Will ‘cop culture’ now change in Caloocan?
A thousand strong police contingent arrived in Caloocan City on Friday to replace a third wave of officers who had been relieved of their posts due to a recent spate of controversial antidrug operations.
At the welcome ceremony, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Director Oscar Albayalde, said the entire city police was revamped “so we can see if (the problem) is really widespread and deep, if it has really become the culture among policemen assigned in Caloocan.”
Replaced by a force from the NCRPO’s Public Safety Battalion, the outgoing Caloocan policemen will undergo a 45-day retraining before they are given new assignments.
Albayalde said those still wondering why the city police had to be sacked en masse should think of the Philippine National Police as a basketball team “where everyone has to be focused.”
Asked in an interview how he viewed a recent Social Weather Stations survey that showed that most Filipinos don’t believe police statements that drug suspects were killed in raids because they were armed and had fought back (nanlaban) to resist arrest, Albayalde said:
“There is a validation being conducted, and based on this validation these people did not stop (their drug-related activities even after surrendering), so the police continued to operate against them.”
He said these suspects thought that surrendering under the Oplan Tokhang campaign would already “remove their names from drug watch lists.”
They continued using drugs instead of entering counseling and rehabilitation programs offered by the local governments, the official added.