Philippine National Police

Bam questions PNP: Why are scalawags still in service?

Sen. Bam Aquino urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to hasten the process of dismissing scalawag policemen from the service to stop the abuses and help regain the trust of Filipino people in the organization.

“Iyong mga pag-abuso ng mga pulis na nakikita natin hindi iyan mababawasan kung hindi mababawasan iyong mga delinkwenteng kapulisan na dapat tinatanggal sa hanay ng PNP,” said Sen. Bam during the interpellation for the 2018 budget of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

 “The sooner we’re able cleanse our ranks, the faster we will be able to stop these abuses na nangyayari,” added Sen. Bam.

 “Of our 181,000 policemen, ​PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa stated​ around two percent, while the president has mentioned five percent of the police force is involved in illegal drugs. This gives us a range of 3,620 to over 9,000 policemen involved in illegal drugs,” he added.

Currently, 447 policemen are under surveillance while 262 policemen have already been dismissed for various reasons and not necessarily for involvement in drugs.

 Sen. Bam is hoping the PNP will focus on these cases in the coming months to ensure that the organization is closer to getting rid of its ranks of scalawags.

 “Sana maaksuyanan muna ng PNP ang paglinis ng kanilang mga rangko bago sila magsagawa ng malawakang drug operation na posibleng magdulot ng pang-aabuso at pagkamatay ng mga inosenteng tao,” said Sen. Bam.

 Sen. Bam also wants ensure that the PNP has the necessary budget for its internal cleansing.

 “The PNP should pursue its internal cleansing just as ferociously as the country’s drug problem. With the war on drugs being the main thrust of the administration and with Filipinos feeling threatened by the violence tied to this war, we need to ensure that our policemen are trustworthy and upstanding,” emphasized Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam asks DILG, PNP: Why are drug infested barangays on the rise?

​Sen. Bam Aquino​ ​​questioned the rise in number of drug-infested barangays in the country despite the aggressive campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP) against illegal drugs​.

 ​​”In just seven months, the number of moderately drug-affected barangays jumped from 4,303 to 9,207. Why is there such a large increase, more than double,” Sen. Bam Aquino asked ​d​​uring his interpellation on the budget of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)​.

 Moderately affected barangays are defined as areas where at least two percent of the population are involved in illegal drugs. Based on records from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), these barangays increased from 4,303 to 9,207 from January to July of this year.

 ​​On the other hand,​ ​Sen. Bam lauded the decrease in the number of seriously affected barangays – or communities with a reported presence of a drug laboratory or marijuana plantation — from 217 in January 2017 to just 44 identified in July of the same year.

“May progreso naman ang kampanya ng pamahalaan. Maybe we can expect this to drop to zero seriously affected barangays by the end of the year,” said Sen. Bam.

 ​Still, Sen. Bam asserted that the police force must work to win the trust of the Filipino people, especially with the issues hounding the government’s drug war.

“Marami nang Pilipino ang natatakot na maging collateral damage ng drug war,” said Sen. Bam, referring to the June 23 to 26, 2017 SWS survey where seven of 10 Filipinos expressed fear that they themselves or someone they know will become a victim of an extrajudicial killing (EJK).

  The senator noted that ​while the drop in the country’s crime rate is commendable, there are still regions with alarming numbers for homicide cases, such as ​​Central Luzon ​with 1,397 deaths, CALABARZON with 2,185, Davao Region with 1,141 deaths and NCR with 3,141 deaths.

 “Bakit may mga areas na bumaba ang crime rate na wala ga​a​nong homicide cases​ habang may mga regions na in the thousands ang mga namamatay?” Sen. Bam asked the DILG and PNP.

 “Dapat pag-aralan ang mga area gaya ng​ M​IMAROPA​​ ​​at CAR na mababa ang kaso ng pagpatay. Hindi ba ito ang dapat tularan, na sa ​ pagbaba ng​​ ​crime rate, mababa rin ang bilang ng namamatay,” ​​​stated Sen. Bam, to which the PNP agreed.

 Region 4-B or MIMAROPA reported 273 deaths while CAR reported 175 deaths.

Sen. Bam also encouraged the DILG to hasten the process of dismissing scalawag policemen from the service to stop the abuses and ​the killings. As of latest data, the PNP said around two percent or 3,620 of the 181,000 policemen in the country are involved in illegal drugs.

Sen. Bam urges Church to provide witnesses, policemen with stories about drug war

Sen. Bam Aquino called on the Catholic Church to encourage their witnesses to share direct information about the involvement of policemen in extra-judicial killings (EJKs) in connection with the government’s drug war.

During the hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs on the deaths of Kian delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz and Reynaldo de Guzman, Fr. Robert Reyes and Fr. Bong Sarabia revealed that they were approached by families of young victims with knowledge of involvement of policemen in EJK.

According to the priests, they were also approached by policemen who have first-hand knowledge about EJKs. However, the priests said these witnesses have refused to reveal what they know because of fear for their lives and reprisal from people who might be affected by their disclosure.

