop of their boarding house last Sunday.
The victim who is said to have a record of depression was rushed to the Divine Grace Hospital where he survived his self-inflicted wound following treatment. An investigation is already underway on how the trainee got hold of the firearm he used in shooting himself.
Gen. Eleazar said that the incident shows why the mental health of PNP personnel must be regularly checked.
“Sa training pa lamang, masasabing hindi na biro ang pinagdadaanan ng mga pulis. This is why I reiterate the importance of subjecting all personnel to neuro-psychiatric tests to determine if they are mentally and emotionally capable of being part of the organization,” the top cop said.
“This kind of test will greatly help in preventing personnel from inflicting harm on themselves or on other people,” he added.
Gen. Eleazar directed the immediate superiors of the police trainee to monitor him closely and extend the assistance he needs.
“Aside from ensuring his treatment in the hospital, it is best that this police trainee be subjected to psychological counseling and evaluation,” he said.
The PNP chief likewise tasked police commanders to strictly monitor the behavior of their men, especially if they are manifesting signs of emotional and mental problems.
“Mental health should not be ignored. Kagaya ng ating pisikal na pangangatawan, kailangan din itong tutukan at pangalagaan,” Gen. Eleazar said.