"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Military tradition of PNP hit

Senator Richard Gordon criticized the alleged “militaristic tradition” among PNP officers.

“[There is a] military tradition in the PNP na pagka matataas na ang gumagawa, oks na lang yan (that if an officer does this, it’s OK). Honestly, as a responsible officer. Do you think that that is the case? Because we’re trying to solve that problem here. And I’m beginning to get the impression na hindi pa naaalis yung mga sistema niyo diyan (that this has not been removed from the system),” Gordon said.

PNP Director General Jesus Verzosa admitted the existence of this tradition, particularly among senior police officers.

“As I see it, we still have the culture of the military that we have before. Some of us, especially the senior officers, came from the Philippine Constabulary, and we are slowly going towards the civilian character…Military tradition still persists…Pertaining to the seniority and we are trying to get away from that,” he said.

“No, trying is no longer good enough. As far as the people are concerned, trying is no longer enough. It must be a fact that the PNP should be a civilian organization; it is not subject to chains of command, it is subject to the law of civilians. [It is not an] uncontrolled organization that people take it upon themselves to handle the funds,” Gordon said.

Gordon also questioned why retired comptroller Eliseo Dela Paz was allowed to go to the Interpol Conference even if he was nearing retirement.

“I understand there is a policy that travels should be given priority to those who are 45 years old so that the PNP can benefit from the training and exposure you will get. But in your case, why were you allowed to travel on the eve, literally, talagang bisperas ng (on the eve of your) retirement?” Gordon asked.

Dela Paz could only affirm the travel priority policy of the PNP.

Gordon questioned the alleged “reward for cooperative conduct,” granted to Dela Paz by former PNP chiefs.

“Is this a reward for cooperative conduct from former PNP chiefs? Mabait kayo eh, liberal kayo magbigay ng pera. Magbiyahe ka naman. Hindi ka pa ata nakakabiyahe (You’re nice, liberal in giving out money. Go on a trip. You’ve not been on a trip),” Gordon said.

“I wouldn’t know, your honor,” Dela Paz said.

Gordon suggested that Dela Paz should have, out of courtesy, refused the trip since he is about to retire.

“Tapos kasama niyo pa yung misis niyo, tapos humawak pa kayo ng P10 million. Parang may golden parachute na reward sa inyo for your long service. Sige bibiyahe ka. Ganon ba ang sitwasyon (Your wife even went with you, and you even had P10 million. It’s like a golden parachute that’s your reward for your long service. Go on a trip. Was that the situation)?” Gordon asked.

“I wouldn’t know, your honor, but I was included in the delegation I would only surmise since the comptroller during that time is me,” Dela Paz said.

‘Puno, Verzosa should be investigated’
Gordon hits ‘military tradition’ in the PNP
By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 16:06:00 11/15/2008