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Lacson wants training of cops back to PNP

Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson said yesterday it is time for the Philippine National Police to take full responsibility and accountability in training its new recruits.

Lacson, a former PNP chief, pushed anew for the passage of Senate Bill 1898, as he said this would “greatly” help in the police force’s internal cleansing.

“In past months, we have seen how police officers, many of them non-commissioned ones with the ranks of PO1 and PO2, had been involved in heinous crimes. It’s about time we revisit the law to make the PNP the premier educational and training institution for our policemen and policewomen,” said Lacson, who led the PNP from 1999 to 2001.

He is set to sponsor in the coming week the measure which seeks to amend sections of the Republic Act 6975, which mandates the Philippine Public Safety College to train police personnel.

Lacson wants to place the Philippine National Police Academy and the National Police Training Institute under the PNP’s administrative and operational supervision and control. The PNPA trains commissioned officers while the NPTI trains non-commissioned officers.

“To pinpoint responsibility and accountability in the recruitment and training of police officers, the responsibility of training new recruits should go to the PNP,” Lacson said.

“With the transfer to the PNP of the training of police recruits, we can strengthen the foundation of a competent police force not just physically, but also morally,” Lacson said.

Lacson recalled previous hearings conducted by the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, which he chairs, finding that police officers involved in crimes such as bribery, extortion, kidnapping, illegal drugs, and even planting of evidence, involved relatively new members of the PNP.

Last month, police officers with the ranks of PO1 and PO2 had been linked to a kidnap-for-ransom case in Taguig City. One was killed while three others were arrested after a shootout during an entrapment operation by their colleagues.

President Duterte, last Tuesday, confronted in Malacañang some 100 police personnel involved in various crimes, including kidnapping, rape, extortion, and involvement in illegal drugs, as well as those facing administrative charges.

A furious Duterte scolded the erring cops for tainting the image of the PNP, warning that he would have them killed should they continue with their illegal activities. (Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola)