By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. on Thursday said he has ordered a review of all pending administrative offenses of police personnel as part of the intensified internal cleansing among ranks.
Acorda said this was tackled during his recent meeting with Interior Secretary and National Police Commission (Napolcom) chair Benjamin Abalos Jr. and vice chair and executive officer Alberto Bernardo amid reports of a backlog in the resolution of administrative cases against erring police officers.
“Based on my experience also as part of yung regional appellate board ng Napolcom, nakita natin na talagang sa dami ng hawak na kaso. Maraming naka undeck and it takes time sa regional level pa lang yung paghawak ng kaso noon is makita mo there are some tumatagal ng buwan (Based on my experience also as part of the Napolcom’s regional appellate board, we have seen that in the number of cases held. There are many undecked cases and it takes time at the regional level to handle the case, you see there are some that take months),” Acorda told reporters during the opening rites of the CHIEF PNP CUP 2023 four-day shooting competition at the Armscor Shooting Range in Marikina City.
Acorda, meanwhile, said a case can only be quickly resolved if documents and pieces of evidence submitted are complete.
He issued the statement amid criticisms over the involvement of some policemen in various illegal activities in the past few days, including the death of 17-year-old Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar in Navotas and a robbery extortion case in Imus, Cavite.
Acorda emphasized that the disciplinary measures in the PNP is intact and this is being reflected on the swift actions against erring policemen.
“We don’t hide anything, and we are serious in the conduct of the investigation. In its totality, this reflects that policemen today are more behaved and focus on their job. That is from a general point of view,” he added.
From July 1, 2022 to Aug. 2 this year, a total of 583 policemen were dismissed from the service over various violations while 129 were demoted, 978 were suspended, 81 were meted with forfeiture of salary and 424 were reprimanded.
No quota system
Meanwhile, Acorda also said police offices nationwide are not being required to fulfill quotas under his leadership.
A quota system requires police officer to make a minimum number of arrests every week as part of their accomplishments.
“From my leadership I don’t impose quota system kasi naging tao ako sa baba, naging task force tayo of special operations group kung ano man ang mga tawag nung panahon namin, whenever there is a pressure from us to make accomplishments diyan nagkaloko-loko ang pulis, diyan nagkakaroon ng shortcut and kung minsan pagdating sa conviction rate din mababa (From my leadership I don’t impose quota system because I also started at the bottom. I became a task force head of special operations group or whatever it was called in our time, whenever there is a pressure from us to make accomplishments that’s where policemen get into trouble as they resort into shortcuts and sometimes the conviction rate is low),” Acorda said.
Meanwhile, he thanked Interior Secretary Abalos for giving him the power to relieve police commander as the need arises.
Abalos said it is part of the review of the doctrine of command responsibility within the PNP following incidents of lapses among police officers. (PNA)