Disciplining policemenBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Director General Alan La Madrid Purisima, chief of the Philippine National Police, wants the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), producer of police officers, to be under the supervision of Camp Crame.
The PNPA is the police counterpart of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) where Purisima graduated in 1981.
The Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC), and not the PNP, supervises the PNPA.
On the other hand, the PMA is directly supervised by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
If the PNPA becomes a part of the PNP, its cadets will become disciplined resulting in a more efficient organization, Purisima said.
In an interview with this columnist, Purisima said the PMA and the PNPA have entirely different cultures.
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At the PMA, a cadet is guided by an honor code that teaches him not to lie nor cheat. It also enjoins him to report a fellow cadet who lies or cheat.
A cadet who is found to lie or cheat in his exam or quiz is asked by his own peers to resign. If he doesn’t, he is ostracized by the entire cadet corps.
It’s different at the PNPA where cadets practice “financial whacking,” a form of punishment where an erring junior cadet is ordered by his upperclassmen “to produce money from nothing.”
This form of hazing or punishment among PNPA cadets teaches a future officer of the PNP to steal or borrow money from fellow cadets in order to comply with orders from his superiors.
Financial whacking or hazing is apparently tolerated by the PNPA faculty.
“At the PNPA, we were taught early to be corrupt because of financial hazing, said a PNPA alumnus who is now a superintendent.
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Many new police inspectors who are PNPA graduates are corrupt or abusive because of the peculiar culture at the academy.
In the late 1990s, then Director General Bobby Lastimoso dismissed eight new police inspectors who just graduated from the PNPA.
I reported the eight new officers to Lastimoso for beating up an old woman during a drinking spree.
The old woman, who owned the bar where they were having one drink too many, refused to give them more liquor because they were already drunk and rowdy.
(Unfortunately, due to technical mumbo-jumbo, the eight were eventually reinstated.)
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Director General Purisima told me that if the police academy is out of the PPSC and becomes part of the PNP, he would install an honest and incorruptible PNPA superintendent.
The PNPA superintendent (a position, not rank), should be a graduate of the academy, the PNP chief said.
“But I know of only three PNPA graduates who have the moral qualifications to become academy superintendent,” he said.
Wow! Out of hundreds of PNPA graduates now in the police force only three are qualified to head the academy where they graduated?
That says so much about PNPA graduates and the entire police organization in the country.
No wonder not a single PNPA graduate has become national police chief since the PNPA was founded in the 1980s.
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In a few years, when the last batch of PMA graduates who joined the PNP shall have retired, the police organization will be run entirely by police academy graduates.
Of course, many PMA graduates in the police organization are also corrupt.
But their corruption pales in comparison to that of the PNPA graduates.
If something is not done now to get rid of the culture of corruption at the PNPA, the country will have a police organization that is rotten to the core.
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