Taking Responsibility

The PNP Integrated Transformation Program (ITP)– What is it, really?  And as a citizen and civilian, why should it matter to me; and better yet, why should I even care?  These are the questions that have been occupying me for the better part of 2 years, and until today, I have yet to arrive at an answer that will give me the courage and willingness to completely embrace this bold initiative.  In that time, I’ve had conversations with friends, relatives, and strangers; with foreigners, generals, non-commissioned officers, and with fatalists, visionaries, cynics, patriots and idealists, even encountering the occasional lack of interest of some.  I’ve had the privilege of hearing what, I believe, constitutes all sides of the spectrum.  And why I perceive that as a privilege is because beyond opening my eyes to the realities and barriers that derail the already seemingly insurmountable task of transforming our National Police, it made me see that I am also at the source of the unworkability that plague our men in blue.  I saw myself in each and every person I spoke to.  I felt their frustrations and shared their resignation.  I hailed their compassion, and belittled their indifference and ignorance.  From these conversations, I realized that it’s one thing to be aware, another to have an opinion, and another to be in action.   But what makes all the difference for me is first, knowing that I must take responsibility for what I did, what I am doing, and who I have been that has allowed for the collective mistrust in our police to flourish.  What those conversations have left me with was the realization that I am as much an agent of transformation as a spectator who lacks the voice and power to truly make a difference in my country; that I actually have a say in what happens to my police.

 

So what exactly does it mean to take responsibility in the context of my own role in the PNP’s transformation?  Does it mean blaming myself?  Surely, I can’t blame myself for the acts of others.  That would be crazy.  Does it mean blaming others?  I certainly doubt that blaming others is taking responsibility for anything.  Responsibility for me is knowing that my opinions, words, and actions play a significant role in the way I perceive the PNP, and consequently on the success of the transformation program itself;  that for as long as the totality of who I am suggests that transformation is impossible, then that’s how the police will always appear to me – an organization made of men and women incapable of any kind of change. Simply put, if I am not open even to the possibility of a world-class police force, then not only has the program lost a potential supporter, it has already failed in my eyes.  Now imagine that sentiment spread throughout our country.  I understand that it would be reckless and irresponsible for me to make a sweeping generalization, but I am finding it difficult not to arrive at the conclusion that the majority of our population are not big fans of the police and are quick to dismiss the possibility of any kind transformation, and rightly so for who could blame them?  Corruption, extortion, abuse of power… the list goes on.  Even some officers expressed their reluctance in supporting what for them is either just a “futile endeavor” or a program that will eventually die out.  Imagine that? Policemen and women themselves shrugging off what could possibly be the key to addressing their own concerns about where they work, for after all, it is not just the general public that is affected.  We civilians tend to forget that policemen suffer as well, if not, more from the institutional cracks and the crookedness found in the way the PNP is, and has been run, and they way it is, and has been perceived all these years.

 

In the time I spent talking to people about this, it was not unusual to hear words like “impossible” or “no chance in hell.” And therein lies the biggest hurdle of them all.  The transformation program has already failed by virtue of the fact that most people don’t think it will happen; how can we expect it to succeed if the police can’t even get their foot in the door because no one’s home?  Sure, we can cite all of our favorite “sources” to the problems that our country faces and also the future of our police: economics, lack of proper education, overpopulation, or plain old fashion anemic political will; but for the simple reason that civilians AND policemen and women are not open to it, then we can be inclined to expect nothing from the ITP.  It’s one thing for the police to transform and it’s another to the have a public willing to embrace it.  Much like community policing, it requires a concerted effort to get the job done.

 

What I am saying here is that there is no one answer or solution to get to when it comes to instituting change in our police.  Everyone has a role to play in this effort, and the bottom-line is that without multisectoral partnership, it is impossible.  Some argue that before their support can be given, their trust must be gained by having the police transform themselves first.  Although I understand this kind of logic, I completely disagree with it.  It strikes me as not only selfish but devoid of any kind of honest desire for transformation, because there is a lack of willingness to do whatever it takes; even if it includes putting their faith in the program for no other reason than having a world class police force.  The future of our PNP is too precious for pride to get in the way.  What there is to do, is to take a stand; and to be committed to that stand despite any circumstance that can get in the way.

