‘Good’ cop in PNP tale hit protesters in 2016
MANILA, Philippines — What should have been a feel-good story to restore public trust on the police had backfired when the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) made the wrong choice of its poster boy for a model officer.
In a statement earlier this week, the NCRPO praised Police Staff Sgt. Franklin Kho, a decorated officer with the Manila Police District (MPD), for using a month’s worth of salary to help the “Hijos del Nazareno” — honor guards of the Black Nazarene image of the Quiapo Church during the annual January traslacion or procession.
As a staff sergeant of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Kho receives a monthly base pay of P32,114. According to the NCRPO, Kho bought and personally donated the equivalent of that amount of food to the “hijos” — 15 boxes of canned goods and nine sacks of rice.
“The hijos were very thankful for the good deed of [Kho] especially now that there is an ongoing pandemic,” the NCRPO said in a statement on Tuesday.
Police Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., the NCRPO chief, commended Kho, noting that his action proved there were still many good police officers in the force.
“I am very pleased with the kindness shown by our colleague who shared his salary with the Hijos of Quiapo who were affected by the current crisis. The hijos provide invaluable help in maintaining order every time we commemorate the Feast of the Nazarene, so it is only right that we should remember them in this situation,” Danao said.
“This is another proof that not all police officers stray from the path,” he said.
The statement came after public scrutiny and criticism of the PNP following the brazen killing of a mother and her son by their neighbor, Police Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca in Paniqui, Tarlac. Officials tried to shield the PNP from the brickbats, saying the double murder (or two counts of murder) was an “isolated case.” They asked the public not to attribute the crime committed by one “rotten egg” to the entire organization composed mostly of good police officers.
US Embassy protest rally
While some applauded his charitable deed, others questioned the choice of Kho as a model officer after he had bulldozed and ran over a crowd of protesters using a police van during a rally in front of the US Embassy on Oct. 19, 2016. Dozens were injured in the potentially fatal action by the officer.
At that time, Kho, said he only hit the demonstrators by accident as he tried to drive the police vehicle away from them. He had claimed his life was threatened by the protesters who were allegedly trying to take seize the van.
After the incident, Kho and eight other officials of the MPD were relieved from their posts and were placed under restrictive custody at the NCRPO personnel holding and accounting unit at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City pending an investigation.
The Inquirer asked the MPD when Kho was reinstated but officials did not immediately reply to the query.
‘Kuliglig’ drivers’ barricade
It was not the first time that Kho used a police vehicle in responding to protesters. In December 2010, Kho used a police truck to crash into a barricade put up by “kuliglig” (motorized rickshaw) drivers on Padre Burgos Street near the Manila City Hall. The drivers were then protesting an order by then-Mayor Alfredo Lim banning three-wheeled vehicles from the capital’s main roads.
“If anyone asks, no, Franklin Kho is not a ‘good cop.’ In fact, he might be one of the worst; he pretends to be good but will kill you in the blink of an eye,” said Adrian Puse, a staffer of Altermidya, an alternative media network which covered the police violence in 2016.
“Is it still an isolated incident if it involved a repeat offender? Seems to me that the only thing ‘isolated’ here is the Philippine National Police; isolated as the [No. 1] criminal gang in the country,” he said on Twitter on Wednesday.
In a post on the NCRPO’s Facebook page on the same day, a man advised Kho: “You’re a good cop now? Stay that way and don’t repeat your offenses.”
That post was later removed, but it could not be immediately determined who deleted it.
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