Senator backs Defense chief’s appeal not to deploy erring cops to Marawi

MANILA-- A senator on Friday backed the appeal of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana urging the Philippine National Police (PNP) to reconsider deploying erring policemen to Mindanao.

Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV made this call noting that the move will reduce public trust in the police. He further said that erring cops should be fired not reassigned.

Filipinos deserve an upstanding police force. Delinquent cops should be fired, not just reassigned and sent to Mindanao, Aquino said.

It is important that we trust our police, especially in Mindanao where there is martial law and the threat of terrorism. We should send our best and brightest, not those who abuse their power, he added.

Reports showed that the PNP recently shipped two Mandaluyong policemen who were caught in video hitting two men -- arrested earlier for drinking on the sidewalk -- with a nightstick (yantok).

Aquino previously filed a measure, Senate Bill No. 1285 or the PNP Internal Affairs Service Modernization Act, meant to strengthen the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the PNP.

He said the bill was endorsed by the IAS and was subsequently filed by Aquino to help the PNP cleanse its ranks.

It also seeks to strengthen the IAS with provisions for autonomy and independence in its administration and operations and empowering it to instill discipline and enhance the performance of personnel and units of the PNP at all levels of its command.

Moreover, his measure expands the motu-propio investigation powers of the IAS to cover all acts and omissions by PNP officers which might discredit them or hinder them from rendering their services effectively.

In addition, the measure mandates the prioritization of IAS functions, which promote character building, and carry out inspections, audits, intelligence operations and rehabilitation among officers.

Aquino, meanwhile, expressed hope that through his measure, the police will better protect the public and honor their duties.

The PNP must clamp down on crime and corruption while fully abiding by the law and respecting basic human rights, Aquino said.

Source: Philippines News Agency