A World Class PNP

Here’s the deal. I have absolutely no idea how to do this, so I’m just going to put it out there and if what I say makes some sort of difference in that it inspires you, humors you, or pisses you off, please acknowledge this with whatever response you feel appropriate because this will only work with your support.  Anything worth accomplishing cannot be done alone.

 

I am 100% committed, to making a difference in our National Police.  There is nothing I want more right now than to have a world-class police force, respected by Filipinos, and emulated by police the world over. You’ve got to be kidding. In your wildest dreams. WHY BOTHER. IMPOSSIBLE.  I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that it doesn’t take the least bit of effort to shut down some “crazy talk” like this. And it certainly costs nothing on our part to have our collective opinion be that of resignation.  Now I’m going stop myself right there because the last thing I want to do is to preach and get righteous about what I think we should all do.  The point of what I’m saying is this:  I believe we’re resigned about our police because it’s easy; easy to be ashamed, embarrassed, angry, doubtful, and cynical. Its easy to post clever status messages, to “like” opinions of discontent, to be validated by agreeing with those who have jumped on the hating thread-wagon, simply because these cops “have given us no other choice” but to be all of these, and this terrifies me; that many of us feel that the fault is theirs alone, but more than that, what concerns me is how we are quick to believe that we are powerless and incapable of turning these circumstances around.  When I think about it like this, it actually seems that we may be giving these cops too much credit.  I’d like to think that all of our opinions are our own, given to us by none other than ourselves, but somehow in this particular situation, it’s much easier to pin it on them.

 

So what then?  That’s what I meant by “I absolutely have no idea.”  I don’t have the answers or the key to getting ourselves out of this situation.  I don’t know where to start or how to even go about transforming our police into an organization that we can be proud of and readily flaunt to the rest of the world.  All I know is that I have a commitment to make a difference, to be part of the solution and not the problem.  And that’s where all of you come in.  I DEFINITELY cannot do this alone.  Share your ideas on how we can turn this around.  I truly believe that we all have something to offer, and though it may take a massive effort for each of us to individually gather the courage or even the interest to give the police a fighting chance at restoring their dignity, I guarantee you all that the result will be worth the shots in the dark.  Each of us can contribute in our own way, there’s no format or template to get this done except to continue to be empowered by the possibility of a national police that we can be proud of.  And I’m not talking about positive thinking either.  I’m talking about getting our hands dirty, really getting into the meat of what it will take to do this.  My head is spinning just thinking about all the ways we can be partners with the police in their transformation.  Maybe starting an organization that will streamline the efforts of existing groups that already have the same agenda, or putting together a program or lecture series where solid straight up cops go around schools just sharing their experiences and talking about what being police officers mean to them, or an event where comic artists and writers come together to see who could create some kind of hero cop and totally build on that image and have it be present at community events, or a concert for the benefit of cops who work day and night putting their lives at risk just to send their kids to school, or bombarding our district representatives, senators, up to the man himself with letters and requests demanding their support in re-evaluating police compensation and benefits and eliminating bureaucracy so they don’t resort to thievery and corruption; what about organizing a community-wide effort to go to the police stations and clean them up, rid them of dust and stink, and wash away anything that has them lose respect for their themselves and their badges, or have schools or universities be involved in their training whether it be in literacy or tactful communication, or have broadsheets maintain a column or section that features outstanding cops and their achievements, or simply just take the time out to really get what these men and women in uniform go through every single day; what has them be the way they are and step in and interrupt the system that we just love to bash but don’t really do anything about. If I can go on and on and on and on with ideas to make it all happen, imagine what can be done by a group of people, or even an entire country that has everyone on the same page.

