Speaker Martin G. Romualdez on Tuesday urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to strictly enforce a one-strike policy against “ninja cops” and other erring policemen, including their immediate superiors.
Romualdez will meet again with PNP officials following reports that 13 personnel of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG)-National Capital Region were accused of extortion recently by a group of Chinese businessmen.
“What is happening to our policemen? They are supposed to protect our citizens, but they are accused of… extortion and illegal activities,” he said.
“I am appealing to our PNP chief to apply the one-strike policy not only to those involved in these activities but also to their superiors. If the erring policemen belong to a station or a group, the station or group commander should be covered by such policy as well on the basis of command responsibility,” he said.
He said a commander is supposed to be aware of the activities of the men under his command.
CIDG director Police Brig. Gen. Romero Caramat Jr. has sacked the 13 involved in the alleged “hulidap,” including CIDG-NCR chief Police Col. Hansel Marantan, who submitted his courtesy resignation.
Romualdez said the PNP should intensify its campaign against wayward policemen to regain the trust of citizens.
“They have to weed out the bad eggs who are tainting the image of the police organization, which is not fair to those who are faithfully doing their job. They should make sure that only those who take their duties seriously and who are not involved in illegal activities remain in the service,” he said.
PNP deputy chief for administration Police Lt. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia said the group of Chinese nationals went to his office to complain about an alleged operation CIDG-NCR personnel conducted on March 13.
The complainants said they were just playing mahjong in a house when the operatives raided it based on a complaint of a neighbor who was allegedly bothered by their noise.
The Chinese nationals alleged that the policemen took from them two expensive watches — a Patek Philippe and a Richard Mille, which are worth millions of pesos — and other valuable jewelry, a Louis Vuitton bag and P3 million in a vault.
The Chinese were taken to the CIDG-NCR headquarters where they were supposedly asked to come up with P10 million in exchange for their freedom.
PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said Marantan and 12 other police officers are not yet off the hook despite the retraction of the extortion allegations lodged against them.
Azurin said they still must validate and study the affidavit issued by the group. Maricel V. Cruz