MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) should adopt the military’s policy of discipline on its soldiers, a lawmaker said on Thursday, following the twin slays of a woman and her son in the hands of a policeman who had repeated offenses.
The various bodies that discipline the PNP add “to the bureaucracy and red tape of taking them into account,” said Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon.
On the other hand, erring soldiers “could be immediately discharged from service, even pending a case, a trial,” and the military makes it “difficult” for them to go back to the ranks, he said.
“Why can’t we do it with the policemen because they are imbibed with authority, they are given firepower to enforce the law? I think it’s really incumbent upon us to make sure that those who are given that power and authority are kept in check,” Biazon told ANC.
“We can do it with the soldiers, we should also be doing it with the PNP,” added the lawmaker, whose father, former senator Rodolfo Biazon, is a former military chief.
Earlier this week, police Staff Sgt. Jonel Nuezca shot his unarmed neighbors in front of his daughter after an alleged altercation over the use of an improvised cannon in Tarlac province. The incident was caught on video and posted online, drawing public outrage.
The PNP is reviewing the dismissal of previous cases against Nuezca, including grave misconduct for homicide and serious neglect of duty.
"They should view this as a symptom of what could be ailing the institution. It is really not the first time that a policeman has crossed the boundary of discipline and duty, and inflicted harm on civilians,” said Biazon.
“They must look into their organization, and find out why these individuals… are doing this.”
He urged the PNP to “review the processes in recruitment, training, managing their personnel” and implement a “constant evaluation of mental fitness” of personnel.
“If one bad egg gets away with it or does not suffer a consequence, the entire organization is witness to that and it would effect how individual members think, have belief in the institution,” he said.