What they didn’t tell Bato
The “idiot” policeman, SPO1 Ricky Sta. Isabel, who is suspected of being involved in the kidnapping of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo, has been reporting to Camp Crame after all and not in hiding.
Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa had ordered a manhunt for Sta. Isabel warning that if the cop didn’t give himself up he would be killed.
“There is a big chance this idiot is really guilty” because he had been hiding, said Bato.
But Rappler, an online news organization, said Sta. Isabel was reassigned to the Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit in Camp Crame.
“I’m not in hiding. I’m ready to face whatever case they would file against me,” Rappler quoted Sta. Isabel as saying.
If that is so, how come Bato didn’t know the missing cop was in Camp Crame all along?
Why wasn’t he told by his underlings that Sta. Isabel was at the Camp Crame unit which is composed of rascals?
The answer is simple: Bato is not being taken seriously by his subordinates.
The problem with the PNP is that it goes after criminals and other law violators but doesn’t clean up its own backyard.
The PNP is unforgiving toward law violators but is lenient toward its errant members.
After Sta. Isabel had been identified as one of those who kidnapped Korean Jee Ick-joo, he should have been arrested and jailed while being investigated.
But what did the PNP do with Sta. Isabel? The police higher-ups ordered him to report to a unit composed of rascals and forgot he was placed there.
That’s why when Dela Rosa asked where Sta. Isabel was, nobody told him—deliberately, I suppose—that the cop was in Camp Crame all along.
Policemen cover up for their buddies.
Perhaps now is the time for President Digong to order the PNP and the National Police Commission (Napolcom) to make an accounting of policemen who face criminal and administrative cases in order to speed up their hearings.
The President might be surprised at the number of problem cops across the country who are still in the service when they should have been dismissed or serving time in prison.
Among the policemen who should have been tried in court but escaped from custody are five members of the Highway Patrol Group in Cebu charged with the murder of a lawyer.
The PNP has not made an effort to find Senior Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, Chief Insp. Eduardo Mara, Senior Insp. Joselito Lerion, SPO4 Edwin Galan and PO1 Alex Bacani.
If errant cops are tried and dismissed promptly or killed under mysterious circumstances, other policemen will behave properly.
Policemen who commit grievous crimes such as kidnapping, drug trafficking, car theft, robbery, rape and murder-for-hire could be disposed of with extreme prejudice.
There is no other way.
Drastic solutions are needed to reform the PNP, among the most ill-disciplined in the world.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.