Napolcom's solution vs scalawag cops: Probe all PNP applicants

MANILA, Philippines – While the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief has admitted that he has been sucked dry of ideas to clean the police force, the National Police Commission (Napolcom) has a bold proposal they have yet to try: Probe all PNP applicants.

Napolcom Vice Chairman Rogelio Casurao said a "background investigation" should be mandatory for all who wish to join the PNP, in the name of an early "cleansing."

"It's not enough that an applicant should have an NBI clearance or a police clearance. The best way really to get into the bottom of the character of a person is to look at the neighborhood and ask people to give you the information," Casurao told Rappler on Wednesday, January 17.

Casurao was asked of the commission's thrust for 2018 and said that they want to double efforts on police "discipline and recruitment," especially as the PNP's previous year was plagued with fatal mistakes. (READ: Dela Rosa's 2018 call to cops: Let's bring back PNP's good image

He said the investigation would focus on proving "good moral character" for the applicant, one of the requirements to become a cop for the PNP.

CLEANER PNP. Napolcom Vice Chairman Rogelio Casurao at his office in Quezon City. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

CLEANER PNP. Napolcom Vice Chairman Rogelio Casurao at his office in Quezon City.

Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

Casurao said he has long proposed the idea to the PNP, but limited logistics have impeded its implementation.

With around 10,000 applicants every year, Casurao admitted it would be difficult and expensive for intelligence officers to check out their backgrounds one by one. But, Casurao argued, it would be worth it.

"Forget about the difficulty...Dapat pagtiyagaan 'yan. Eh kasi it's no joke to get someone tapos magkakalat sa loob ng organisasyon. Nacocompound ang problema mo (We should be patient with it. It's because it's no joke to get someone, then he'd just cause trouble inside the organization. He'll just compound your problem)," he said.

Asked whether it might put applicants in danger of getting a build-up that may lead to an actual criminal case, Casurao said they should really be open for scrutiny. The keyword is consent. (READ: There's basis to issue TRO vs Tokhang – SC Justice Jardeleza)

"There's nothing wrong about that because when you apply, you signify that you're willing to be examined (in) both background, physical attributes, mental attributes. It goes without saying that you should open up these matters involving yourself," Casurao said. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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