Institutional changes at PNP needed
Former CHR chair Rosales calls for institutional changes in the PNP
MANILA – “Is the PNP now a full-fledged killing machine?” This was raised by Akbayan chair emeritus and former Commission on Human Rights Chair Loretta Anne P. Rosales after reports surfaced Calbayog Mayor Ronaldo Aquino died at the hands of Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel.
In a statement, Akbayan said Aquino is believed to be the 18th mayor to be killed under the Duterte administration which took office June 30,2016.
“The PNP’s list of abuses under this administration is long and horrific. From the ‘nanlaban’ poor to the activists, soldiers, fellow anti-drug enforcers and government officials, the police force has been accused of killing almost everyone. Instead of like a professional civilian police institution, it is more and more becoming the country’s biggest mercenary force,” Rosales said.
She added that the said incidents of police killings and abuses cannot be simplified as “mistakes” and “Isolated incidents.”
She explained there is a clear pattern of impunity rooted in the culture of violence and corruption deeply ingrained in the PNP institution, “made worse by the violent rhetoric spewed by the present administration.”
Former lawmaker and college professor Rosales said she believes there are still honest and trustworthy policemen and women, she called for a “deep-cutting institutional changes” required to reform the police force.
She underscored the need for stricter recruitment requirements which could be done through human rights education, regular and rigorous training on restraint in the use of force, stronger systems of accountability, infrastructure modernization and leadership that exemplifies full exercise of the rule of law and human rights for peace and order as some of the PNP reforms need to be seriously implemented.
“The PNP needs to undergo a full and unconditional structural revamp. We need a new normal police force to replace the old, broken, corrupt, and abusive system of policing in the country,” Rosales said.
“No matter how frequent the PNP Chief Debold Sinas does his Zumba sessions, it will not rebuild the tarnished reputation of the police. Only through a professional, community-based, rights-oriented, and corrupt-free police institution can we strengthen our judicial institutions and keep our people safe. This is the new normal police force that we need,” Rosales concluded. ((Melo M. Acuña)
Professor Loretta Ann P. Rosales (File Photo/Wednesday Roundtable @ Lido/Melo M. Acuna)