MANILA – A total of 5,151 police officers have been dismissed from the service due to various offenses since 2016 as a result of the intensified internal cleansing program of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Citing the latest data as of June 16, PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said Monday a total of 18,664 police personnel were also penalized for various offenses.
The dismissed personnel were involved in cases ranging from grave misconduct, serious irregularities, and other criminal activities while some members of the police force were meted disciplinary sanctions for administrative offenses and involvement in irregularities.
These penalties include demotion in rank, suspension, forfeiture of salary, reprimand, restriction to quarters, and withholding of privileges.
“Kaya nga makaaasa ang publiko na hindi kinukunsinti o kukunsintihin ng PNP ang mga pagkakamali dahil hindi dapat pinapanindigan ang mali at sa halip ay kailangang itama upang hindi na pamarisan pa (I assure the public that the PNP will not tolerate mistakes because it should not support the wrongdoing. Instead, these acts must be corrected so that there won't be a repeat of these acts),” Eleazar said in a statement.
Upon assumption of the PNP's top post in May, Eleazar adopted the intensified cleanliness policy aimed at correcting minor infractions in the police force.
Eleazar also assured that operational lapses committed by policemen in anti-criminality operations are not ignored but are promptly addressed.
This came following the death of 16-year-old Johndy Maglinte in an anti-drug operation in Biñan City, Laguna on June 16.
Reports said Maglinte and drug suspect Antonio Dalit, a high-value drug target, were killed when they allegedly resisted arrest.
The incident is under probe based on the claim of the teenager’s family that Maglinte and Dalit were executed by police operatives.
The PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS), a fact-finding task group of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 4-A (Calabarzon), and the Commission on Human Rights are conducting independent investigations on the incident.
“Hindi po natin binabalewala ang mga alegasyon ng lapses sa operasyon ng ating mga pulis. Kaya nga po natin ito iniimbestigahan ay para agad maitama, sakaling may lapses na makita, para hindi na maulit pa (We do not ignore allegations of lapses in the operation of our police. That is why we are investigating this so that it can be corrected immediately, in case there are any lapses so that it will not be repeated),” Eleazar said.
He said both the PNP and the public will suffer if operational lapses are just ignored and not promptly addressed.
He added that this is the reason why thousands of policemen were dismissed from the service and punished as part of the disciplinary measures on the part of those who committed grave abuses.
Meanwhile, Eleazar encouraged the families of Maglinte and Dalit to disclose what they know to investigators regarding the police operation in Biñan City, Laguna.
Eleazar also called on other witnesses to the incident to provide statements that would help in the investigation of the case.
PRO4-A director Brig. Gen. Eliseo Cruz, meanwhile, ordered that Capt. Fernando Credo, head of the Police Intelligence Unit (PIU) Laguna, and nine other police officers involved in the incident be placed under restrictive custody of the PRO4A.
All policemen involved in the operations were subjected to paraffin testing and ballistics examination conducted on their firearms.
The bodies of Maglinte and Dalit were also subjected to autopsy and paraffin testing. (PNA)