I saw one police checkpoint last night when I was on my way to work, and remembered an article that I read in a newspaper about the downward spiral of the Philippine Police. There are too many police involved in crimes, from the most petty to the most gruesome. Most of the crimes involves a PO1 (Police Officer 1), or in our terms, newbies. People who just got in the force, already exhibit unscrupulous behavior, using their badge as a shield for immunity. They think they can get away with it, and most of the time, they do.
It is ironic that when I see the guys and girls in uniform, I feel safe, only for a second, or only as long as they keep their distance. I always remember that some of them can coddle thieves, murderers or pimps. You can listen to the news each day and you’ll always hear a segment about rogue cops. If this was an isolated incident, then there’s too much of a coincidence.
My dad, who was a street vendor, knows a couple of policemen, both good and bad. There are cops who extort money from them for their “protection”, in addition to the tax that they are already paying. There are a few who starts out honest, but succumbs to influence after a few months in the job.
Just a couple of days ago, the Philippine National Police (PNP) launched a program for the “Biggest Loser:Police Version” for overweight members of the force. It is a good program, because honestly, the stereotype of the obese police with their huge gut bulging out of their uniform trying to catch a spry and quick-footed thief is all too real. The movies show it, and sometimes we see it on TV. When the citizens see it in person, we think it’s funny but if we would need them to act, I don’t think they’ll be able to meet expectations with that physical form. It does not help their image either. Now we see the force as a group of overweight, corrupt people, pretending to be lawful officers.