Latest Stories


Alan Purisima’s proposal takes life of its own


The proposal of Deputy Director General Alan Purisima, incoming chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), to downgrade the educational qualification of a police candidate from a holder of a college diploma to a high school graduate is favored by the public.

At least, that’s what I gathered from talks with people from different walks of life since the item appeared in On Target on Thursday.

The consensus was that most policemen’s arrogance stems from their being college graduates.

“Hindi ako pinaaral sa kolehiyo ng aking mga magulang para maging utusan (I was not sent to college by my parents to become a servant),” an office employee quoted his policeman-friend as telling him during a drinking session where friends shoot the breeze.

So, why recruit college graduates who regard themselves so highly they hate being ordered around?

Why not recruit high school graduates or college undergraduates who wouldn’t be shy about patrolling the streets on foot, manning traffic and getting wet under the rain?

Most police noncommissioned officers, especially the new ones, think that their college diploma places them on the same level as their superiors.

That line of thinking erases the leader-follower concept in an organization so that there are no leaders and no followers.

Have you seen policemen patrol the streets on foot?

Have you seen a policeman direct traffic?

Have you seen a cop help old people cross the street?

The above-cited tasks are considered beneath a policeman’s “high stature.”

What did he go to college for if he does jobs he considers menial?

That’s the mentality of the ordinary policeman, especially the new ones.

* * *

Lawyer Nelson Borja couldn’t agree with Purisima more on recruiting high school graduates to the PNP.

“In 1968, I joined the PC Metrocom (Philippine Constabulary Metropolitan Command) as a high school graduate,” Borja said.
He said he studied at night after his duty and finished (Bachelor of Science in) Criminology and Law.

“I applied what I learned in school as an investigator and went up the ladder in the organization,” said Borja.

I met Borja when I was a reporter for the Manila Bulletin covering the police beat in 1980. At that time he was still a sergeant in the Metrocom North Sector under Col. Francisco Agudon.

When he finished law he became a lieutenant, but eventually left the force after he passed the bar to go into private law.

Borja, now a successful criminal lawyer, was an example of a cop who started from the bottom and worked his way up the police ladder.

* * *

I would up the ante on Purisima’s proposal: I propose that all cops start from the bottom without exception.

My proposal would do away with the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), where cadets become police inspector (second lieutenant in the Army) upon graduation.

Everybody, without exception, would start as Police Officer I and work his way up to the highest rank of Director General.

Of course, it’s survival of the best.

And since the PNP is a civilian and not a military organization, the President can appoint an outsider as PNP chief like what’s being done in the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The director of the NBI, which is the premier law enforcement organization, is not necessarily a career agent but a presidential appointee.

So, why not do the same thing in the PNP?

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Alan Purisima , Metro , Mon Tulfo , On Target , PNP , Police

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • SMIC to issue P15-B bonds
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • Marketplace