MANILA—Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV on Friday urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to be more serious in making erring policemen, particularly cops involved in the reported “hidden cell”, accountable.
Aquino made this call after 12 people were found inside a “hidden cell” at the Manila Police District Station 1 in Tondo after members of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) made a surprise inspection.
CHR was reportedly tipped by an informant about a secret cell hidden behind a bookshelf and that police extorted money from them.
The report also said that MPD Station 1 chief Superintendent Robert Domingo denied this noting that the area is only a holding room for persons yet to undergo inquest proceedings because their regular cells were full.
“We have to be serious about making erring policemen accountable, otherwise these abuses will continue and even flourish,” Aquino said in a statement.
“Hindi katanggap-tanggap ang ganitong pagmamalabis. Kailangan itong maimbestigahan at matigil (This type of abuse is not acceptable. This needs to be investigated and stopped),” he added.
Aquino said that as the government’s enforcement arm in its campaign against illegal drugs, the PNP should ensure that scalawag policemen are punished accordingly.
“If the administration’s priority is the drug war, then we need an upstanding police force. Transferring scalawag policemen to Basilan is not enough,” Aquino said.
“Nakasalalay ang tiwala ng sambayanang Pilipino sa mga susunod na hakbang ng kapulisan. Kailangang paigtingin ang kampanya laban sa mga iskalawag na pulis at pang-aabuso (The trust of Filipinos lies in our police force. We need to intensify the campaign against scalawag police and abuse),” he added.