By Chito Chavez and Kate Louise Javier
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge (OIC) Eduardo M. Año said yesterday the full force of the law will be applied against rogue police officers.
“Clean up your act or leave. No one will be spared. Police officers who will be found culpable of any criminal involvement shall be removed from the service,” said Año, former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff.
On strict orders from President Duterte, Año said the DILG and the Philippine National Police (PNP) was directed to rid their ranks of scalawags.
He added that the government is committed to expose these police scalawags and place them behind bars.
“The public craves for actions that will quash the culture of impunity in the government,” Año said.
“Sa mga pulis na hindi mapigil sa kanilang kabulastugan at patuloy na ginagamit ang kanilang posisyon para makapanlamang ng kapwa, I tell you now, we are after you (To the police officers who are using their positions to continue their illegal acts, I am telling you now: we are after you),” warned Año.
Año noted that since 2016, more than 6,000 police commissioned and non-commissioned officers, including non-uniformed personnel, were dismissed from the service, demoted, and suspended.
Included were police officers who experienced forfeited salaries, reprimand, restriction, and withholding of privileges as part of the PNP internal cleansing campaign.
“I don’t care kahit maubos lahat ng pulis, basta mawala lang lahat ng scalawags. We can always find recruits to become good policemen,” said the DILG Chief.
The PNP currently implements its intensified internal cleansing campaign which is “not just about punishing people.”
The internal cleansing campaign has a three-pronged approach: Preventive which involves assessment from training to operations to search for loopholes that will create opportunities for criminal activities; Punitive which involves filing cases against police officers; and Restorative which involves recovery and wellness programs.
Nearly a year of seeking justice for the death of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, his family believes that the three former Caloocan police officers accused of killing the teenager will be convicted.
Randy Delos Santos, Kian’s uncle, said they are hoping and praying that justice will be served soon.
“On his first death anniversary, we’ll have a mass to pray for his soul and thank the people who are constantly helping to give him justice,” Randy shared.
Citing the “fast” trial of the murder and planting of evidence raps before Caloocan Regional Trial Court Branch 125 Judge Rodolfo Azucena Jr., Randy expressed confidence that the truth will eventually come out and the “uniformed criminals” will be put in jail.
Kian, a Grade 12 student who dreamed of becoming a cop, died at the hands of the policemen after he allegedly resisted arrest during an anti-illegal drug operation on the evening of Aug. 16, 2017, in his neighborhood.