Police force needs values reorientation to root out abuses — Sen. Binay

Published December 21, 2020, 5:39 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) should conduct a top-to-bottom review of the moral values of all law enforcement officials and institutions to put an end to the culture of impunity and rid the system of abuse and undesirable practices, Sen. Nancy Binay said on Monday.

Senator Nancy Binay
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Binay made the call after a Parañaque police official shot dead a mother and her son in Tarlac on Sunday afternoon.

READ MORE: Police in viral Tarlac shooting had two dismissed homicide cases — Sinas

The police officer, Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca shot his neighbors, 52-year-old Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank Anthony Gregorio, 25, in Purok 2, Barangay Cabayaoasan, Paniqui, Tarlac. The shooting incident was recorded in video and has become viral on social media.

“Kailangan ng matinding across-the-board value re-orientation ang buong hanay ng PNP natin, dahil tila nakakalimutan na ng marami ang sagradong tungkulin nila na maglingkod at protektahan kahit yung pinakaabang Pilipino (There should be an intense across-the-board value re-orientation of the whole PNP rank because it seems many of them have forgotten their duty to serve and protect even the most vulnerable Filipino),” Binay said.

Likewise, the senator reiterated the need to introduce structural and internal reforms, particularly in implementing stricter accountability for erring cops.

“Dapat seryosohing baguhin ng PNP ang style at pag-uugali ng mga miyembro nito (The PNP should seriously look into the style and attitude of its members),” she said.

“Police behavior and practices should be directed to the desire of helping the people and the community. To a great degree, dahil na rin sa maling konsepto ng pagiging (due to the wrong conception of being a) figure of authority at false notion of empowerment, yung value structure na supposedly civilian in character ay naging (became) inherently authoritarian,” she pointed out.

The lawmaker also urged the PNP to conduct a more rigid psychological evaluation alongside physical fitness tests of officers to ensure higher standards are enforced and scalawags are rooted out.

“Something is deeply wrong when you have both top cops and rank-and-file who flout the law,” she said.

“Wala nang takot, dahil tila hindi naman na yata sila napaparusahan. Kadalasan napo-promote pa nga, (They’re not scared, precisely because they are not being penalized. Most of the time, they are even promoted),” the senator noted.

She said police orientation toward service is supposedly related to orientation toward crime control and community service, but apparently the PNP always comes short in addressing the clear discrepancies between their vision, mission, and the undesirable attitude and behavior of some of its members.

Binay also cited the “long list of transgressions” by the police: “May ninja cops, mañanita cops, ex-cop na land grabber at illegal logger, berdugong pulis—buong taon may nakakahiyang headline tungkol sa pulis. Ano na ba ang ginagawa ng liderato tungkol dito? (annually, there are shameful headlines regarding police behavior. What’s the leadership doing to address these things?).”

“The people expect the police to be their defenders, not their offenders,” Binay said.

The senator lamented that rather than being the people’s assurance of law and order, many cops are becoming the face of terror and impunity, blatantly disregarding the rule of law and long-held moral values.

“Tama na, sobra na, kailangang itigil na ang pang-aabuso (It’s enough, we should put a stop to these abuses),” she stressed.