PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Gamboa said it all when I asked him what is his advice to erring police officers and men in the country, those who think that they won’t be caught after all: “Palagi ko naman ito inuulit ano. Huwag kayong sumama doon sa six PNP personnel per day dismissed at ito ,may dalawang matigas ang ulo, so gusto nila sumama doon sa anim na personnel,” he told me.
He spoke last Monday morning, the 1st day he reported for work after surviving a near-fatal helicopter crash in San Pedro City in Laguna and be briefed about the latest accomplishment of the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group headed by a member of PMA ‘Tanglaw Diwa’ Class of 1992, Colonel and soon-to-be Brigadier Gen. Ronald Lee in their campaign against rogues in uniform.
It would be interesting to note that since last February 27, PNP-IMEG agents have already hauled to jail six erring policemen and a dismissed policewoman as they continue to implement the PNP chief’s massive internal cleansing strategy.
Last February 28, operatives of the unit arrested the erstwhile chief of the Bacolod City CIDG office and a civilian-pal accused of extorting money from an operator of a local KTV bar. Three days later, PNP-IMEG agents arrested a former policewoman said to have been hooked on casino for demanding P40,000 to as much as P80,000 from policemen seeking transfer to another office during a sting in Pasay City.
Last March 5, PNP-IMEG officers arrested the chief of police of the Argao Municipal Police Station in Cebu for allowing two female inmates, one of them his girlfriend to leave their cell and sleep in his air-conditioned office. Last Saturday, PNP-IMEG operatives arrested the deputy chief of the Norzagaray Municipal Police Station in Bulacan found utilizing a detainee as his personal driver. On the same afternoon, PNP-IMEG agents arrested a Pangasinan cop found to be engaged in illegal ‘tupada’ operations in a cockpit in Tayug municipality.
And last Monday evening, PNP-IMEG officers arrested two mulcting operatives of the PNP Highway Patrol Group in an entrapment operation in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. The sting conducted in coordination with PNP-HPG director, Brig. Gen. Ely Cruz led in the arrest of the two members of the Agusan del Sur Provincial Highway Patrol Team who were the subject of complaints from drivers.
Lee said that their hotlines have received a number of information from drivers of delivery trucks and vans that they were being forced to shell money by the two policemen each time they pass in their areas in full defiance of President Duterte and Gen. Gamboa’s strict ‘No Kotong’ policy.
Gen. Gamboa commended the PNP-IMEG for its string of accomplishments even as he warned anew his officers and men to refrain from engaging in the old practice of allowing custodial prisoners to leave their detention cells and do menial jobs for them or worst, get female prisoners as their ‘girlfriends.’
He was referring to the PNP-IMEG operations which led in the arrest of a police major who was found to have turned a drug inmate into his girlfriend and a police captain who was found using an inmate as his personal driver. “How would you appear clean if you are using PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) as your driver and policemen are not supposed to be in love with PDLs,” the PNP chief said.
The top cop said that the acts committed by the two police officers are ‘dismissable offenses.’ In the first place, he said that a police officer like the former Argao police station commander should not be having a detainee as his ‘lover.’ The official said that his only sin is that he fell in love with the detainee.
On the other hand, the erstwhile deputy chief of the Norzagaray police station was surprised by PNP-IMEG officers while on board a Norzagaray patrol vehicle being driven by a man who was supposed to be locked-up at the local police jail on charges of serious physical injuries.
Cases of custodial prisoners being allowed to leave their prison cells to do menial jobs for some police officials like cleaning the station, doing the laundry, manning the kitchen and even driving for the police are now new although they have been effectively addressed by the PNP leadership many years ago.
However, there are still a few hard-headed police officers who are known to have defied strict PNP rules and regulations regarding the matter. In fact, there have been some officials who have been accused of asking female drug inmates to massage them in their office and later sexually abusing them. The beautiful and young ones are mostly targeted by some rogues in uniform although some of them have the gall to file charges against their tormentors over the past few years.
The PNP-IMEG has recommended the conduct of summary dismissal proceedings against the accused who were arrested for grave offenses, recommendations expected to be approved by PNP-CIDG chief, Major Gen. Jigs Coronel, HPG’s Cruz, Police Regional Office 3 director, Brig. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia and PRO7 director, Brig. Gen. Bert Ferro.
“We’re intensifying our monitoring of policemen involved in all forms of illegal activities and assure the public that we will apprehend them as soon as we have built enough evidence against them. We must make it clear that Gen. Gamboa has a strict zero tolerance policy against police officers who continue to tarnish the good reputation and image of majority of the police force,” Lee told me.
For the information of the public: these are the PNP-IMEG hotlines: SMART – 09989702286 or GLOBE- 09957952569. Information may also be forwarded to Facebook Page: Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group. The PNP-IMEG is assuring that the identities of all complainants and providers of information about erring policemen will be kept in utmost secrecy. Lee also assures the public that all information are being subjected to full validation by our men prior to the launching of appropriate actions including entrapment and buy-bust operations.