MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police Chief Nicanor Bartolome gave Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina to “hit hard on criminal elements” and set deadlines for the new head of the National Capital Region Police Office to resolve pending administrative cases against erring lawmen.
“We want to have a zero backlog solution. We should not be seeing pending [cases],” Bartolome said in his speech during the Change of Command ceremony at the NCRPO Friday.
He said pending administration cases should be resolved within 30 days and those that have yet to be filed to be resolved in 90 days.
“Hit hard on criminal elements,” Bartolome said of the region considered as one of the toughest to manage.
“[The] regional office will definitely be a challenge, but we have to remember that any difficulties you may face may only make you stronger and better,” he said.
Bartolome said that his directive to Espina was not simply because of the recent extortion try by two police officers against Espina’s son but for the rest of the Filipinos who may have suffered the same fate in the hands of lawmen who were supposed to be protecting them.
He said that if such an abusive act was personally witnessed by Espina, “I think others have had the same experience”, stressing that he won’t let the entire police force suffer because of the misdeeds of some.
Bartolome was referring to the extortion attempt by Senior Police Officer 4 Jose dela Peña and Police Officer 3 Resty del Rosario on Espina’s son Tuesday when they demanded P20,000 from him for allegedly engaging in “phone sex”.
Dela Peña and Del Rosario, both of Quezon City Police District’s Mobile Patrol Unit, have since been disarmed and relieved from their posts pending results of an investigation.
Bartolome also ordered Espina to make use of all available resources to keep streets safe from criminal elements.
He also directed the former Highway Patrol Group chief to innovate strategies that would complement those that have been started by his predecessor Police Director Alan Purisima.