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Good cop, bad cop

Just weeks into his term as Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Police General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar is faced with another case of murderous rage — not his, although his anger was palpable in a video released of him and the cop who shot a woman in Quezon City.

News and social media platforms went afire at Police Master/Sgt. Hensie Zinampan shooting 52-year-old Lilibeth Valdez in Barangay Greater Fairview, Quezon City.

Memories of another cop, Jonel Nuezca, engaging in an argument and shooting a mother and her son dead are still fresh in people’s minds.

Another case of a policeman robbing pawnshops outside of the metro also made the news fairly recently.

PGen Eleazar cursed the man who now faces murder charges for adding another black mark against the PNP’s efforts to cleanse its image.

The police force has always had problems with public opinion, trust being something it has yet to fully gain.

This fatal shooting committed by a policeman in Quezon City is the latest in a string of disappointments directed at the body that purports to “serve and protect.” Attempts had been made many times in the past to rid the police force of rogues, to no avail.

Many believe Eleazar is the man for the job.

Following the incident, the PNP chief assured that he “intends to undertake serious reforms in the organization.”

He said, “I am exhausting all efforts to get rid of these few police scalawags who put the PNP in a bad light. Kagaya ninyo po, galit ako sa bugok na pulis (Just like you, I am mad at these rotten cops).”

No one doubts that “good policemen far outnumber the few rogues in the ranks,” as PGen Eleazar also noted. Yet absolutely no one envies the man whose promise it is to do his part in weeding out the rot from the force. It is a tough call, not a job for the insincere nor for the imbecile, but thus far, nobody seems to have succeeded in a way that truly lasted.

The country’s 220,000-strong police force has been undergoing internal cleansing efforts, but it is clear these are still not enough.

PGen Eleazar is doing something rare in this case — he is calling on the public to help via E-Sumbong, the complaint and monitoring system he initiated to enable citizens to report crime incidents and abusive police personnel using technology.

In the past, the public generally felt those police transgressions were kept within the PNP purview so that insufficient punishment would usually be meted out on erring members of the force.

PGen Eleazar promised to act on reported cases quickly as well as protect those who send complaints.

In the case of Zinampan, he reportedly “directed the Internal Affairs Service to fast track summary dismissal proceedings.” Under the leadership of this member of the Philippine Military Academy “Hinirang” Class of 1987, observers note his willingness to widen the net for erring policemen, even opening up PNP records for drug war-related cases to the Department of Justice.

The 26th PNP chief is also planning to institute some changes in the PNP’s recruitment process to ensure that only the “best candidates” would be accepted.

Known for his “disciplinarian ways” and good track record, PGen Eleazar could very well accomplish his goals, but in his brief term as head of PNP (he retires on 13 November 2021), will he be able to finish the job?

Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph


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