Revive the Philippine Constabulary
A beat patrolman in uniform firing his gun after having one drink too many with revelers in Tondo, Manila on New Year’s Eve.
A Pasig policeman who fired his gun during a drinking binge, also in Tondo, Manila, after having an altercation with his brother.
Such reports are replicated in many other parts of the country every day.
No amount of threats and punishment, even from the current Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, can deter many cops from abusing their authority.
There are even worse cases:
A drunken cop in Cavite shooting an innocent citizen who happened to look his way as he was walking down the street. The victim is now paralyzed.
A police superintendent who shot with his own .22-cal. rifle a 15-year-old scavenger gathering scraps in an abandoned building in Makati.
A senior inspector in Quezon City who raped a woman who had sought his help in recovering her car.
An antinarcotics policeman mashing the breast of a woman at a house in San Juan which they entered without a warrant on the pretext of looking for a drug suspect.
Two police commandos shooting down a neighbor’s cow in Pangasinan after a drinking spree.
A police inspector who shot dead a waiter in Baguio City after he was handed a bill for the bowl of soup he had ordered.
These cases were reported to my public service program on radio, “Isumbong Mo Kay Tulfo.”
Except for the superintendent who was dismissed just recently, the other cases have yet to be resolved by the various agencies handling them. The cases have been pending for years.
Clearly, there is a breakdown of discipline within the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The PNP, a civilian agency, has become undisciplined after it replaced the defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC) which was a military organization under the Armed Forces.
The defunct PC was a much, much more disciplined group than the PNP.
Many citizens were happy over the news that President Digong wanted to revive the PC which had a long history of law enforcement.
The PNP would be disbanded and some of its members, should they opt to, assigned to the police departments of the different cities and towns.
Those who choose to be members of the revived PC might be taken in provided they have no pending cases involving abuse of authority.
Some members of the PC might be recruited from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The officers of the revived PC might now come from the Philippine Constabulary Academy which would replace the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA).
The PNPA has produced a lot of inefficient, corrupt and abusive graduates.
About a decade ago, six new PNPA graduates went boozing in a hole in the wall beside the railroad tracks in Manila. They beat up its owner, an old woman, after she refused to give them more drinks because they were already rowdy.
Upon the prodding of “Isumbong” which handled the complaint, then PNP chief Bobby Lastimoso ordered all the abusive new police inspectors dismissed from the service.
Alas, the dismissed new inspectors were reinstated after several months! But that’s another story.
At the PNPA, cadets practice what they call “financial hazing” wherein a senior cadet orders a junior cadet to produce money for the former’s personal use, a practice that is carried over when they become full-fledged commissioned officers.
Reviving the Philippine Constabulary, whose members will be governed by military discipline, will surely improve the discipline of the country’s law enforcement arm.
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