“Ang pinakamainam na paraan ay mailantad ang mga kuwentong ito. With the help of the committee, puwede naman silang kunan ng salaysay and there are ways na hindi malalaman ang kanilang pagkakakilanlan. “Mas maganda kung makuha natin ang kanilang salaysay upang maimbestigahan nang maayos,” said Sen. Bam.

“Let’s cooperate and find a way na mailabas ang mga kuwentong ito para sabay-sabay nating bantayan na magkaroon ng hustisya ang mga namatayan,” added Sen. Bam, who also commended the Catholic Church for providing sanctuary for witnesses with knowledge about the EJKs in the country.

Sen. Bam also called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to involve different sectors of society, including the Catholic Church, to ensure that no rights are violated in their anti-drug operations.

“It will be better if the PNP will cooperate and involve different sectors of society, especially the Catholic Church to join its anti-drug operations to guarantee that the rights of suspects are respected,” said Sen. Bam.

“Hopefully, we can come to a situation where the PNP will be more transparent with groups and sectors that have raised serious concerns with the war on drugs. Nanawagan na rin ang simbahan na itigil na ang extra-judicial killings sa ating bansa,” added Sen. Bam.

Bam on PNP: May tinatago ba sila?

May tinatago ba sila?

Sen. Bam Aquino raised this question regarding the Philippine National Police (PNP) as he called on the organization to be transparent about its operations by showing spot reports to the Senate and to reporters.

  “Last hearing, Gen. Ronald Dela Rosa agreed that the PNP has nothing to hide kaya nagtataka tayo kung bakit ayaw ibigay ng ilang tauhan niya ang spot reports sa media,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam was referring to reports that members of media were not given access to spot reports, citing a new directive from Camp Crame.

“Kung wala silang tinatago, dapat nilang ipakita ang mga ito sa media,” said Sen. Bam, adding that journalists are responsible enough to handle confidential information contained in the spot reports.

In addition, Sen. Bam said the PNP’s directive to withhold spot reports from the media contradicts President Duterte’s push for transparency through the Freedom of Information (FOI) in government.

 Also, Sen. Bam expects Gen. Dela Rosa to comply with his earlier commitment that he will give senators a copy of the PNP’s spot reports, especially on cases of alleged extrajudicial killings and deaths outside police operations.

 “Itong spot reports, nagpapatunay kung meron talagang kababalaghan na nangyayari o wala kaya mahalaga na makuha namin iyan sa aming imbestigasyon. We still expect that the PNP will submit them to the Senate as promised,” Sen. Bam emphasized.

Earlier, Sen. Bam called on the government to suspend Oplan Double Barrel and rethink this bloody drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives since its implementation last year.

Bam calls for probe on secret jail cell, urges PNP to clean up ranks

Sen. Bam Aquino has filed a resolution seeking to investigate the operation of a secret jail cell discovered in a police station in Manila as he called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to clean up its ranks to bring legitimacy to the drug war.

“As the government’s enforcement arm in its war against illegal drugs, the PNP should safeguard the public’s trust by ensuring that abusive policemen are investigated and punished accordingly,” Sen. Bam said in Senate Resolution No. 348.

Sen. Bam stressed an upstanding police force must go hand-in-hand with the administration’s war against drugs to earn public trust.

 “Kailangan pangalagaan ng kapulisan ang tiwala ng publiko, lalo na dahil prayoridad and giyera kontra ilegal na droga. Hindi katanggap tanggap ang kahit anong pang-aabuso, gaya ng tagong selda na nadiskubre sa loob mismo ng istasyon ng pulis,” said Sen. Bam.

The secret jail cell was discovered by a team from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) inside the Raxabago Police Station in Tondo, Manila. The CHR found 12 persons inside the jail cell where they were detained for at least 10 days even without the filing of proper charges.

 The CHR also discovered that the arrests of the 12 detainees were not recorded. Also, families of the detainees claimed that elements of the Drug Enforcement Unit were asking for money, ranging from P40,000 to P100,000, in exchange for their release.

Sen. Bam said the probe is aimed at ensuring that the rights of those under custodial investigation or detention by the Philippine National Police (PNP) are protected.

 Earlier, Sen. Bam called on the government not to treat with kid gloves erring policemen who were behind the secret jail cell, insisting that they should be held accountable for their actions.

“Hindi katanggap-tanggap ang ganitong pagmamalabis. Kailangan itong maimbestigahan at matigil,” said Sen. Bam.

If the PNP will not make the necessary steps to hold erring policemen accountable for their illegal acts, Sen. Bam said abuses such as the secret jail cell will continue and even flourish.

Bam lauds PNP’s move to shift focus from anti-drug ops to ‘internal cleansing’

Sen. Bam Aquino lauded Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa’s order to cease all anti-illegal drug operations nationwide to focus on “internal cleansing”, saying it will help restore the public’s trust in the organization.

