Duterte announces bounty on rogue policemen

Some 400 personnel from various law enforcement agencies have been dismissed from the service for drug-related offences, officials say

Manila: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has announced a bounty of P5 million (Dh344,479) per head for any police officer involved in the drug trade or other illegal activities.

Speaking at a political event on Friday, at the SMX Convention Centre in Pasay City, Duterte said misconduct involving a tiny fraction of the country’s more than 160,000 police officers was tarnishing the image of the entire institution, making it difficult for the service to establish credibility with the people.

“I think those who are engaged in kidnappings, whether it’s the ninja police or the scallywags, I will now raise the amount to P5 million per ninja cop,” Duterte said, using local slang for rogue policemen involved in drug shakedowns, kidnapping, drug trafficking, illegal gambling protection rackets and other illegal activities.

He said he preferred to see the rogue policemen being brought to him alive, while adding that he was giving errant officers 48 hours to give themselves up.

Duterte’s announcement comes amid reports that some policemen, who have already been placed on the watch list of those involved in illegal drugs and extortion, continue to commit atrocities.

“If you do not reform, I will put up another P1 million [bounty] per month until the time your wife would find a boyfriend to kill you,” the president jokingly said.

According to national police spokesperson Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr, some 400 personnel from various law enforcement agencies have been dismissed from the service for drug-related offences.

He said during the “Real Numbers” press briefing in Malacañang on Friday that, 267 personnel have been sacked over drug use and 95 personnel for other drug-related offences.

“This alone will more or less communicate to the public that we do not tolerate misfits and scallywags in our campaign against illegal drugs,” according to him.

Corruption has been a concern within the ranks of the Philippine National Police (PNP) since its inception during the 1990s, with allegations rife that recruits are taken on the basis of patronage.

For this reason, PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde launched what is said to be a “foolproof system” of screening police recruits free from “human intervention” of influence peddlers.

Albayalde led top police officials in the ceremonial kick-off for Robust Neuro Psychiatric Medical and Dental System (RONMEDDS) for new police applicants at the National Capital Region Training Centre in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City.

RONMEDDS is the initial phase of the screening process for police recruits to ensure that only individuals with good moral character and the right mind set shall be admitted into the police service by making the recruitment process free from human “intervention”.

Albayalde said the rigid screening process aims to make sure that no PNP officials, politicians and other individuals will exert influence to facilitate entry of applicants with obvious character flaws.

“This is to preserve the integrity of the PNP recruitment process and minimise outside influence on behalf of ‘flawed’ individuals.” Albayalde said.

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