Coping with cops

Published November 6, 2018, 12:05 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat




Manilans who think they know everything don’t trust anyone in a police uniform. Look what happened last Oct. 23. Thirty-eight guys were caught cheating in their PNP entrance exams in Davao, while three cadets of the PNP Academy were denounced for forcing two plebes to perform oral sex on each other, supposedly as their punishment for an unstated misdeed.

Two scandals in one day involving wannabe cops! As if that were not enough coincidence, the two incidents came to light while a press conference was going on to acquaint the public with PNP’s goal for 2030: to transform the national police into a “highly capable, effective and credible police service” that will mean “a safer place to live, work, and do business.”

In 2030, that holy grail shall have been in the works for 18 years. If Metro Manila doesn’t trust cops, the view is different in Butuan, Cebu, where the people respect policemen, according to a member of the PNP “change agenda” advisory councils with 16,000 members all over the islands. The advisors are lawyers and other professionals, retired police and civil government officials. They have produced a bonanza of P5 billion in donated equipment, patrol cars, firearms, etc. since 2012. How far can such councils go to “change” and transform cops?

Atty. Ercy Madriaga is a policewoman who has worked with good cops and bad cops, and believes there’s hope in rehabilitating those who’ve been led astray by temptations on the job. Her stories are a far cry from the mindboggling measurements used by PNP P.A.T.R.O.L. (Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and Upholding of the Rule of Law) and Performance Governance System under a system created by two Harvard University professors. Another advisor, Gen. Noel Baroceros, refused promotion twice so there would be no disruption in the program to improve policemen’s performance and image.

The ideal cop-to-population ratio is 1:500; the reality is 1:750,000. How to cope with cops? The unreachable star: A society that doesn’t need policemen. Alternatively, every cop a good cop.