Why rookie cops turn badBy Jamie Marie Elona
MANILA, Philippines—Misbehaviour of newbie police officers of the Philippine National Police cannot be attributed to low salary pay, but to bad upbringing, a PNP spokesman said Monday.
In the face of grave misconduct cases committed by Police Officer 1 and Police Officer 2-ranking cops, Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the PNP will be “stricter” in the process of the neuro psychological test and in the selection of recruits to the police force, as part of the possible reforms that may be implemented in the employment process to reduce the number of errant rookie officers.
“Perhaps we have to be more diligent in background checking… where they came from, scrutinize their records and conduct thorough check of their character before they entered the force,” he said.
From January to May 2012, Superintendent Jose Rayco, acting chief of the Internal Affairs Service Intelligence and Investigation Division, said a total of 404 new complaints against police officers have been filed before them. He said 77.8 percent involved grave misconduct, followed by neglect of duty with 7 percent, and irregularity in the performance of duty with 4.3 percent.
Figures for cases involving newbie officers were not available.
Asked of what grave misconduct cases would cover, Attorney Raymundo Dingsay of IAS’ chief prosecution division, said these are robbery, extortion, murder, kidnapping—cases with criminal liability that violates the Revised Penal Code.
Cerbo said these criminal behaviours cannot be caused by money problems as college-graduate policemen receive “decent” salary.
He said higher ranking officers receive roughly P20,000 per month (including benefits and other perks), while Police Officer 1-ranking cops receive P16,000 to P18,000 a month.
“The pay is good compared to other public servants. So it’s not about money. Perhaps the problem lies in moral values, and character,” Cerbo said.
To this, PNP chief, Director General Nicanor Bartolome, has advised officials from the upper echelon of leadership to mediate and monitor the development of its personnel and exercise leadership by example.