MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 4 – 12:10 p.m.) The entire police force of Caloocan City has been sacked, National Capital Region Police Office Director Oscar Albayalde announced Friday.
Albayalde said at an event in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City that the more than 1,000 personnel of the Caloocan police will undergo retraining and reorientation, and then be reassigned to other stations.
This does not count officers who are facing administrative and criminal charges over abuses.
The relief order came a day after media reports on 14 personnel from Police Assistance Center 12, which is under Caloocan Police Community Precinct 4, who entered an old woman’s home in Barrio Sta. Rita, Barangay 188, Tala with two civilians, including a minor, and apparently robbed the place in an incident captured on closed circuit television.
The officers involved in the incident have been ordered disarmed and sidelined while criminal charges have been filed against them.
Before this, the Caloocan police were already embroiled in controversy over the separate killing last month of teenagers Kian Lloyd delos Santos and Carl Angelo Arnaiz, both allegedly slain in shootouts but with subsequent investigations indicating they might have been executed, and their possible involvement as well in the death of 14-year old Reynaldo de Guzman, who was with Arnaiz when they went missing.
Albayalde said the Caloocan police would be relieved by batches beginning with Precincts 2, 6 and 7.
“Maglalagay tayo ng mga responsible officers at sila ang bahala sa peace and order doon (We will place responsible officers and they will be responsible for peace and order there),” the NCRPO said.
The NCRPO chief said the move was a preemptive measure against more abuses.
“Sa nakita natin baka ito ay ginagawa or patuloy na gagawin ng iba pa so mabuti na ito ay isang preemptive measure para maiwasan ang mga nangyari (From what we have seen this has been done or will continue to be done by others so it is best to implement this preemptive measure to avoid similar incidents),” he said.
He also warned that other districts in the metropolis could face similar sanctions if they did not shape up.
“‘Yan ang gagawin natin sa lahat ng mga district dito kung may makita tayo na may mga ganyang pangyayari (That’s what we’ll do to all districts here if we see similar incidents happening),” he said.
Albayalde railed at the Caloocan personnel, saying: “Wala akong makitang dahilan para hindi n’yo ko maintindihan at hindi n’yo maintindihan ang batas at (I see no reason why you can’t understand me and can’t understand the law and) policy.”
“Hindi naman siguro mabababa yung IQ natin (Your IQ can’t be that low),” he added. “Panindigan n’yo ‘yang ginawa n’yo (You should suffer the consequences).”
Addressing the personnel involved in the latest incident, he said: “Sayang ‘yung pagkakataon na binigay sa inyo ng gobyerno para kayo ay magsilbi, para kayo maging pulis — hindi ‘yung para kayo magnakaw (You have wasted the opportunity given you by government to serve, to be policemen — not be robbers).”
Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano, a former soldier, welcomed the move because it showed “that our PNP is sensitive enough in addressing the wrongdoings of its members.”
However, he stressed, the wholesale sacking “will have no significant impact without (the PNP) reviewing its rules of engagement and policies in carrying out war on drugs, and without denouncing extrajudicial killings and committing to run after vigilantes who kill without let-up.”
“Kung hindi, palabas lang ito at ang mga ganitong gawain ay magpapatuloy. Ako ay naniniwala na laganap na ang ganitong abuso, mangyari lamang na nakunan ito ng CCTV. Kung walang (If not, this will be for show and these abuses will continue. I believe such abuses are widespread, except this was captured on CCTV. If there was no) CCTV people will assume that everything is okay,” he added. (with reports from Loreen Ordono and Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon)
WATCH NEWS5’S VIDEO REPORT: