The call was made by Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto who urged the PNP Director General “to adopt a zero-tolerance policy against scalawags who exploit the anti-drug campaign for illegal personal gain.”
Without sanctions levied on erring cops, “the public impression is that they’re a protected species,” Recto said.
Recto said there should be a “public display of discipline” on those caught committing crimes “in the name of tokhang” so it can serve as a deterrent against similar abuses, and to assure the public that the PNP leadership “is not a coddler of crooks.”
“Kaya itong kaso ng mga pulis na sangkot sa tokhang-for-kidnap o toknap, dapat maaksyonan kaagad dahil kung hahayaan lang sila, mababawasan ang tiwala ng taongbayan sa kapulisan,” Recto said.
Recto said the reputation of the PNP should not be sullied by a “few dirty cops.”
“Whatever gains it has achieved in the fight against crime can be cancelled by the mischief of a few bad eggs. So it is in the PNP’s interest that it goes hard after misfits within its ranks who give the whole organization a bad name,” he said.
This “cleansing” should be made a priority, Recto stressed, because “it is the feeling of immunity that leads to impunity.”
“We cannot have two standards of justice: Soft gloves for policemen who use tokhang to rob, kill or extort while mailed fist against suspected drug users,” he said.
Recto said the future of tokhang also rests on the PNP’s capacity to allow its internal mechanism to check abuses, and see to it that these are penalized.
Recto believes “without any iota of doubt” that de la Rosa is “hell bent in running after rogue policemen.”