MANILA, Philippines — The recently signed law which allows the Philippine National Police (PNP) to train new officers bodes well for the police force, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Thursday.
Under Republic Act 11279, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last April 12, but was shown to the media only on Thursday, the PNP now has control of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) and the National Police Training Institute (NPTI).
“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,” Lacson, who authored the Senate Bill 1898, said in a statement.
“By instituting reforms in the current system, we are strengthening the foundation of a highly efficient, effective and competent police force,” he added.
Lacson said incidents would be eradicated if police officials with high moral standards and technical abilities will be in charge of teaching recruits.
The Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) has been training the country’s police officers since the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) stopped allowing graduates to enter the civilian force after 1992.
“By delegating the training of recruits to individuals who are bereft of intellectual, physical and most importantly, moral competence, we do not only weaken the enforcement of the law; we also invite scorn and contempt for our national police force,” the Senator said.
According to Lacson, who served as PNP Chief from 1999 to 2001 under former President Joseph Estrada, this move may minimize incidents involving police officers who are engaged in illegal activities.
“I feel the pain of having the name of the institution I once served with pride, dignity, and honor dragged through the mire by police scalawags,” Lacson said.
“Amid these anomalies that spark public outrage, we see clearly the lapses in the recruitment and education of our police officers – phases that make up the formative stage of becoming a law enforcer,” he added.
The PNP has been waging an internal cleansing program to rid the institution of police scalawags using entrapment and counterintelligence operations.
One example is an incident in Taguig in July 2018 when three officers involved in a kidnap-for-ransom scheme were killed in a shootout. After the incident, 39 other police personnel in the city were sacked for condoning their fellow officers. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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