By MANUEL F. ALMARIO
The “criminalization” of the Philippine National Police—hopefully not totally but enough to alarm our society—should oblige us to revisit the system of having only “one police force, national in scope,” as ordained by our 1987 Constitution.
Finally appearing before the Senate committee on peace and order Tuesday after having previously snubbed its summons, Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima admitted the widespread corruption in the PNP, said he was “ashamed” of this state of affairs, and vowed to correct the situation regardless of who’s involved: “Hinding-hindi po ako papayag na magkakaganun. Hindi na uubra ang mag modus operandi nila, ‘yan ang pinatigil ko at patuloy kong babantayan kahit sino man ang tamaan.”
The recommendation of the Department of Medicine of the Philippine National Police General Hospital to move Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile to a better facility is based on its doctors’ admission that the hospital does not have the needed medical equipment in case the senator would require emergency care.
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.