I AM sorry for the Philippine National Police (PNP), and to some of my friends in there.
Frankly, despite few good men in its leadership and ranks, the institution is not untainted with serious cases of corruption, and it has not rid of the same notwithstanding the high profile propaganda and relentless efforts of one administration after another.
I must say it’s during Duterte administration that the PNP as institution has been strip bare, exposing to the bone its deeply corrupt and anti-people character.
Generals and officers who amass millions in illegal transactions, and trade arms to armed insurgents, terrorists and other enemies of the state. Narco generals and officers who serve as protector, drug dealer-redealer, pusher, user. Generals and officers who are paid death planners and assassin. Officers and operatives who serve as enforcer and protector of illegal gambling. Officers and enforcers, mobilizing private goons to crash workers picket lines, peaceful assemblies and protest actions. Police personnel involved in gun runners and other underworld operations.
As shown by historical facts, the recent charges hurled against PNP Chief Albayalde accused of allegedly coddling his former men tagged as “ninja cops” by Albayalde’s colleagues in the PNP, among others are not new.
You still name them and they have it in the PNP.
How did it become to what it is today?
Marcos set the stage for turning the then Philippine Constabulary into his private army. Politicized the police and the AFP to serve the interests and ambitions of the tyrant. He fed them well to ensure that their loyalty is unwavering. He trained and equipped them to become his brutal lapdogs.
Cory Aquino succeeded only in unleashing the wickedness of the state security forces against the rainbow forces that catapulted her to power.
Fidel Ramos decentralized and civilianized the police operations and corrupt practices in the PNP while making all sorts of psychological make over for his regime.
Estrada waged all-out war everywhere, while making use of the police and the military in his money making operations.
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo allegedly decentralized corruption while ensuring reported big proceeds to their kitty jars, and pushed police to back up support for military’s counter insurgency operation, and in a huge election fraud project.
You see, Duterte may have stripped bare the PNP and exposed it as institution of crooks, from top and down. But the growth of the overall mindset, culture and practices have long been laid down, for two or three generations.
The Albayaldes, Baloyos and the ninja turtles are just too many within a huge complex institution of mainly a “boys club” though at times work like a sabungan, girian kaliwa at kanan. And many of them are still nameless and faceless, quietly doing the usuals, far from the radar and eyesight of the public and their superiors and counterpart agencies.
This present administration may be credited for its massive cleansing operations of the PNP. But fellow generals who had been there and know the ins and outs of the institution said that the cleansing remains selective and sparing. So how the hell can the PNP cleanse itself when those in position of power and authority have their mind set to continue the jobs without being caught, their hands filled with blood, their pockets with dirty money?
How many of the new yet uncorrupted recruits and young officers will pursue their ideals, transcend and transform the PNP into servant of the people, and build new role models for themselves and the generation after them?
How many will fail or betray their oath and commitment?
Meanwhile, I could hear different rumblings within the institution. The declaration of war of Aquino, Magalong and Lacadin are spurring rumblings in the ranks. Will they turn into ripples, a wave, and then a movement for change?
This is a big challenge to DILG Secretary Año, a seasoned military warrior and now posing to give new meaning to good governance.
The even bigger challenge rest on the citizens’ social movement, struggling to make even with the ruling system who made this country a highway to perdition.