‘Rogue applicants’ have no place in PNP

PHILIPPINE National Police applicants including criminology graduates who have criminal records and are known ‘neighborhood bullies’ won’t be able to enter the force in the wake of its strict vetting process, officials assured yesterday.

Latest of these PNP applicants who have to kiss his dreams of being a cop goodbye is a criminology graduate who, along with his live-in partner were arrested by agents of the Quezon City Police District for ‘forcing’ the woman’s 2-year old son to drink liquor and smoke cigarette inside an apartelle in P. Tuazon Street in Cubao.

The two are now facing charges for violation of Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

In 2018, PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde ordered the barring of a police applicant who was arrested for poking a high-powered gun at his neighbors in Tondo, Manila over a petty quarrel.

The suspect also a criminology student who happened to be a son of a retired cop was caught on CCTV wearing a bulletproof vest ran towards the house of their neighbor and poked a gun at a woman. He was arrested by responding policemen.

That incident prompted Gen. Albayalde to order the publication in the newspapers and the PNP social media accounts of PNP applicants to boost their conduct of a thorough background check on would-be policemen.

“Police applicants who are known troublemakers in their neighborhood and have records in their barangays and police stations must not be allowed entry to our organization or else, they will become an additional problem to our rank-and-file,” the PNP chief said.

Gen. Albayalde also ordered that policeman conducting a background check would be held accountable if the applicant under his watch would turn out to be involved in criminal activities.

Last month, National Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar announced the top 450 NCRPO applicants now undergoing  thorough screening process.

He said the 450 applicants for the 2019 Patrolman Recruitment Program were screened by the Regional Personnel and Records Management.

“This is the only time I have seen so many applicants who want to join the PNP. Unfortunately,  there are only 300 open slots for police recruits this first semester,” Eleazar said.

The official said the 450 applicants shall undergo bar coding, issuance of the identification card, identification of Body Mass Index (BMI), agility test and neuropsychiatric examination as part of their recruitment and selection process.

“We shall enlist the top 300 most competent and fit police recruits,” he said as he underscored the need to eliminate the “palakasan” system in the recruitment and selection process as ordered by Gen. Albayalde.

Eleazar said “being a policeman today has become a noble and attractive profession because our President Duterte elevated the status of this career by upgrading policemen’s salaries. Today, one has to be deserving to be a policeman,” he said.

The NCRPO chief added that the President’s directive to go after narco-cops and other police scalawags is also bringing back the luster and prestige of this profession.

He said in the qualifying examinations for the first semester, 2,987 applicants got a score ranging from 75 percent to 84 percent  while 1,055 applicants scored from 85 percent to 94 percent.

Out of the 450 applicants, the Top 10 examinees are six criminology graduates while the other four are  electrical engineering, accountancy, communications science and psychology graduates.

Eleazar said applicants who pass the examination but failed to land in the first 300 will be recommended to other PNP units and Police Regional Offices which lack applicants.