Bacalzo to push massive retraining for cops

PNS — BACK-TO-BASICS for the 135,000-strong police force, according to Philippine National Police chief, Director General Raul M. Bacalzo means a massive retraining program that will turn them into highly-respected and decent cops that can be approached anytime, anywhere by the citizenry in case they need immediate help.

Bacalzo knows what he’s talking about since he used to be the Executive Director of the Program Management Office, the main PNP unit supervising their Integrated Transformation Program.

He cited two successive independent surveys conducted by the Asia-Pacific Centre for Research (ACRE) which showed that Filipinos disdain police officers who are abusive, show-offs and atrocious.

“’Yung survey na ’yun ang nagsabi na may mga taong hindi maganda ang tingin sa mga pulis na nasa complaint desks. Hindi pa nila nakakausap ay hindi na maganda ang dating sa kanila. Ayaw na ayaw din ng mga Pilipino sa mga pulis na bastos, abusado at mayabang kaya ito ang patunay na kailangan natin ang back-to-basics,” Bacalzo said.

For a start, Bacalzo has ordered the 23-strong police Tuy Municipal Police Station in Batangas to undergo back-to-basics training. ”I am sending the police force of my small hometown Tuy, Batangas for retraining immediately. The back-to-basics starts now. We will not waste any time,” he said.

The first policeman-lawyer to become a PNP chief said his priorities are guided by the lessons of those who came before him.

“As my predecessor (General Jesus Verzosa) has so generously shared time and again, to be the Chief of the PNP is to be many things: leader, mentor and commander. I can only hope to be as good a Chief as he has been,” Bacalzo said in referring to Verzosa who retired three months ahead of his 56th birthday.

The ACRE survey showed that more and more Filipinos now want to join the PNP or have a friend who is a police officer.

According to the survey, nearly 40 percent of the 4,400 respondents would like to be a police officer if given a chance.

The reasons why the respondents would like to be a Police Officer are the following: Upang makatulong sa kapwa at mapakinabangan ng Bayan; Para makatulong sa pagsugpo ng krimen; Upang magkaroon ng trabaho; Dahil sa pagmamahal sa Bayan.

Majority of the respondents said they wanted to ‘serve the country and its people’ when asked why they want to join the PNP if given the chance.

Gen. Bacalzo had emphasized as his policy focus the continuing implementation of the Integrated Transformation Program down to the local level with faith that its success will only be achieved if it has spread at all levels of the organization.

The Mamang Pulis/Aleng Pulis program of the PNP also turned out to be one of the most highly-appreciated police programs by the respondents, an indication that Filipinos really root for a police officer who is God-fearing or Maka-Diyos, Humane or Makatao, Presentable or Kaaya-ayang Tingnan, Approachable or Malalapitan and Dependable or Maaasahan.

The Philippines’ Most Wanted is the top program of the PNP. The ACRE survey showed that nearly 60 percent of the respondents said they are very familiar with the program compared to the 56.3 percent approval rating it got last year.

Officials explained that the survey showed the public are always rooting for the police each time they arrest and jail the country’s most wanted particularly those deemed as elusive or “untouchable.”

Filipinos also want the police’s drive versus wanted criminals to continue without any let-up, a wish which Bacalzo said would come true as he has ordered the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to further step-up the drive against most wanted persons nationwide with the help of the Intelligence Group and other territorial units.