PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa on Monday addressed the relieved Caloocan City cops and told them that he was proud of their accomplishments in connection with the government's drug crackdown.
In his speech during the opening ceremony of the retraining for the 1,157 former Caloocan policemen, Dela Rosa noted the seriousness of the drug menace in Caloocan, which was confronted "head on" by the policemen.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Oscar Albayalde ordered the relief of the Caloocan policemen following the killings of teenagers Kian Loyd Delos Santos and Carl Angelo Arnaiz and the alleged illegal search of a residence in North Caloocan by Caloocan police.
Delos Santos was shot and killed on August 16 during an anti-illegal drugs operation in Barangay 160, Caloocan City. Three policemen claimed Delos Santos engaged them in a shootout but footage from a security camera and some witnesses proved their allegations wrong.
In the case of Arnaiz, the police said they shot and killed the teenager after he attempted to rob a taxi driver along C-3 road in Caloocan City. But the cab driver himself revealed that Arnaiz was intentionally killed by cops.
Investigation and autopsy reports of both incidents showed the victims were tortured and killed while they were kneeling and pleading for their lives.
In another incident, Caloocan policemen accompanied by several informants, including a minor, took valuables from the house owned by a subject of anti-illegal drugs search.
Policemen involved in all three incidents are facing charges ranging from murder to robbery.
However, Dela Rosa defended the relieved policemen and said that he still believed that not all Caloocan cops were involved in illegal activities.
"Ilang porsyento lang ang may ginawang kalokohan. Mas marami sa inyo ang matitino. Nadadamay tayo sa may ginagawang kalokohan,” he said.
[Only a few percent are doing foolishness. Many of you are serious. We are being implicated by those who misbehaved]
He said that as law enforcers they should learn to swallow their pride, accept their mistakes and its consequences.
For his part, Albayalde clarified that the relief of the 1,157 Caloocan policemen is not a punishment but instead a training to instill among their ranks the discipline policemen should have.
He said the retraining is also an avenue for the said cops to prove their loyalty to their sworn duties and responsibilities as law enforcers.
Dela Rosa said it was a "drastic move" which they had to take in order to prove to the public that the PNP does not tolerate erring personnel.
The 30-day training dubbed as FORM (Focused Reformation/Reorientation and Moral Enhancement) Police will be supervised by PNP-Special Action Force.
The cops undergoing retraining will not be allowed to use cellphones and will not have access to any kind of entertainment to ensure their full focus on the program. (SunStar Philippines)