100 'Taba' Metro cops off to Subic
Spelled out, the tag reads "Tamad, Abusado, Bastos, Ayaw-madisiplina (lazy, abusive, discourteous, indisciplined)." It is being slapped on rogue and inept Metro Manila policemen who will be banished to a retraining camp for a month starting next week.
Their number had reached 100 only three days after the change in leadership in the Philippine National Police. PNP Director General Edgar Aglipay yesterday said the final list was still being prepared by the directors of Metro Manila's five police districts. "The policemen [they] have recommended [so far] are really lazy," Aglipay said in a press conference. He said the Taba cops "will go through an extensive moral, spiritual, cultural and physical" reorientation in a mountainous facility in Subic, Olongapo, before they can return to active service. Except for those facing criminal charges, the participants will receive their regular salaries while in the program.
It was in the same Subic facility that at least 200 Pasay City policemen were sent for retraining in 2002 following a bungled operation in which they killed a drug-crazed man and his 4-year-old hostage.
Aglipay launched the repackaged campaign against undesirable law enforcers in a desperate effort to arrest the dwindling level of public confidence in the force. He said the idea was to get off the streets not only "kotong" or "hulidap" (extortionist) cops, but also those who seemed to have lost all motivation to do their job well. Apparently expecting a lot of the latter, the PNP is preparing a similar facility on Corregidor island.
Until there are enough centers to accommodate target re-trainees, the new PNP chief is also experimenting with an incentive program. He said cops who incur no absences for two months straight would each receive a new uniform set.
It looks like a great trade, considering that the P5,000 replacement clothing allowance is given every three years. A policeman is issued a "general office uniform" (GOU) upon admission to the service. The set includes an overseas cap, blue polo, dark-blue pants with light blue piping, black socks and shoes, and a "comablue" uniform for training exercises.
During the press conference, Aglipay announced that he has required all police officers-from top officials to patrolmen-to wear the GOU at least for the next six months, the minimum term that President Macapagal-Arroyo has given him. He assumed the post on Wednesday. Low-ranking cops seemed to like this. "It somehow bridges the gap between us and the bosses," one told the Inquirer. It had been a while since PNP generals and colonels, or third-level officers, slipped into their GOUs, the required outfit in the first place. Also ongoing is a physical exercise program. Aglipay proudly said cops who complete this one would be given a brand-new ... set of training clothes.
By Christian Esguerra
Inquirer News Service
Editor's Note: Published on the Philippine Daily Inquirer