By Martin Sadongdong
About 85 percent of “erring” police officers who were relieved from their duties are actually “troubled” and have family problems, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) is addressing this alarming concern by offering counseling and psychological debriefing.
National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) vice chairman Rogelio Casurao made the revelation today as he graced the awarding ceremony for the winners of the PNP Model Families 2017 during the flag-raising ceremony in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
“Based on our statistics, majority of cops involved in anomalies who were relieved from their duties have family problems,” Casurao said, adding that the performance of the troubled police officers often reflects the kind of family where they came from.
According to the latest available data from the PNP, a total of 352 cops were already dismissed from July 2016 to December 2017.
Most of the dismissed cops were involved in illegal drug activities, murder, robbery-extortion, human rights violation, kidnapping, rape, immorality, and dishonesty.
The number is expected to rise with the cases of about 300 erring policemen waiting for Dela Rosa’s review, not including the newly dismissed cops in Metro Manila who were caught sleeping or drinking on duty the past week.
In a press briefing after the awarding ceremony, Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, PNP spokesperson, said they are addressing this concern by offering help to the troubled cops.
“If a police officer is troubled, it shows in his/her performance of duty. We agree that our cops need help and currently, the PNP Health Service is actively doing this with the help of our Chaplain Service. We have counseling and psychological debriefing for officers who have family problems,” Bulalacao said.
“Most of our unit commanders, the PDs (provincial directors), the station commanders are sensitive with the demeanor of their men. If they find these people are psychologically or emotionally disturbed, they recommend them to the higher office,” he added.
Aside from family problems, Bulalacao said most of the cops who undergo psychological debriefing and counseling are those who experienced gun battles or warfare, who have monetary problems or physically sick.
“Historically, if they were involved in gun battles and their mental stability is weak, we have records from the Health Service showing they suffer from mental breakdown,” he said.
“Most of the time, the tendency is that they go AWOL (absence without official leave),” he added.
In the case of the survivors in Marawi City siege, Bulalacao said no member of the elite Special Action Force (SAF) has suffered from such although they continuously undergo psychological debriefing and counseling.