 

I’m not asking you to forget all the things that they’ve done to shame our country because at the end of the day, justice still must be served.  Neither am I asking for you all to agree with me or disagree with me.  This is no place for opinions of right and wrong, “should have’s” or “could have’s”, pipe dreams, and talk but no action. This is not even the place for bumper sticker optimism.  What I need, and I’ll assert that what our PNP needs, is clear, tangible, real world, in- your-face unstoppable support, with a clear agenda and precise objective. And beneath all that, a clear context:  the commitment to empower our people to be at the source of the transformation of our National Police.  I expect resistance and skepticism, but to these fatalists I say bring it.  Every second is an opportunity for a revolution and I have absolutely no intention of entertaining anyone who thinks they can take that time away from us.  Now I understand that there are things beyond our control or circumstances we may have to deal with along the way that could possibly rain on this parade like for example, having to face certain “realities” of the system. And that is exactly why we are doing this, to eliminate these so-called realities and create new inspiring ones, and I assure you this will not be easy or comfortable.   But like I said earlier, the only things that take no effort are giving up and posting on your wall.

 

I now realize that this is my contribution.  To just have you read this, think about it, and to maybe inspire you to join this effort by doing whatever is in your capacity to do as long as it moves us forward.  If it takes a hundred years to get it done, then let today be the first day towards that.  Let’s not forget, they are the Philippine National Police, which makes them OUR responsibility.

 

Lieutenant or Inspector? Colonel or Superintendent? Director or General? The PNP’s attachment to it’s armed roots: Shedding light on old habits and why the PNP just can’t seem to shape up just yet

TV, newspapers, and radios seem to get this all wrong.  We often hear titles like “Lieutenant”, “Colonel”, “General”, or even “Sergeant” used in the police context, when strictly speaking, these titles belong ONLY in the Armed Forces (military) and not in the PNP.  So why are they used?

A slight history lesson follows, but please bear with me as it is KEY to understanding one of the reasons why the PNP is the way it is today.  And if you’re not ready for the long read ahead, I implore you to give yourself time to shake it off and return when you’re ready, because seriously, it might make you *fingers-crossed* realize something you didn’t think you would. But if you’re ready right now, then astig… read on!

Back in the day, from around the mid 70’s to the early 90’s, the tasks of arresting criminals, enforcing laws, and maintaining peace and order in the country were delegated to two organizations: the Integrated National Police (INP) and the Philippine Constabulary (PC)… (I know, I know, first line palang, hassle na… cge lang!) In a nutshell, the PC was more national in scope in that it dealt with major crimes and was also considered one of the four major armed services (the remaining three being the Navy, Army, and Air Force).  By this alone, the public was given the impression that they commanded just as much authority as soldiers.  Some would even argue that they WERE indeed soldiers.  Now because the PC was an armed service, it naturally followed that they adopted the ranking system of the military; it is for this simple reason that the titles of Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Colonel, and General were used to designate the officers of the PC.  The INP on the other hand, dealt with public safety, crime prevention, and less serious crimes such as traffic violations.  It was also accountable for fire and jail services in all the independent cities and municipalities in the Philippines. (Whoooo… one paragraph done… you can do it…)

The crest of the Philippine Constabulary

In 1991 the PNP was founded,  integrating the PC and INP.  Old habits however, did not just die hard… they did not die at all.  To this day, we still casually use these titles to refer to the ranks of commissioned officers of the Police, instead of Inspector, Senior Inspector, Chief Inspector, Superintendent, Senior Superintendent, Chief Superintendent, Director, Deputy Director, and Director General, proper ranks administered to police around the world. (History lesson done… and now for my point!)

So what’s the point of all this? The issue here is far beyond semantics.  Currently there are still thousands of active policemen in the PNP, who were once part of the PC/INP.  When the PNP was founded, the existing officers were assimilated into the newly created organization, taking their habits with them.  The training, structure, and overall manner in which this “new” PNP conducted itself slowly began to shift, seeking to become more civilian in nature; but this was not enough to supersede the military-like traditions, customs, and mentality of those who were part of the “old guard.”  As you all know, the 70’s through to the 80’s was a very volatile period in Philippine history.  With Martial Law in place, our country’s police and soldiers were practically invincible; acting on their own regard, some violating civil liberties, and pretty much getting away with everything.  Now if you think about it, those who are currently occupying the highest positions in the PNP and AFP were the impressionable young soldiers (PC) and police (INP) during that period.

