'Sobra na': Binay calls for values "reorientation' for police force

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 21 2020 06:33 PM | Updated as of Dec 21 2020 06:34 PM

MANILA - Sen. Nancy Binay on Monday urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct a "top to bottom value re-orientation" in the organization, saying there have been too many uniformed personnel mired in killings and other controversies.

Police Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca's brutal killing of an unarmed mother and son - Sonya Gregorio, 52 and Frank Anthony, 25 - in Paniqui, Tarlac on Sunday is the latest in the police's "long list of transgressions", Binay said in a statement.

"Dapat seryosohing baguhin ng PNP ang style at pag-uugali ng mga miyembro nito... Tama na, sobra na, kailangang itigil na ang pang-aabuso," Binay said.

(The PNP should seriously change its members' style and demeanor... We've had enough, it's too much, they have to stop the abuses.)

"Rather than being the people’s assurance of law and order, lately many of our cops are becoming the face of terror and impunity, blatantly disregarding the rule of law and spitting on our values," she said.

The senator noted that apart from several incidents of police gunning down civilians, some members of the PNP have also been tagged in corruption scandals, reselling of illegal drugs and violation of COVID-19 quarantine policies, which authorities were supposed to enforce.

"May ninja cops, mañanita cops, ex-cop na land grabber at illegal logger, berdugong pulis—buong taon may nakakahiyang headline tungkol sa pulis," Binay said.

(There were ninja cops, mañanita cops, former cops who are now land grabbers and illegal loggers, killer cops --- all throughout the year, there were headlines about the misdeeds of the police.)

"Something is deeply wrong when you have both top cops and rank-and-file who flout the law. Wala nang takot, dahil tila hindi naman na yata sila napaparusahan. Kadalasan napo-promote pa nga," she said.

(They are no longer afraid because it seems that they would not be sanctioned. Some were even promoted.)

Binay did not mention any official, but current PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas breached quarantine policies earlier this year when he was photographed during his "mañanita" birthday celebration at the height of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, when mass gatherings were strictly prohibited.

President Rodrigo Duterte defended Sinas, who was then Metro Manila police head, and proceeded to appoint him as PNP chief.

The PNP needs to overhaul the outlook of its personnel and remind them that they should be the public's "defenders, not their offenders," Binay said.

"Kailangan ng matinding across-the-board value re-orientation ang buong hanay ng PNP natin, dahil tila nakakalimutan na ng marami ang sagradong tungkulin nila na maglingkod at protektahan kahit yung pinakaabang Pilipino," she said.

Other senators earlier blamed impunity in the country for the misdeeds of several police officers.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson - a former PNP chief - said current police leaders should "show no mercy" towards Nuezca, who also had a string of other homicide and grave misconduct cases in previous years.

Sinas earlier said that criminal charges have been filed against Nuezca, underscoring that the PNP would not condone the killings in Tarlac.

The current PNP chief called the incident an "isolated case" and said that "in no way will such incident affect the sworn duty of the 221,000 police personnel to serve and protect our people."

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