The Philippine National Police’s new chief, Nick Bartolome, will accept complaints from ordinary citizens against abusive policemen if the cops’ superiors don’t discipline them.
Bartolome made the announcement when I interviewed him on my program TNT (Target ni Tulfo) at Radyo Inquirer-DZIQ on Monday.
Bartolome said he would entertain complaints against corrupt and abusive cops when aggrieved citizens are ignored by police authorities.
I brought up the topic of abusive cops because my program, “Isumbong Mo kay Tulfo” that precedes TNT, has received numerous complaints against policemen.
One such complaint involves the PNP’s foot-dragging in the case of a Manila policeman who shot dead a vacationing Norwegian-Filipino who was pacifying a man who was beating up a woman on the street.
The policeman, Police Officer 1 Harold Meneses, is in hiding and it seems the PNP is not interested in looking for him.
Bartolome said he would order Meneses’ arrest.
Another complaint I received as host of “Isumbong” concerns PO2 Rogelio de la Torre who allegedly manhandled a 13-year-old student on the campus of the Paco Catholic School.
The victim was reportedly involved in a tiff with a classmate who turned out to be a cousin of De la Torre.
Still another example of abuse of power by policemen is a complaint against PO1 Princeton Felia, PO1 John Patrick Rosales and PO1 Louie Aban who held a whole barangay in Sta. Ana, Manila, in the grip of terror while they were drunk.
Bartolome vowed to deal with corrupt policemen with an iron hand as he had done when he was director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
In the six months that he was NCRPO chief, Bartolome said he dismissed more than 70 policemen for various cases of misconduct.
* * *
If you become victim of an abusive cop, I invite you to come to our office at Radyo Inquirer-DZIQ.
Our address is Media Resource Plaza Bldg., Mola Street corner Pasong Tirad Street, Barangay La Paz, Makati City.
Radyo Inquirer is two blocks away from the Philippine Daily Inquirer offices and a few steps away from Shopwise on Chino Roces Avenue (formerly Pasong Tamo).
Our landline numbers are 890-890-25-83 and 576-58-55 and cellphones 0921-238-6423, 0919-432-4745, 0926-822-2631 and 0929-764-9046.
My “Isumbong” staff will listen and attend to your complaint if it is valid.
* * *
Even after typhoon “Ondoy,” which flooded most of Metro Manila two years ago, we haven’t learned our lesson.
The floods were caused by garbage that clogged esteros, canals and other waterways.
We are inviting another Ondoy deluge because we still throw garbage in our waterways.
When the Metro Manila Development Authority cleaned up waterways in the metropolis recently, it collected garbage enough to fill three Olympic-size pools.
Metro Manila is a huge garbage bin because many of its residents live like pigs.
Even pigs would be insulted—when they are compared with some Metro residents.
* * *
So what does the government do to prevent another Ondoy?
Demolish all the squatter shanties on the banks of esteros and other waterways.
Resettle the squatters in areas where they would have a confined epidemic if they don’t clean up their environment.
Entire neighborhoods that throw their garbage in the esteros and canals should be penalized by having them clean up the dirty waterways.
Even those in the community who don’t throw their garbage in the esteros should be included on the list of violators and punished for condoning their neighbors’ behavior.