Solon tells PNP: Tarlac shooting not an isolated case, but a ‘symptom’ of institutional problems

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 23)— A House lawmaker is pushing for reforms within the Philippine National Police, saying that the recent Tarlac shooting case involving a police officer may be a “symptom” of the institution's problems.

“The institution should look at this not just as a simple isolated case, but rather a symptom of what could be ailing the institution as a whole,” Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon told CNN Philippines’ The Source on Wednesday. He was reacting to the death of Sonya and Frank Anthony Gregorio, who were gunned down Sunday by their neighbor, Police Staff Sgt. Jonel Nuezca.

“When we are talking about the institution, we are looking into how they recruit their personnel, how they screen for these personnel, and how they train them. And most of all, how they monitor them as they perform their duties as police officers,” he added.

Biazon said that while he believes there are “many good cops out there” — it is still the duty of the system to ensure that violations, including abuse of power, are constantly checked.

The lawmaker said he backs the proposal to conduct periodical neuropsychiatric tests for police officers, saying there should be an “institutionalized method” to determine the fitness of personnel.

Sa atin ngang mga ordinaryo lang na nasa opisina nagtatrabaho, merong stress. What more itong mga kapulisan natin who have to deal with danger, death, and threats to their own lives?” Biazon said. “Kailangan meron din tayong proseso na kailangan namomonitor sila regularly.”

[Translation: Even us ordinary citizens with office jobs experience stress. What more our policemen who have to deal with danger, death, and threats to their own lives? We have to have a process that will monitor them regularly.]

Earlier, the PNP said it will consider introducing regular neuropsychiatric examinations as well as anger management classes for police officers. PNP spokesperson PBGen. Ildebrandi Usana, in an earlier media briefing, also vowed to remove "misfits and scalawags" among its ranks, including those who have tested positive for illegal drugs.