Enough is enough: End the culture of impunity in the PNP
The killing of an unarmed mother and her son in Tarlac the other day, the latest reported incident of police abuse, should stir all of us into action. Let us all shout for all the world to hear: Enough is Enough. Stop the killings. NOW!!
I do not see any gentle way to reform the pervasive culture of impunity in the police organization, enabled as it is by a President who has shown little regard for the rule of law. I challenge the silent majority in the officer corps of the Philippine National Police who are God-fearing, decent professionals to force the PNP chain of command—all the way up to the commander in chief—to initiate drastic reforms in the PNP, and stop police abuse and police brutality once and for all.
If the remaining professionals in the PNP feel helpless in forcing reforms from the inside, I propose that the PNP revert to the fold of the Armed Forces of the Philippines where all police personnel will be subject to swift military justice. That should instill fear, among uniformed personnel, of facing courts-martial, and compel everyone in the organization, generals not excluded, to stay always in their lane.
Let not anyone, any lawyer, say that bringing back the PNP as a major service of the AFP would be against the constitutional provision mandating a police organization that is “national in scope and civilian in character.” I will say: Tell that to the Marines, or better yet, tell that to the members of the House of Representatives who have huge pork barrels in the 2021 budget—pork barrel which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional! What is good for the goose is good for the gander?
After being reverted to the AFP, at the proper time, and with necessary preparations in place, we should dissolve the PNP, transfer its responsibility over organized crimes to the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the anti-insurgency and counter-terrorism functions to the Army, and the maritime police functions to the Coast Guard, among other present responsibilities of the PNP. Local police forces should be placed under local government units, with an office of police affairs created at the Department of the Interior and Local Government for administrative policy-making and supervision to insure uniform policy implementation, and to guide LGUs in police personnel administration throughout the country, especially in the matter of imposing discipline. We can do away with the National Police Commission.
Let us all stand up to the President and demand a stop to the killings NOW! Let not reporting in the future say again that the President has “distanced himself” from, God forbid, another police brutality.
Col. Leonardo O. Odoño (Ret.),PMA Class of 1964, [email protected]
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