 “This is a step in the right direction for the PNP as it works on regaining the public trust after several controversial incidents involving bad elements within the organization,” said Sen. Bam.

“Sa hakbang na ito, umaasa tayo na mawawala na sa hanay ng PNP ang mga tiwaling pulis na sumisira sa imahe ng mga nagpapatupad ng batas sa bansa,” he added.

On Monday, the PNP chief ordered all police units to stop anti-illegal drug operations nationwide as the organization focuses on getting rid of bad eggs among its ranks.

Dela Rosa’s announcement came after President Duterte ordered the dismantling of all PNP anti-illegal drug units after several policemen were involved in the kidnapping and murder of a South Korean businessman inside Camp Crame in October 2016.

 Jee Ick Joo was abducted from his home in Angeles City in October 18, 2016 and murdered right inside Camp Crame on the same day.

 Earlier, Sen. Bam pointed out that rogue elements are capitalizing on the government’s war against illegal drugs for their personal gains.

 “Humihina ang giyera ng pamahalaan kontra droga dahil sa ilang masasamang element sa PNP na nagsasamantala sa sitwasyon para sa pansariling kapakanan,” the senator said.

 During the Senate committee on public order and illegal drugs hearing on the South Korean kidnap-slay last Thursday, Sen. Bam urged Dela Rosa to also focus on removing bad elements within the organization.

 “Self defeating kung hindi natin maaksyunan, malilinis at matatanggal ang mga ganitong klaseng gawain, parang humihina po iyong kalakasan natin dito sa war on drugs,” Sen. Bam told Dela Rosa.

 Dela Rosa, for his part, informed the committee that the PNP has 893 pending administrative cases against erring policemen while 228 were already resolved.

 Furthermore, Sen. Bam stressed that punishing those involved in the kidnapping and murder of the South Korean will help restore the public trust on the PNP.

 “Sa kasong ito, malinaw na ang mga personalities involved. Ang kailangan na lang alamin ay ang accountabilities at actions. Baka kahit papano, with a speedy resolution, mabalik nang kaunti ang tiwala,” Sen. Bam emphasized.

Bam to PNP, DOJ: Join forces in fight against rogue cops

Sen. Bam Aquino urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to work together to get rid of rogue policemen who put the law enforcement agency in bad light.

Sen. Bam said the PNP should not just relieve erring policemen from their posts but dismiss them from service while the DOJ must actively pursue criminal cases filed against them.

 The senator believes this two-pronged approach will help instill fear among scalawags to stop their illegal activities and restore the public’s confidence in the organization.

“Iyong paghahain ng criminal case ang kailangang bantayan. May kayang gawin ang PNP pero dapat umaksiyon din ang Justice Department at iba pang kasamang agency para makasuhan sa korte criminally ang isang pulis,” Sen. Bam said in a radio interview.

 “Palagay ko iyon ang hinahanap ng tao,  na hindi lang administrative o na-shuffle kundi masampahan sila ng kasong kriminal,” he added.

Sen. Bam also renewed his call to the PNP to weed out from their ranks bad elements who capitalize on the government’s intensified war against illegal drugs for their personal gains.

 “The controls need to be stronger. Inamin naman ng PNP na ang paglilinis is now a bigger priority dahil nakikita nila na may magsasamantala sa nangyayaring giyera kontra droga,” Sen. Bam said.

“Kailangan nating ibalik ang tiwala ng tao sa PNP. Siguraduhin natin na wala nang mangyayari pang ganito at tiyakin na ang mga taong gumawa ng masama ay makulong at managot,” the lawmaker added.

 As a means to eradicate bad elements in the PNP, Sen. Bam said he has filed a measure that will strengthen the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the PNP.

 Sen. Bam said Senate Bill No. 1285 or the PNP Internal Affairs Service Modernization Act will help instill better discipline and performance among policemen as they spearhead the fight against widespread proliferation of illegal drugs and other crimes.

 “It is of utmost importance to ensure that all members of the PNP Police clamp down on crime and corruption while fully abiding by the law,” Sen. Bam said.

 The bill was endorsed by the IAS and was subsequently filed by Sen. Aquino to help the PNP’s efforts to get rid of bad eggs in the organization.

 The measure strengthens the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the Philippine National Police (PNP), with provisions for autonomy and independence in its administration and operations.

 It mandates an IAS organization to instill discipline and enhance the performance of personnel and units of the Philippine National Police at all levels of its command.

Statement of Sen. Bam Aquino on the Encounter of the PNP-SAF with MILF

We deeply condole with the families of the Philippine National Police (PNP) officers who perished in Sunday’s clash with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Maguindanao.

The PNP leadership must ensure that the benefits of these fallen police officers will be provided to their families the soonest possible time.

At the same time, the PNP must launch a thorough investigation into the incident and find ways to avoid similar encounters in the future.

The lives of our police officers must not be compromised. Both parties must account for the lives lost.

We must not allow this tragedy to be an obstacle to our efforts for lasting peace in Mindanao.

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