PNP to stop turning cops into sitting ducks in fitness tests
CAMP DANGWA, Benguet – The Philippine National Police may do away with physical fitness tests in combat zones, at least for older policemen, and instead require them to undergo executive medical examinations to spare them from rebel attacks, Director General Alan Purisima, PNP chief, said here on Thursday.
Purisima said he was initiating changes following the May 27 ambush by communist rebels on a group of policemen traveling to Cagayan province to undergo medical examinations.
He also said he realized the PNP gave more attention to fitness tests instead of its personnel’s health.
“I do not see the reason why policemen are being tested for their fitness to run,” Purisima said on Thursday when he oversaw the turnover of command of the Cordillera regional police.
“Many policemen end up being harmed,” he said. “I don’t see the logic of having that test [in combat areas],” he added.
Purisima recalled the ambush by communist guerrillas in Abra province of a group of policemen belonging to the Special Action Force that was on its way to have the policemen undergo ECG (electrocardiogram) tests.
Purisima said eight policemen were killed in that attack while seven others were wounded. Their firearms and other belongings were taken by the rebels, he said.
In June, NPA rebels again attacked a group of police trainees jogging outside their training camp in Tadian town, Mt. Province.
Purisima said policemen should not be compelled to undergo mandatory medical exams and fitness tests in combat areas, so he would initiate reforms. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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