The kind of policemen we have

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    THE holiday season is barely over, and Filipinos are still under a festive hangover, with the memory of the viral unconscionable murders of a mother and her teenage son in Paniqui, Tarlac by a Parañaque policeman still fresh in the nation’s collective memory.

    It is either a losing streak of “malas” (bad luck, which rhymes with Sinas) or is it just that PNP chief General Debold Sinas really inherited a flawed organization? For barely has the new year 2021 sashayed in when the national police organization was again hammered by two controversies involving its members.

    The first is a mauling incident among cadets at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in Silang, Cavite, on New Year’s eve. The second is the shooting of a motorcycle rider in Pampanga by a police corporal who was running after a robber, an incident touted by the shooter as a case of mistaken identity.

    ‘What happened can be compared to the PNP chief, the highest general, being mauled by an ordinary sergeant!’

    What is pathetic in the first case is that the victim, Cadet First Class Joab Mar Nacnas, is the regimental commander or the First Captain, the highest ranking cadet of the Cadet Corps of the PNPA. Nacnas is in charge of discipline and welfare of all the cadets of the PNPA and the highest commanding officer in a chain of command. He was mauled by Cadet First Class Denvert Dulansi whom he reminded that drinking liquor is prohibited even during the New Year revelry. What happened can be compared to the PNP chief, the highest general, being mauled by an ordinary sergeant!

    “The PNP has no tolerance for wrongdoings of erring personnel, and will never tolerate any misconduct, abuse or breach of discipline,” said General Sinas, who has ordered the start of dismissal proceedings against Dulansi.

    It should be noted that cadets in the PNPA, just like in the Philippine Military Academy, are state scholars and are paid salaries or allowances by the government. As such, they are expected to take their training seriously and be role models of good behavior and patriotism. The PNPA said it has no tolerance for undesirable behavior nor any misconduct and breach of discipline, and as the institution in charge of police training and character development, we expect no less from them.

    In the Pampanga incident where unarmed laborer Federico Pineda Jr. died from the bullet of Corporal Efraim Ramirez, General Sinas warned cops against immediately using their service firearms even when running after suspects. Sinas noted that at that time, Ramirez was chasing a suspect and probably mistook Pineda as the fleeing robber. “You just don’t shoot anybody,” he stressed, citing that under the guidelines, the use of firearms is only justifiable in case of imminent threat.

    To cap the first days of 2021 is this real-life blooper at the Makati Police when investigators were processing the first three suspects in the case of flight attendant Christine Dacera. According to Makati Police chief Col. Harold Depositar, the probers were so busy that one of the gay suspects took a French leave without his cops noticing.

    What a way to start the year for the PNP.

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