CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna, Philippines ? The Calabarzon regional police office has tapped religious pastors to counsel policemen stressed by work to prevent a repeat of the cases of "amok" attacks by cops.
Chief Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao Jr., regional police director for the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon region, said at least two religious pastors would be placed at the police offices in the region to provide spiritual counseling and stress debriefing to the policemen.
?Based on our experience, police officers are usually hesitant, perhaps embarrassed, to discuss their personal or domestic problems with their superior officers. We saw them to be more comfortable opening up with spiritual counsels,? Pagdilao said by phone on Wednesday.
The program is part of the police?s Integrated Transformation Program (ITP), to be applied first time in this region.
?This is very timely after the latest incidents in Laguna and Batangas. Imagine it?s our own cops involved in the shooting spree,? Pagdilao said.
On Sunday evening, Senior Police Officer 1 Julian Atienza, 48, who was assigned in Calamba City, Laguna, allegedly shot dead Jennyfer Manaig, 29.
Manaig was reportedly fixing her motorcycle in front of her home when Atienza, irritated by the fact that Manaig took up the parking space, shot the victim in the neck.
In the evening of the same day in Lipa City, Batangas, Police Officer 3 Roman Kasilag shot manicurist Roselle Maluan several times for no apparent reason.
Pagdilao immediately ordered the summary dismissal of the two policemen, who are now detained at their respective city police offices awaiting criminal charges.
?The moral transformation is the most important component of the ITP. There has to be a change in the mindset (of police officers),? he said.
He said the trauma and stress experienced by policemen at work and their domestic problems could drive them to violent outbursts.
Pagdilao said the volunteer pastors would focus on counseling and not on preaching doctrine so as not to offend religious sensibilities and differences.