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Police critic is no police expert

This refers to Ramon Tulfo’s Jan. 12 column (“Disciplining policemen”).

I am writing this on my own initiative and although I am a graduate of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), my views in this letter do not necessarily reflect those of my classmates, the PNPA or the alumni association.

In that column, Tulfo alleged the “financial whacking” of senior classmen of their juniors by making the latter “produce money from nowhere.” From my days as a plebe until my graduation from the PNPA, I never experienced anything close to such a thing. On the contrary, the upperclassmen were expected to be considerate with underclassmen, giving them food, old uniforms and anything that they needed to survive the rigors of cadetship.

This attitude of senior officers continues even after graduation. Senior officers would provide accommodation for new graduates and offer them advice. Which shows the kind of brotherhood that the academy inculcates among its alumni.

The Philippine Military Academy’s honor code—“Cadets do not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do”—was also taught to us at the PNPA. Last time I checked, it still is the code that PNPA cadets live by. Moreover, since the PNPA’s inception, almost all of its directors and commandants have been PMA alumni. Therefore, the values and practices learned at the PNPA are values and practices that have their roots in the PMA. If Tulfo claims that our police cadets are taught to be corrupt during training, isn’t he implying that PMAers are corrupt? Also, if Tulfo believes that PNPA graduates are more corrupt than PMAers, then why not fault the latter?

Tulfo readily glorifies PMAers as he is an adopted member of one of its classes. But this doesn’t give Tulfo any bragging rights at all as a PMAer. While this may give him “license” to hobnob with them, it doesn’t make him one of them. If anything, it should  make him act like a real gentleman, though he has never been an officer.

Finally, I noticed that whenever Tulfo calls attention to police or military issues in his columns, he always puts aside facts; instead he blames the personnel or training institutions. What military training or background does Tulfo have that qualifies him to speak on military or police matters with authority? His only claim to a “military background” is that as a child, he stayed with his father in Philippine Constabulary camps. Tulfo should be reminded that having a military officer for a father doesn’t automatically make a person an expert in military or police affairs.

—CLYDE TALOSIG,

clyde_kabayan@yahoo.com


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