Reminders for PNP members re Aquino
President Aquino is under criticism for his alleged participation in the Mamasapano incident. Given his shortcomings, PNP members should remember the following:
- Reforms in the procurement system. Under President Aquino, the Philippine National Police instituted massive reforms resulting in an honest and transparent procurement and bidding system. Hence, the construction of PNP buildings and purchases are made according to specifications, and this has translated into sturdy police stations and quality goods.
- Reforms in the Ombudsman. Previously, there was low regard for police officers because of the rampant perception of corruption in their ranks. With the appointment of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales who has shown integrity and impartiality (as seen in her handling of cases involving high-ranking government officials), trust has somehow been restored. I observe that cases are now resolved with impartially and dispatch better than ever. The atmosphere at the Ombudsman today impresses that power and money cannot buy justice, thus posing a powerful deterrence against corruption in government.
- Purchase of equipment. The present administration has made great strides toward PNP modernization. As a result, almost all police officers are now armed with modern firearms and patrol cars. Never before has the PNP received such kind of support.
- Truthful reporting of crime incidents. In the past, the PNP rated a chief of police based on crimes reported versus crimes solved. This led some of them to “underreport” the number of crimes in their respective areas of jurisdiction so that unsolved crimes would not be counted against them. This twisted the total “crime picture” in the area. Today, police chiefs are assessed based on a practical and realistic methodology.
- Productivity-based bonus (PBB). Before, our semestral productivity bonus was P2,000 only. Now, it ranges from a minimum of P5,000 to a maximum of P35,000, depending on one’s performance.
- Freedom of expression. Ordinarily, police are trained more to obey than to question. This is necessary because the PNP’s functions are of a nature different from other civilian agencies. I’m not saying policemen should not be allowed to make criticisms; I simply believe that there is an air of openness in the PNP these days because the present administration treasures and allows freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas.
The President did not have any ill motive in the Mamasapano operation. Indeed, there were lapses in its execution; the President may have been on top of it, but let’s not forget the good he has done for our country and what his family has endured for this country. Some great leaders also made some costly and deadly mistakes, but those mistakes did not make them bad leaders. A bad leader is someone who pretends to be with the masses and for the masses while in fact serving the interest of the few while impoverishing the innocent and gullible.
—REYNOLD B. VILLANIA,
police senior inspector and
Philippine National Police, [email protected]
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