Top PNP brass wants to regain police training function

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7) — Top Philippine National Police (PNP) officials are calling for reassuming policemen training to instill discipline among the ranks.

They are pushing for the PNP to handle schools like the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), which is under the Philippine Public Safety College.

"Over the years, we've been fighting for this that the law will be amended and training will be given to us, the PNPA most especially," Director Oscar Albayalde, Metro Manila police chief, told CNN Philippines' The Source.

"It's because we do not hold these training. Kaya [this is] the long term... na solution dito [So this is the long-term... solution here]," he added.

His comment echoed that of PNP Chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, who admitted lapses on police discipline during a Senate hearing on the killing of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos.

"Matagal na namin linolobby sa Congress na sana yung training ng PNP maibalik sa amin. Dahil sa buong mundo, kami lang ang police agency na hindi nagte-train sa aming tao," said Dela Rosa.

[Translation: We have been lobbying for this in Congress, that hopefully the training of the PNP is returned to us. We are the only police agency in the whole world that doesn't train its people.]

Dela Rosa was asked about long-term solutions to instill discipline in the police force, which has been criticized for the deaths of Delos Santos and 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz. Both boys died in police operations, although autopsies indicated Delos Santos was down when he was shot and Arnaiz could have been tortured.

Murder raps were filed against policemen involved in the Delos Santos case, while Arnaiz's death is under investigation.

Another minor, 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, was found dead Wednesday. He was a friend of Arnaiz.

 

To stress the lack of discipline during the Senate hearing, Dela Rosa even asked two policemen tagged in the Arnaiz slay, PO1 Jeffrey Perez and PO1 Ricky Arquilita, to stand up.

"Look at their stomachs. PO1 sila, kakagraduate lang from training, pero ang lalaki nila. Ang discipline talaga, hindi mo ma-impose yung standard ng discipline na gusto ng PNP dahil hindi namin hawak ang training," said Dela Rosa.

"Hindi yung pabaya nalang na PO1 ka pa... parang SPO4 na ang tiyan mo," he added.

[Translation: Look at their stomachs. They're PO1s, just graduated from training, but they're huge. We can't impose the standard of discipline PNP wants became we don't hold their training. They shouldn't let themselves go in that they're PO1s... but they have the bellies of SPO4s.]

Dela Rosa said he was not singling out the policemen, but noted they were "victims of the system."

Senate Public Order Committee Chair Panfilo Lacson said the Senate is looking into the suggestion.

"We did have at least two hearings on the bill that will return the training of the PNP personnel back to the PNP. In due time, we will prepare our committee report," said Lacson, himself a former PNP chief during the Estrada administration.

Senate Bill 574, filed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, seeks to place the PNPA, Police National Training Institute, and National Police College under the PNP.

Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano also filed a counterpart measure, House Bill 3153. Pangasinan Representative Leopoldo Bataoil also filed a similar measure, House Bill 5787. Both are pending at the Committee on Public Order and Safety.