Despite erring cops, police 'sincerity' rating improves

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MANILA -- Amid the allegations of an overpriced weapons deal and after a series of extortion incidents involving several cops, the Philippine National Police (PNP) scored a higher rating in the fight against corruption, a local survey said.

The 2012 Survey of Enterprises of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) reported that the PNP got a "neutral" net sincerity rating of negative eight this year. It previously had a "bad" rating of negative 17 in 2009 when the survey was last conducted.

The preliminary report was based on interviews of executives of 826 companies over July 16 to September 14, according to the SWS.

The survey which covered Metro Manila and at least eight other cities or provinces noted a "radical progress" in the fight against corruption between 2009 and 2012.

The PNP is among the 17 government institutions that received higher net sincerity ratings this year.

The survey results were released on the day when 11 cops from the Manila Police District including a station chief were sacked and charged for allegedly extorting P1 million from a Filipino-Canadian in Zambales.

A senior police officer 1 was also apprehended early this week for taking P18,000 from a member of the United States Navy.

Last week, a senior police officer was also dismissed from service for extorting money from the son of a retired general. He also tried to extort P20,000 from the son of Metro Manila police chief Leonardo Espina.

Espina also fired four more cops, who were either Police Officer (PO) 2 or PO3, due to grave misconduct and serious irregularity in the performance of duty.

Eleven other erring policemen, mostly PO1 accused of grave misconduct, are also lined up for dismissal, Espina said.

But despite the series of extortion incidents, Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr., PNP spokesman, said "a great majority" of the 148,000-strong police force are "good."

However, Cerbo also admitted early this week that "hundreds" of PNP personnel were also suspended or reprimanded for committing serious offenses such as involvement in the illegal numbers game jueteng.

Cerbo also asked for a continued trust from the public and hoped that the "few" erring cops would not put the institution's achievements in the shade. He added that the PNP will never tolerate police misconduct.

In past media reports, Espina has also vowed to cleanse the police ranks from corrupt personnel, saying he will do everything to pursue abusive law enforcers.

He added that he will not allow erring policemen to ruin the image of the PNP.

As to why some cops get involved in unlawful activities, Cerbo said it could not be attributed to policemen's alleged low salary, clarifying that an average police officer 1 is given "substantial" and "decent" pay of P20,000 including allowances.

Last week, the PNP said in a statement that insufficient training for aspiring law enforcers may have created erring personnel in the police force.

The institution said the numerous administrative and criminal cases involving its personnel, mostly police officer 1 to police officer 3, may be attributed to poor basic training and moral values acquired by primary police recruits, which affects law enforcement service and practice.(Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)

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