A PARTY-LIST group in Mindanao hailed the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for his serious effort to address the problem on "dysfunctions" in the police force.

In a released statement, Anak Mindanao (Amin) party-list Representative Ariel Hernandez praised PNP chief director General Jesus Verzosa for initiating a number of measures aimed at addressing dysfunctions in the police force.

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Hernandez said Verzosa's order of a review of police procedures and possible security lapses that resulted to some policemen being implicated in the Maguindanao massacre should be supported by all sectors of society, especially in the legislative branch of government.

Some 66 policemen were implicated in the massacre.

"Whatever the causes of the dysfunctions within the PNP should be corrected. And Director General Jesus Verzosa is in the right track for correcting this. And he should get all our support for his initiative," Hernandez said.

He also added that uniformed personnel, most especially policemen and soldiers, must have a change of mindset – from being warriors to peacemakers and conflict managers.

Hernandez said there is no other time in the country's history that the role of the police as peacemakers is most urgently needed than the present, because of uncertainties brought about by the prevailing apprehensions regarding the automated elections, as well as the fragile peace and order situation in some parts of Mindanao.

The lawmaker also said that the country needs a solid and dependable police force, especially during this critical election period.

“And the only way for the PNP to capture its status once again as a dependable force is to change the police’s mindset and start a clean-up revolution from within the force itself,” Hernandez added.

He also praised Verzosa for his strong commitment to law and order and his relentless enforcement of the Commission on Elections’ gun ban, which resulted in the arrest of hundreds of gun ban violators all over the country.

"Director General Verzosa's commitment to strictly implement election laws without fear or favor deserves all our praise," he said.

"His pronouncements that only through peaceful, orderly and clean elections can the will of the people triumph, plus his dedication to seeing it through by a strong enforcement of election laws and the gun ban, are attributes of a true officer and a gentleman," Hernandez added.

Amin, however, took a strong exception to Verzosa's pronouncement that "bad- performing policemen will be assigned to the Mindanao."

"The image of Mindanao is so bad already that making it a dumping ground of undesirables from the uniformed services from Metro Manila will only make it worst. What we need are professional policemen, not bad policemen from Metro Manila," Hernandez said. (Press Release)