MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) has taken as a challenge the remark of President Rodrigo Duterte on “embedded corruption” in the police force, vowing to step up efforts to cleanse its ranks.
In a phone interview on Saturday, PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said they have placed programs in place for internal cleansing to put an end to corruption allegations against its members.
“That has been the public perception. That’s why we have launched different programs on our own para ipakita sa kanila (to show them) na we are trying to exert much effort para baguhin ang perception na ito (to change this perception)," Gamboa told ABS-CBN News.
"However, since hindi pa satisfied ang lahat (since not everyone is satisfied), even the President is saying that it’s really a challenge on the part of the PNP."
In an exclusive interview with broadcaster Ted Failon on Thursday, Duterte said one of the PNP's largest problems was "the embedded corruption in the minds" of some police officers.
"Wala talaga. Dinoble ko na suweldo eh, hoping it would somehow be a hedge against corruption," he said.
(It's really hopeless. I have doubled the salaries of police officers, hoping it would somehow be a hedge against corruption.)
Gamboa said over 280 erring cops have been dismissed since October 2019 when he assumed office. He said the PNP was now in close coordination with Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, who was given power by the President to oversee the PNP and address corruption.
Gamboa said he wants to “trim down” regulatory functions of the PNP, which he said have become the roots of corruption -- such as traffic enforcement -- and that he is pushing to institutionalize the 15-day summary hearing procedures to try alleged rogue cops and punish those proven guilty of dismissal, instead of reassignment.
Duterte, before appointing Año to "handle" and "fix" the PNP, had said he was going to take time in choosing the country's next police chief after former PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde stepped down from his post in 2019 following allegations he protected his men who were accused of selling seized illegal drugs.
- Report from Michael Delizo, ABS-CBN News