Police Corruption

>> Monday, January 30, 2017

March Fianza

            Every now and then we come across news items about cops messing up with their good lives by falling into the bad temptations that accompany their work as policemen. At a time when citizens need the help of lawmen for peace and order, and their safety; there is necessity in discussing about what is happening inside the police organization.   
            It is worth asking why law enforcers get involved in crimes. It needs an answer because the public deserves a police force that they can trust. And that is exactly what the public cannot understand – the people involved in these crimes are those who are supposed to protect them.
            The latest news is about Jee Ick Joo South, the Korean businessman who was kidnapped last October from his house in Pampanga. Kidnapping was done under the guise of a drug raid. Three of the suspects are policemen assigned to the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping unit based in Camp Crame.
The policemen brought Jee Ick Joo to Camp Crame where he was strangled, his remains cremated, then his ashes were disposed away somewhere. Despite the Korean already dead, still the suspects demanded ransom from his wife and were paid about $100,000.
We do not have to go far. In the city, we have our own cops who, in the guise of patrolling, do little acts of corruption. This is what I told Supt. Davy Limmong through email. I said there is this temporary structure built with wood and GI sheets that is apparently being utilized as a notorious gambling den at the Tabora Park.
The shanty has been there since last year but despite its location which is a stone’s throw away from the police outpost under the Y-shaped overpass near the Baguio Center Mall, it is not stopped or raided because of the protection that corrupt patrol policemen provide its operators.
On several nights, I have seen police patrol cars with body numbers MPU 15, 16, 11, BCPO 87, 132 come one by one, blow their sirens before parking at T. Alonzo St. across the shanty and wait for a guy in bonnet or ball cap hand over some booties to the driver of the waiting patrol car.  
These cops are the ones that PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa wants to get rid of. They are corrupt cops and should not occupy posts in an institution such as the PNP. Certainly, COP SSupt. Ramil Saculles can identify his men in uniform who ride in the patrol cars mentioned.
Last week, Supt. Limmong replied to my email. This is what he wrote and I quote verbatim: “We appreciate so much your vigilance and concern for our city. We hope to have more like you who will always look on the best interest of our city. I already brought this out to the attention of the AC City Director and called me up explaining that how he wish that every gambling activity in the city be stop but some barangay official and other government agencies always make some justification saying they have permits for their barangay fund raising. But he promise to look on this concern and remind his personnel not to be involve in any illegal activities. Thank you again for bringing this to our attention.”
I replied back thanking Supt. Limmong for his action. I said, “I do hope that Baguio COP Saculles will do what is right -- that is to order his policemen to refrain from dropping by gambling joints to remove the public suspicion that it is the police that is protecting the gambling operations. I would also like to correct the COP that what the barangays are allowed to operate are BINGO games, not other GAMBLING GAMES such as DROP BALL, MONTE, PUSOY & SALISI which is happening occasionally at the Tabora Park and other gambling dens in the city so that it should be raided. Otherwise, the suspicion of the public that the police are protecting the gambling operators in exchange for money or pasuksuk will not be removed. But all the same, I thank you for acting on my observation. On my part, I will assure you that I will continue to monitor the police patrol cars that frequent the gambling joint at Tabora Park.” 
Back to the national scene, sometimes it is not easy to blame local cops for the proliferation of crimes as there are other important factors that need to be addressed such as salaries and benefits.
Another observation is that police bosses are aware of illegal activities going on in the locality but do nothing. And so, the men on the ground also get involved because they know that their superiors in the organization are on the take from the operations of jueteng disguised as Small Town Lottery. In that case, the COPs of cities, municipalities, provinces and regional police offices are also under suspicion to be on the take.
If this is not addressed, then the Philippine National Police will never be reformed and our local cops will always be tempted to do the illegal. Here’s hoping that with the citizenry helping in cleansing their own police, the PNP will shape up to a reformed organization.


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