January 16, 2018, 11:10 pm
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Bato is losing?

IS PNP Chief Ronald de la Rosa losing the fight to cleanse the Philippine National Police?

Three months since he admitted having reached a tipping point that called for the full suspension of the Duterte administration’s anti-drug war, he is nowhere near to unravelling the knotty problems of the 160,000-strong police force.

Every week, more police officers are exposed for exploiting the government’s campaign against illegal drugs for their own little money-making schemes by fleecing foreigners, businessmen, and ordinary people.

Meanwhile, the narcotics trade continues to run night and day with hardly a hiccup.

The PNP Chief has threatened his men, dangled rewards before them, embarrassed some in public, and even shipped many to the scarier corners of the archipelago – all with little tangible results to show for his efforts.

Last May 8, four Makati City Police officers were caught red-handed accepting money from victims of illegal arrest and kidnapping. The four were so confident they can get away with their crime that they released the victims and waited for them to come back bringing more money. That case has impunity written all over it in bold letters.

May 10, ABS-CBN reported the death of a senior citizen while in detention at the Manila Police District on trumped up charges of drug peddling. No less than 25 MPD personnel were reported involved in the case but some 78 members of the city’s police force are now under investigation for planting evidence in drug arrests.

The same day, the police chief of PNP Bacolor and its head of the Drug Enforcement Unit were sacked in connection with robbery extortion activities of their men.

By May 11, no less than the head of the PNP Counter Intelligence Task Force was quoted in the news that more than 800 active duty policemen and women are being probed for involvement in illegal activities mostly robbery and extortion.

The next day, it was the turn of the PNP Mabalacat chief to be relived together with the head of the municipality’s Drug Enforcement Unit after personnel under them were implicated on planting evidence in drug arrests and extorting sums from suspects.

Save for the Makati case, all the other cases surfaced only because citizen victims risked their own safety to file a complaint.

The entire PNP hierarchy stood by – hearing little and seeing nothing – only reacting after the evidence has been served before it all tied up with ugly details of abuse of authority courtesy of media digging.

Few would question the PNP Chief’s sincerity in trying to do a good job. But pure intentions are not analogous to and rarely the equivalent of adequacy.

The sooner Bato realizes this, the better. – PT.
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