An officer at 21. Idealistic but impressionable. Innocent and corruptible. What were YOU doing at 21?

Allow me illustrate: Imagine being in your early twenty’s, a fresh graduate from a PC training school or the Philippine Military Academy (yes, MILITARY graduates were given the choice to also join the PC in addition to the Army, Navy, and Air Force).  Now imagine entering an organization right at the time when it is practically given total authority over a nation by a dictator.  I am certain that somewhere along the way, you would have acquired a set of habits and a way of doing things that were products of this “total authority”, bringing them with you as you were promoted up the ladder.  On top of that, as you begin to command men of your own, you unknowingly and naturally instill upon them these very same habits.  They in turn, do the same to their subordinates, and the cycle continues.  Can you begin to see the picture?  The problems that plague this country’s police like human rights violations, rude and abusive policemen, and pompous officers who believe they are above the law, are remnants of a time passed.  But nonetheless, these remnants are enough to keep the habits alive and to allow impunity to proliferate.

Before we blame them, let us first understand them.  The blame can come after; after we acknowledge that had we lived a day in their boots and faced the same circumstances, we would have most likely turned out to be just like them too.

Again, my purpose for writing this journal is not to defend and justify every single unlawful act a police officer has committed.  Just because some were corrupted by their environment does not excuse them from the law and I assure you I do not believe that it “makes it all better” and dandy.  The purpose of this is to just lay it all out on the table, so that your opinions and judgments are better informed.

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*NOTE – Doing the math: by factoring in the foundation year of the PNP and the compulsory retirement age of 56, it would appear (in my opinion) that we can expect PC mentality to almost completely disappear by 2029… and this is only taking into account the young soldiers and not the men and women they influenced as they were promoted.  To this day, some of the new recruits in the PNP are still adopting the habits and teachings of their ex-PC superiors.

COP: “Pakibukas po yung likod…” – YOU: ‘Di puwede. The Doctrine of Plain View

Here’s the lowdown on authorized and unauthorized actions of police during the conducting of checkpoints; but before anything else, know that there is a proper manner in which checkpoints should be set up:

1. All checkpoints must be conducted in well-lit areas

2. All checkpoints must be led by by a commissioned police officer with at least the rank of Inspector (here’s how to differentiate rank)

3. All police officers must be in proper uniform with nameplates clearly visible.  Meaning no jackets, slippers, t-shirts, etc… If the cops are wearing jackets, their nameplates must still be visible.

4. A marked police patrol vehicle must be clearly visible in the immediate location of the checkpoint.  A marked vehicle refers to a police vehicle clearly identifiable by it’s body markings usually consisting of the PNP logo and a body number.

5. All checkpoints must have a sign indicating that it is indeed a police checkpoint.

So what is the doctrine of plain view?

Simply put, it dictates that police officers at checkpoints can only conduct limited searches to what is visible in plain view.  In other words, they are not authorized to open doors, compartments, center consoles, seats, trunks, bags, or any other carrying case for the simple reason that their contents are not in “plain view.”  Furthermore, they do not have the authority to remove you from the vehicle whether forcibly or otherwise.   Although they are free to request that you open the compartments, you also have every right to refuse. I repeat — “YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO REFUSE”.  I would assert however, that you must refuse to open any compartment or step out of the vehicle even if you are requested to do so, because they may plant incriminating objects such as drugs or weapons.  If this happens, they will have the right and authority to completely search your vehicle AND bring you in (we all know what can happen here.  The sky is the limit for them in this situation, and they may ask for outrageous amounts of money or favors just so they can let you go.  What they’re capitalizing on here is your fear of humiliation or fear of being hurt)

There are of course, instances wherein the police are justified and  consequently authorized to conduct a thorough search, totally disregarding the doctrine of plain view.  For example:

1. They have a search warrant for you or your vehicle. (Be aware that warrants can be fabricated so it is important that you scrutinize the warrant and make sure everything is accurate and in order.  I’ll be uploading a sample of a proper warrant so you know exactly what it looks like).

