Cases filed
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - October 23, 2019 - 12:00am

Six policemen involved in the controversial anti-drug operation in Antipolo last May were dismissed from service. Three of the six were also part of Police Major Baloyo's group of the now-infamous anti-drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga. This is proof that there are many ways corrupt police officers can avoid harsh punishment. Aside from the slow pace of their cases they are merely demoted one rank or transferred to a different unit but remain the corrupt officers they are who cannot resist criminal activity. I understand that due process must be given but I hope the PNP also understands that once a bad cop, always a bad cop. Other professions immediately strip or revoke licenses once a grave infraction has been committed. In the PNP there are many steps to slow the process to a snail's pace, allowing errant policemen to remain on duty, giving them all the opportunity to again commit a crime.

This is what PNP OIC Police Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa wants to change. He has ordered a review of another policeman also involved in both the Antipolo and Pampanga operations. The officer was only meted a 59-day suspension. It just proves my point. He should have been dismissed just like his friends.

Meanwhile, the CIDG has filed criminal raps against former PNP chief Oscar Albayalde for "misappropriating seized illegal drugs, graft, qualified bribery, falsification of public documents, perjury and dereliction of duty." The 13 officers under Baloyo were also charged for "graft, qualified bribery, and perjury." In light of all that has been revealed in the Senate hearings, they should already be outrightly dismissed from service. Albayalde was then Pampanga's provincial police director, hence accountable for the actions of his men. It didn’t help that he didn’t investigate the glaring irregularities using the all-purpose "presumption of regularity" clause and even awarding himself and his men commendations for the said operation. He also exhibited undue interest in the cases against his men even allegedly influencing its course and outcome. The former PNP chief welcomes this development and sees it as a chance to clear his name. We will just have to wait and see. Many eyes are on this case as it involves not only corrupt policemen but a PNP chief at that. It also puts into question the administration's bloody drug war that it is supposedly focused on.

There are still many cases against scalawags that await decisions. The murders of Jee Ick Joo, Kian delos Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, and Reynaldo de Guzman are just a few. There are many other cases against errant police that have stayed under the radar. Gamboa is working to change the public's image of the PNP. But would he be able to do so if two other names have also been submitted to President Duterte for consideration as the next PNP chief? Let's hope they all don’t have a history like Albayalde. Up to this day, it is a mystery why he ended up as PNP chief with a history like Mexico, Pampanga, in 2013.

korina_abs@yahoo.com

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