Was anyone the least bit surprised that the suspects behind that Sept. 1 incident on Edsa involving armed men surrounding an SUV turned out to be cops? The photo immediately caused a sensation when it surfaced on Twitter, partly because of the mystery surrounding it. Who were these men aiming guns at the occupants of the SUV? Was it a legitimate police operation, perhaps against a high-profile fugitive? Or a kidnapping, done so brazenly in broad daylight on that ultrabusy highway?
It goes by a dry, innocuous title—Revised Police Operational Procedures Manual 2013 edition—the sort that makes the eyes glaze over and calls to mind reams of the most banal rules, directives and instructions, all the “should” and “should not,” the “must” and “must not,” that make up the nitty-gritty of everyday police work.
President Aquino should look around more closely. Every day, crimes are being reported and criminals are on the lose. It is as if nobody is in charge. Gone are the day when the Philippine National Police chief was hands-on in trying to solve criminality in our country. These days, crimes are addressed by letting the PNP spokesperson face the cameras.
With unusual speed, the Philippine National Police has concluded that the deaths of the Ozamiz Gang leader and his henchman last week were probably the result of a “rubout.” PNP Director General Alan Purisima said administrative charges have been filed against 14 policemen implicated in the extrajudicial killings, including a superintendent.
The Philippine National Police is currently laboring under a bad image, no thanks to a number of its officers and men who have managed to make the word “cop” seem synonymous to crime.