Rookie policemen undergo drug education | Inquirer News

Rookie policemen undergo drug education

/ 03:08 AM September 26, 2016

CALAMBA CITY—Drug education will become part of courses being taught at police training facilities, as the number of deaths involving policemen as suspects continues to rise under President Duterte’s intensified campaign to rid the country of illegal drugs.

Interior Undersecretary John Castriciones said the government, through the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC), will incorporate subjects tackling the drug menace in training police officers.

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“This is to address the need of our policemen for a deeper understanding of the [drug] problem and at the same time, address allegations that our [law enforcers] are not knowledgeable enough in handling [drug operations],” Castriciones said in a recent visit here.

The PPSC, under its president, retired police Deputy Director General Ricardo de Leon, is a civilian organization that oversees the training curriculum of all uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police, as well as of the fire prevention and jail management bureaus.

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Under the PPSC are the Philippine National Police Academy in Silang town in Cavite province, an institution that produces police officers with the rank of major, and the National Police Training Institute (NPTI). The NPTI, with headquarters at Camp Vicente Lim here, recruits and trains about 7,300 a year to become noncommissioned personnel with the rank of Police Officer 1 (PO1).

In 2014, Sen. Grace Poe filed a bill that sought the transfer of the training supervision from PPSC to the PNP.

Lower ranks

Chief Supt. Jose Erwin Villacorte, NPTI director, said the institute’s officials will add more subjects on illegal drugs to enhance the existing curriculum for new policemen.

This, he said, was in line with the antidrug program of the Duterte administration.

The police recruitment process was brought up during the Senate inquiry into extrajudicial killings as recent incidents of questionable drug operations involved lower-ranked policemen.

Senate witnesses had also implicated low-ranking policemen as suppliers of illegal drugs.

“Everything being taught here is ‘by the book,’ [meaning] we do not teach anything that is not right,” Villacorte said during the 25th anniversary of the NPTI early this month, where Castriciones was guest.

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“There are, however, several factors that affect a policeman’s performance once he joins the force. Maybe because of peer pressure or, sometimes, the influence of his own commander,” Villacorte said.

He said they would invite personnel from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to handle drug education.

“The bulk of PNP [personnel] are [those with the ranks of] PO1 to PO3; they are our frontliners. Naturally, most cases against policemen would involve those from the lower ranks, not necessarily [because of the quality of their training] but because they make up the majority,” Villacorte said.

Castriciones also appealed against the use of “extrajudicial killings,” saying it is a misnomer, especially when drug suspects die in legitimate police operations.

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TAGS: drug education, Illegal drugs, John Castriciones, Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Public Society College, Ricardo de Leon, war on drugs
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