By Vanne Elaine Terrazola, Mario Casayuran, and Aaron Recuenco
Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Friday it was high time that the Philippine National Police (PNP) take full responsibility and accountability for training its new recruits – an opinion shared by the President and top police officials.
Lacson said such a move would greatly help the organization’s internal cleansing as he pushed for the passage of Senate Bill 1898, which seeks to place Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) under the PNP’s administrative and operational supervision and control.
The same bill, which amends Sections 66 and 67 of Republic Act 6975, will also place the National Police Training Institute (NPTI) – which trains non-commissioned officers – under the PNP’s supervision and control.
At present, R.A. 6975 mandates the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) to train police personnel.
“In past months, we have seen how police officers, many of them non-commissioned ones with the ranks of PO1 and PO2, had been involved in heinous crimes. It’s about time we revisit the law to make the PNP the premier educational and training institution for our policemen and policewomen,” said Lacson, a retired police general who led the PNP from 1999 to 2001.
“With the transfer to the PNP of the training of police recruits, we can strengthen the foundation of a competent police force not just physically, but also morally,” he said.
Lacson is expected to sponsor SB 1898 this coming week.
A House version of Lacson’s bill is now pending before the House of Representatives as filed by retired police general and now Pangasinan Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil.
Last Tuesday, President Duterte confronted in Malacañang some 100 police personnel involved in various crimes, including kidnapping, rape, extortion, and involvement in illegal drugs, as well as those facing administrative charges.
A furious Duterte scolded the erring cops for tainting the image of the PNP, warning them that he would have them killed should they continue with their illegal activities.
At Camp Crame, top police officials expect Congress to expedite the bill, citing the President’s approval of turning over to the PNP the training of police recruits.
“The President said he approves of the measure and even told Senator Richard Gordon, who was present then, ‘let’s do this’,” said Senior Superintendent Benigno Durana, Jr., PNP spokesman, in reference to the President’s discussion of the proposal at the recent joint command conference of police and military top brass in Malacañang.