05 January 2011

How the PNP trains

Funny, those who swore to protect us were the ones harming us.

It was the night before 2011 when a woman was raped and robbed. She was just taking a stroll with her husband when a Manila Police District (MPD) desk duty officer charged them with vagrancy.

Three days after, Indian national Manjinder James Kumar was kidnapped. According to him, the policemen ‘snatched’ his two companions, Andy Ngie and Ferdinand Ret, and shot a police from Pasay, Senior Inspector Renato Apolinario. According to the Quezon City anti-narcotics task force, it was all an operation.

The next day, PO1 Armand Canilang killed someone and injured two others in a shooting spree in Marilao, Bulacan.

About 730 police officers face summary dismissal from the service. The Philippine National Police is looking into 1,171 of these cases while the National Police Commission (Napolcom) is handling 461 cases.

Most offenses are about grave misconduct, neglect of duty, irregularity in service and abuse of authority.

Director General Raul Bacalzo of the Philippine National Police (PNP) maintains, though, that the other 135,000 policemen are doing their job well. Cases involving men in uniform also decreased when PNoy had stepped in.

The PNP will also continue to observe the Eight Foundation Initiatives on Training in the Basics, Procurement Review, Enhancement of Equipage, Police-Community Partnership, Doctrine Development, Reward and Punishment, Human Rights and Mentoring Leadership.

Paid service

This year, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo asked for P86.9-billion for his department.

About P69.4 billion of it will be allotted for the police’s annual budget; P7.2 billion for the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP); P5.1 billion for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP); P2.5 billion for the Office of the Secretary; P1.3 billion for the Napolcom; P1 billion for the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC); and P105.1 million for the Local Government Academy (LGA).

He would recruit another 3,000 police officers, and procure 15,000 short firearms, 350 patrol jeeps, 365 motorcycles, and 1,844 communication equipment. After all, the Aquino administration vowed for transparency, accountability, good governance, peace and order and public safety.

“Our proposed budget comes with an assurance and commitment that it shall be judiciously spent to realize our various plans, programs, projects and activities for both the interior and local government sectors, the impact of which shall be felt by and bear fruit for the citizenry,” Robredo said.

Except for doctors, engineers and holders of technical positions in the PNP, its officers graduated from Silang, Cavite. There, the aspirants undergo a 4-year cadetship program, living in a barrack they had in Day 1.

Cadets are required to study 221 academic units to graduate—more than what the Commission for Higher Education (CHED) calls for to grant a bachelor’s degree. They must finished 24 units in Math and Science, 21 units in Law, 27 units in Languages and Arts, 12 units in Forensic Science, 42 units in Humanities and Social Science, and 66 units in Public Safety Services.

Also, cadets would be graded on their conduct, aptitude for service, organizational leadership, physical education, drills and ceremonies, and marksmanship and police tactics. They would also have to undergo Police Basic Recruit Course and Field Training Program a year before their deployment.

Unfortunately, these aren’t enough for teaching good manners to the new recruits, as far as Guillermo Domondon, chief of the PNP Retirees Association, is concerned. About 20 rookie policemen were dismissed last year.

“When the police violate [these] human rights, instead of guaranteeing them, they become no better than the worst criminal elements. They become part of the problem, a veritable cancer gnawing at the sinews of our democracy,” Human Rights Commissioner Loretta Ann Rosales, said in a statement.


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