PNP chief keeps 1-strike policy
New Philippine National Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome said he would continue his predecessor’s “one-strike policy” in connection with the illegal numbers racket “jueteng.”
“Definitely (we will continue the policy) because I am already implementing that,” said Bartolome.
Bartolome’s predecessor, Raul Bacalzo Jr., had declared a one-strike policy, which means that a police official would be immediately axed if found to be collaborating with the jueteng syndicate in his area.
Jueteng is a multibillion-peso industry, employing thousands of collectors, mainly in Luzon. It is a source of graft for government officials, including governors, mayors and police officers.
Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, head of the Krusuda ng Bayan Laban sa Jueteng, said on Friday that he did not expect the illegal numbers game to be eradicated under Bartolome’s watch.
Cruz noted that jueteng had been thriving under the cover of the legalized Loterya ng Bayan of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
To critics who doubt his resolve to stamp out the popular numbers game, Bartolome said he had never been involved in jueteng in his years in the police force.
“Ever since I have been against illegal gambling. In the 12 years I had been assigned in Mindanao, we were never involved in illegal gambling. In Luzon, I had ordered my men not to get involved in illegal gambling,” he said.
“I’m warning (jueteng operators). I have not authorized anyone to collect on my behalf. I am against illegal gambling and I will not be on the take from illegal gambling,” he said.
Bartolome said the one-strike policy would also apply to police chiefs found negligent in fighting criminal gangs.
“If something happens in his area and it was proven that the chief or commander in the area did not perform his duty, we will relieve him,” Bartolome said.
A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, Class of 1980, Bartolome will lead the PNP for 18 months until March 16, 2013, when he will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56.
Meanwhile, Bartolome said he would terminate the PNP’s “back-to-basics” retraining program to focus on upgrading the skills of police investigators in fighting cyber crimes and other “high-tech” crimes.
“We have been on `back to basics’ for a while now. Although we are still enhancing the basic knowledge and skills (of police investigators), it’s about time that we level up because of the changing times,” he said.
He said there was a need to develop the competencies of police officers. “We need to enhance their skills and therefore we need to specialize. If we are always focused on the basics, when will we meet the changing times? Criminal elements are into cyber crimes and high tech (crimes),” Bartolome said.
Among his programs is widening the deployment of the tourist police beyond the usual tourist landmarks in the capital.
He said he was thinking of training select police officers in tourist destinations like Baguio and Boracay to be tourist police.
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