PNP activates group vs rogue cops

INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Ano and Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday led the formal activation of the new PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) created to go after rogues in uniform.

The new unit will take over the functions of the PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force which has been deactivated. However, it will also be headed by Colonel Romeo M. Caramat Jr., a member of the Philippine Military Academy Tanglaw-Diwa Class of 1992.

“This newly-formed enforcement group is designed to conduct intelligence build-up and law enforcement operations against PNP personnel who are involved in any illegal activities such as drug-trafficking, human trafficking, financial crimes, cybercrime malversation, graft and corrupt practices, security violations, and others,” said Gen. Albayalde.

“I am glad to note that this is our way of institutionalizing our efforts against rogue cops and cleansing our ranks in order to fulfill our duty with all honesty, honor, and integrity,” he added.

Caramat will head the unit with 306 uniformed personnel, 55 Police Commissioned Officers and 251 Police Non-Commissioned Officers, the PNP chief said.

At the same time, a 72-man Company from the PNP Special Action Force will continue to provide tactical support to the newly-established unit as its tactical component.

“We reiterate that police personnel will be assigned or detailed at the IMEG should pass the rigorous background investigation and screening process including neuropsychiatric examination and graduates of Intelligence Course or seminar,” Albayalde said.

“As what I have promised when I assumed my post that the centerpiece of my administration is to install organizational discipline and internal reform. Our internal cleansing program will not spare anyone,” he added.

The activation of the PNP-IMEG comes in the wake of warnings made Gen Albayalde that ‘battlelines have been drawn’ versus police officers and men directly or indirectly involved in illegal drugs and those who will be caught engaging in such illicit activity will either find themselves behind bars or six feet underground should they engage officers in shootouts.

According to PNP spokesman, Col. Bernard M. Banac, since President Duterte ordered a war on drugs in July 2016, a total of 441 police officers and men have been fired from the force for their direct or indirect involvement in illegal drug trafficking and abuse.

“The number is expected to rise as the PNP under Gen.vAlbayalde continues an aggressive campaign to ferret out misfits and scalawags in our organization,” the PNP spokesperson said.