The Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) has warned 226 new cadets against engaging in all types of hazing and urged them to report any maltreatment from upperclassmen.
Ricardo de Leon, president of Philippine Public Safety College, told PNPA Batch 2022 that they can squeal as far as hazing is concerned.
“You have to break the code of silence. You let us know, we are here to solve that hazing and you must tell us who are doing this,” De Leon said in an oath-taking ceremony and reception rites held in Camp Mariano Castañeda in Silang, Cavite.
De Leon also warned upperclassmen from abusing the underclassmen.
“I would like to warn also the upperclassmen, we will not hesitate also to dismiss you if you don't follow this policy,” he said.
The stern warning was issued after an incident happened last March 21 when 6 new graduates of the PNPA were allegedly mauled by their underclassmen just a few hours after their graduation ceremony was presided by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Several cadets were charged over the mauling incident and a board of inquiry was formed to investigate the case.
Chief Supt. Joseph Adnol, director of the PNPA, said they want to ensure that no cadet will be mistreated and they will not engage in any form of hazing. He also said they will remove or charge cadets who will tolerate hazing.
Each cadet signed an affidavit of undertaking promising not to participate in any kind of hazing. Upperclassmen and PNPA officials were also asked to sign affidavits.
According to De Leon, they have implemented significant changes in PNPA to create an environment for learning.
“Inayos natin ang dormitories. There are four cadets in a room. Nag-level yan parang sa PMA at meron tayong closed quarters na time for study,” he said.
The Philippine Public Safety College also conducted a major curriculum audit.
“In-organize natin ang four academic departments. It didnt exist before. And we have four centers na it will ensure innovations, the proper implementation of ethical standards. So all of these interventions na in-introduce natin, hindi mo na pwedeng sabihin shortcut,” De Leon explained.
De Leon said they want to instill military discipline among the cadets.
“Discipline natin na naka-focus sa obedience, orderliness, yung respect at saka humility and of course without the mechanism for rewards and punishment hindi effective hanggang magkaroon ng self-discipline. In terms of our the growth of our officers, masasabi nating at par, iyon ang inayos natin. We are trying to do a lot of changes like nagkaroon tayo ng curriculum audit, K-12 aligned na tayo. Just like PMA, naka-align na rin sa K-12,” he said.
Record showed that there is a 39 percent dropout rate in new cadets even during the 4-5 days breaking period.
“I think it’s the problem of the millennials na probably yung ginagawa nilang acceptable behavior nila sa labas, sa bahay nila, pagdating dito, wala kaming gadgets. The next two years hindi ka pwede mag-cellphone, mag-laptop. These are the adjustments, second na reason is, hindi makagising ng maaga, the physical exercise is too rigid, and sabi namin, you have to adjust,” De Leon said.
De Leon admitted cadets from rural areas tend to adapt better rather than those who come from Metro Manila.
“Ang survivors dito ay really galing sa mga mahirap. I’ll be honest, yung galing sa mga rural areas, sa Mindanao. Marami rin tayong mga Muslim dito. Mas marami pa silang mag-survive kesa sa Metro Manila,” he said.
According to PPSC, there were 16,000 applicants who took the exam this year. Only 1,000 passed. After medical and physical examination, only 226 made it to become part of PNPA Batch 2022.