2. They see incriminating objects such as weapons, drugs, blood, broken glass, contraband, or anything that may look like you or the vehicle was involved in a crime.

3. The police officers in the field including those conducting the checkpoint have been given prior alarm that you or your vehicle had been involved in a crime.  When this happens, they are authorized to do a thorough search. (For example, Robin Padilla was not caught because the cops knew he illegally possessed firearms.  He was caught because there was a prior alarm out involving him in a hit and run incident.  When they conducted a checkpoint, they had the authority to search his vehicle.  It was at the point that they discovered the guns)

The next question is usually: So what if I they insist that I did something wrong even if I didn’t, and demand that I either step out of the vehicle or open my compartments? Worse, they even tell me that there IS indeed a prior alarm out for my car!!

When this happens, the first thing I would suggest is to just try your best to remain calm.  Tell the cops that you are willing to go to the police station to verify that alarm, but you will not step out of the car.  If they physically try and force you out, know that they have violated your rights.  Also, be sure to request for witnesses at the station.  If not you can tell the cops that you’ll call your friends or your relatives to serve as witnesses.

When you’re in the thick of it

So you’ve come face to face with a cop (or a group of cops) and despite the optimism and hope that you’ve gained out of reading my posts, these men or women in blue turn out to be just as nasty as you expected.  What do you do?

*Before anything, if you feel you have been wrongly accused, and you ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE that you did not do anything illegal or wrong, then by all means defend yourself.  You have every right to contest the officer’s judgment.  I’m serious, it’s really a right that citizens have.  But if you know that you messed up, then accept the consequences of your actions and submit yourself to their requests.  You’re free as well to try to work something out with the cops and if you’re lucky, they’ll let you go; if not, then I’m sorry but it’s not your call..  Keep in mind that when I say “work something out”, I don’t mean bribe.  If you do this, then you’re no better than the dirty cops out there.

1. CALM DOWN. RELAX. I know this sounds like an impossible thing to do, but you will need the presence of mind and focus if you expect to be able to do the rest.

2. Remember the names of the cops.  Their last names are almost always on a black nameplate located on their right chest.  Better yet, If you can get away with writing this down without them noticing, then do that instead.

3. Remember the number of their mobile patrol unit.  This is usually indicated on the side doors and/or rear windshield in big block letters and numbers.  Remember the license plate as well.

4. Remember how many red stripes you see on their sleeves.  If there are no stripes, check the shoulders. Are they diamonds, flowers, or stars? How many are there? This detail indicates rank and will be more helpful in locating them when it’s time to take them down.

5. Remember the date, time, and place.  This is VERY important as it will make it much easier to zero in on them.  Cops duty rounds and areas of responsibility at any given time are logged in the records of the local district or precincts.

6. TRY NOT TO RAISE YOUR VOICE.  It may be tempting to do this, especially if they’re clearly disrespecting you, but know that raising your voice can make the situation worse, giving them more reason to ruin your day.  Keep your tone level, and address them with respect by calling them sir, ma’am, officer, or po. (Many of the incidents that involve harassment are due to civilians who end up provoking the cops) Remember, most of them are used to dealing with people who already lack respect for them, so they will confront you on that same level as well.  Show them otherwise, and you may have a chance.

7. If it’s at a checkpoint, keep in mind that THEY ARE NOT AUTHORIZED to search the inside of your vehicle unless you give them permission to do so.  If they ask you to open your compartment or to maybe open a backpack or bag that you have, you can refuse.  They are only allowed to search what is in “plain view”, meaning everywhere except the glove compartment, center console, trunk, and any other compartment or personal belonging that requires opening.  The only time they are allowed to do so is if: 1. They have a warrant or 2. They were given a prior alarm about your vehicle involved in a crime.  If they mention any of these 2, ask to see official documents indicating that they have been given the authority.  If all papers check out, then you have no choice but to comply with them.

