Abusive cops, embarrassment to PNP

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IN A SINGLE week erring officers of the Philippine National Police, who bear the motto “To serve and protect,” hogged the headlines as cases of sexual harassments committed by them were reported. 

Disturbingly, a Sampaloc Police Officer (PO) 1 Eduardo Valencia allegedly raped a 15-year-old girl in exchange for the freedom of her parents facing drug charges. What was more disturbing about this was when the rogue cop validated his wrongdoing when publicly confronted by Director Guillermo Eleazar of National Capital Region Police Office.

Valencia, who is now facing criminal and administrative charges, explained that “palit-puri” (sex for freedom) scheme, or the dropping of charges in exchange of sexual favors from the suspect or a relative, was a “kalakaran” or standard practice among policemen. 

Valencia’s video being berated by Eleazar showed his distorted thinking of what his duties are. “I’m a kind police officer. I’m an operative [who] has apprehended many drug pushers.” Did he think that his “good records” would be an excuse to absolve him of rape-extortion? How would a police officer of good records attain to rape a minor who was just desperate to free her parents from prison?

This nightmarish crime by Valencia was followed by another case of two policemen from Quezon City Police District. PO1 Severiano Montalban III asked a 22-year-old woman, who was charged for illegal gambling, to have sex with him in exchange of her freedom. The woman was then allegedly passed on to another police officer, PO1 Jayson Portuguez, who forced her to do sexual acts inside a police patrol vehicle. Montalban III and Portuguez now face complaints for violating Republic Act 8353 or the Anti Rape Law of 1997. 

These abuse reports are just recent cases to the continuous perturbing incidents that involved policemen who are blatantly disregarding the due process of law and the human rights, particularly of women and children.

PNP’s housecleaning must be sustained by weeding rogue cops out in their ranks and concluding these wrongdoings with punishments based on the gravity of their offenses. The need to improve the quality of education, training, discipline and leadership in PNP is a way of closely monitoring any tendencies toward these abusive conducts. Keeping the public safe should be instilled in the mind of every law enforcer.

High-ranking PNP officers’ resorting to public humiliation by rebuking the rogue cops on national television, like what Eleazar did to Valencia, somehow served a warning to other police officers. 

On the bright side, these disgusting wrongdoings by police officers were immediately apprehended by PNP officials. No time is lost in prosecuting them. Without the need of waiting for the determination of guilt, responsible police officers acted on making sure that these immoral cops faced the consequences they deserve. 

These sordid cases of sexual abuses from those who are supposedly acting as law enforcers should be given more attention by the government. Police officers must always be reminded that they are part of the institution that sworn to serve and protect the Filipinos—and not be the violators of the law. 

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