By Martin Sadongdong
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde today insisted that the national police organization remains on top of the situation in handling the country’s security and peace and order amid President Duterte’s concerns.
In fact, the country’s top cop even stated that there are no people who are in their “right mind” that thinks the Philippines is dangerous at all. This, as the Global Peace Index disclosed in a newly released study that the Philippines ranked as the second least peaceful country in the Asia Pacific region.
“None of us who are in our right mind would probably believe that our country is dangerous and disorganized. That’s why we are inviting those who issued the perception or survey portraying the Philippines as the second to the most dangerous place on Earth, stay here. See for yourself how peace and order prevails in the Philippines,” he said in an interview at Camp Karingal in Quezon City.
“You cannot judge a country by just mere perception, reports or chismis coming from anybody or probably from the news that you see every day. This cannot be a basis. They have to go to the country if they really want to see how peace and order works here,” he added.
However, it was President Duterte himself who expressed concerns on the state of security and peace and order in the country following the spate of criminality and the killing of Madonna Joy Ednaco-Tanyag, a pregnant Ombudsman prosecutor in Quezon City early this week.
Duterte even warned that he will use his powers, however small it may be, to effect “radical changes” just to contain the spate of criminality and the country’s problem on security.
“There will be changes in the coming days, including public order and security. There are simply too many crimes and too many.. claiming to be this and that,” Duterte said.
“Well, remember that there is… there’s no difference actually between a martial law and a declaration of a national emergency,” he added.
Albayalde stressed that reports of killings of drug suspects happened due to legitimate police operations while deaths of innocent people are mere “isolated cases.”
Meanwhile, reports of increased criminal cases in social media, including robbery incidents in Metro Manila, have been labeled by Albayalde as “fake news.”
He said he already tasked the PNP’s Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) to determine the persons behind the dissemination of fake information.
Albayalde further confirmed that top officials of the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were summoned by Duterte in a command conference next week to discuss the issues on the country’s security.
In the same high-level meeting, Albayalde said he is expecting the President would discuss to him the plans to “reorganize” the PNP by yearend.
Duterte earlier announced that he is willing to do anything what it takes to make sure that the PNP’s re-organization will be done before the year ends.
“Well the President must have thought that there is really a need to cleanse our ranks of rogue and misfit cops due to the intensified internal cleansing program that we are implementing,” Albayalde said.
“It seems that almost every day, we are catching cops involved in illegal drugs, extortion and other activities so the President must have seen this,” he added.
Just recently, the PNP arrested Police Officer 3 Lynn Tubig, a member of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF), after her alleged involvement in a pot session in Taguig City; and PO2 Benjo Villanueva Sionilo and PO1 Ivan Henrick Tavas, both AWOL (absent without official leave) cops assigned at Calabarzon Police Regional Office (PRO-4A) in a buy-bust operation.
Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Rizalino Andaya, chief of police of San Rafael, Bulacan, was also sacked for command responsibility along with 10 of his subordinates who were tagged in a P50,000 extortion activity.
“I would like to reiterate, there are only a few bad eggs in our ranks that need to be weed out. And we will not stop until the last of them are out of the PNP,” Albayalde said