8. The same applies with stepping out of a vehicle.  If they ask you step out but they neither have a warrant or prior alarm about your vehicle, then you can refuse.

9. LOCK ALL YOUR DOORS and keep your windows up, except for the side where you are speaking to the officer.  Keep your eyes open and watch all the cops around your car. Why? Because they can plant evidence like drugs, weapons, etc… when you’re not looking and when this happens, you’re pretty much screwed.  There’s not really anything you can do when that happens because it’s your word against theirs, and that’s the time when most people are extorted from.  Don’t let it get to that point.  If you have other people with you in the car, have them focus on other cops and to not take their eyes off of them.

10. Do not bribe them. Do I even need to explain this?

If all else fails, you can call the district office closest to your location and report that you are being harassed.  Give them all the details that you took down from steps 2-4.  I’ll post these numbers soon.  I’d give you my personal number but I’m still thinking about the consequences of doing that.  I’ve had people call asking me to get them out of trouble when it was clearly their fault, and that’s a tricky situation.

So far these are the only things that come to mind.  I know there are a lot more, and when I remember them, I’ll update this post. Thank you!

I just ate my words

I SWORE I would never do this.  “What the hell is the point of a blog? So you can show the world how profound and intelligent your views are? Pfft…losers. Mga KSP.

Yep, so as you can see, I have officially eaten my words and am now beginning this wonderful process of regurgitating them in the form of what I hope to be useful information and unsolicited advice that would somehow make a difference.  Why? Because ultimately, this “blog” (nasty…from now on, I’ll refer to this as my online journal) is not about me.  This my friends, is about our beloved PNP. The Philippine National Police.

I’ll be straight with all of you; I am tired of all the bitching going around about our cops.  Yes, “OUR” cops.  Because whether we like it or not, they are mandated to protect and serve us, the people of the Philippines.  But please don’t get me wrong, I am not here to defend the PNP’s dishonesty.  I am here to defend and support their transformation program.  How I plan on exactly doing this, I wish I new.  All I know is that I want to hear you out, help you out and give you the facts; the rest I leave to your judgment.

…and another one.

2 of my friends recently had a run-in with the cops and it turned out to be, surprise-surprise, another classic case of harassment. Though the cops didn’t manage to get to the point of extortion, the damage had already been done. And now this country has two even MORE frustrated and resigned citizens…pissed off to be exact, and I don’t blame them. Now it’s easy to blame the cops or to blame the system. But it’s also far easier to blame than to do something about it. I don’t condone any of these acts, and I’m all for disciplinary action but it’s not JUST the job of the cops to transform.

How can we expect an organization of 150,000 uniformed and non-uniformed personnel to transform if they themselves are just as resigned as you about the system? How can we expect them to do their jobs properly if the people they “swore” to serve and protect generally don’t give a damn about them and would rather think of them as corrupt, useless, gun-toting, shady, dirty, abusive pigs on a powertrip? The answer is we can’t expect anything because the unfortunate “reality” is, we have given up any and all expectations of reform let alone transformation. Ask anyone here in the Philippines most especially in it’s cities, and I GUARANTEE you, they’ll have at least a story or two about them or one of their friends or relatives being hassled, roughed up, held-up, or fucked up by these so-called “civil servants” coming from the lowest rank to possibly none other than the chief himself.

Rude, drugged up, shabby, unkempt, stupid, boisterous, aloof, ignorant, arrogant, sleazy; not mention those that run up and down EDSA with sirens and blinkers as if they own the road; the ones involved in illegal activities; then there are those who get mixed up in politics and allow themselves to be controlled by equally crooked politicians just so that they can keep their careers… we’ve all seen and heard it. A lot of cops have given up on their dreams and their ideals simply because they came up either against a wall of people who absolutely had no faith in them, or a government that did not take care of them. But this is not the point where I get righteous and curse these cops to hell. This is the point where I appeal to your desire for change because I’ll assert that somewhere beneath all the bitching, resignation, and frustration, lies that want for things to get better. You can choose to believe what you want to believe, but know this: If you do nothing about it, you give up the right to complain.

They don’t deserve our pity and it has proven almost impossible to give them our respect, but what they do deserve is the support and belief of people who genuinely want the PNP to transform. And what exactly do I have in mind when I say “support” and “belief?”. That before judging them and making sweeping generalizations, know that there are cops who deserve your respect; that there are more cops out there than you think who will take a bullet for you and protect your rights, sometimes even at the expense of their own. I know because I have been surrounded by these fine officers my entire life. But I ALSO, know that I’m not living in a deluded dream either because I have my own share of stories. I’ve been extorted from on more than one occasion and have also felt the cold end of a rifle pointed right at my own temple by a bunch of cops who wanted to take my car.

Before judging them, know the circumstances that plague them individually, and institutionally. Imagine living below the poverty line and growing up in an environment that does nothing to encourage discipline, respect, and hard work. Then imagine having the opportunity to be given a gun and the “authority” to use it, but still going home to that same environment. From this alone, a whole world of quick money-making schemes using that gun can already be predicted. Then imagine practically not getting any benefits, having a pitiful paycheck further diminished by almost 10% for absolutely vague expenses, seeing superior officers make a name and bank account for themselves by abusing using THEIR positions, a national media that chooses to report mostly the shameful behavior of your colleagues thereby forming negative public opinion, people who further encourage corrupt behavior by believing that you’ll accept their bribes, and a public who just generally despises you. Then imagine having to live with that everyday while trying to not get killed by the “real” criminal. These are the circumstances many of these officers live in. You can say, “then why become a cop in the first place if you can’t take it”, all you want but this is the reality this country is faced with and saying things like that does not make an ounce of difference. Some of these cops just don’t see any other option for survival, and choosing to put on uniform is not entirely their fault.

There is a sentiment among many of the lower ranking police of the PNP that they actually have less rights than regular civilians. Some of them actually really believe this because of the way the “bad eggs” have spoiled everything they worked for. Some of them believe they have no rights because when judged by the court or the public, they are AUTOMATICALLY wrong, simply because they are cops. It has gotten this bad, and some of these men and women have lost all belief in themselves. I wouldn’t be asking for your support if EVERY SINGLE ONE of these cops were the insolent goons we and the media make them out to be. The fact that there are a whole lot of decent police officers who exist is enough for me to want to do something about it. Now if it has to take a shitty event to happen to you to wake up and to suddenly give a damn, then fine by me. But it doesn’t have to. If the concern is there, then you have what it takes. Every other reason that you can come up with for not wanting to do something about it is just your fear and resignation taking hold of you.

Let me repeat…I’M ALL FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION. This is where we can step in and make a difference by removing all the bad eggs from the PNP, or “scalawags” as they call them. The only way this disciplinary action can be served is if we remain vigilant and steadfast. Report EVERYTHING that you see, from lax cops who don’t even bother grooming themselves properly to those who are blatantly breaking the law. Smoking in uniform, sleeping on duty, conversing rudely, extortion, accepting bribes, etc… there are so many things we have dismissed as “normal” and because of this, have allowed to happen and proliferate. But these men do not belong anywhere in or near the PNP. Imagine a precinct or district office receiving a barrage of complaints from people who are not out to destroy the institution, but to save it. Eventually, they will see what it is you want, and they will be inspired by it. I’ll post another note so I can go into detail into how or what to report, and your rights as well just in case you come face to face with these guys. Thank you for reading this far.

My dad said that it took the London Police a hundred years to transform and it was only achieved when the city offered it’s full support. That’s a hundred years not since they were founded, but since the corruption became rampant. It has only been 19 years since the PNP was founded, and already a transformation program has been set in place, but like in London, there is no way that program will see results if we do not support it. I know it can be done, maybe not in my lifetime, but I know it can be done as long as our support is there.

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