“The problem within the Philippine National Police (PNP) is systemic and goes beyond anger management issues and proper use of firearms. Mere training and seminars are not enough to weed out the spoils within the police hierarchy. The entire character and orientation of the PNP is flawed, and was made even worse by President Rodrigo Duterte’s coddling,” says the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in reaction to the PNP’s downplaying of the fatal shooting incident in Tarlac involving Police Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca who used his PNP-issued service firearm in shooting dead two unarmed civilians.
“Duterte enabled and emboldened the entire PNP institution to violate the human rights of citizens whom they vowed to serve and protect. The war on drugs that has killed tens of thousands over the years has distorted and rendered useless PNP’s standard operating procedures,” says KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos. KMP demands that the PNP Internal Affairs Service make transparent its investigation and resolution of Nuezca’s case.
Nuezca has previous murder cases on record that were closed due to a lack of evidence and witnesses. Nuezca is not an isolated case, nor is he the lone rotten egg in the basket. There are one too many police scalawags involved in criminal and illicit activities.
Ramos further asserts that the police have been long corrupt and oppressive. “Farmers have long experienced the brutality of armed state agents since time immemorial. It was the police, then the Philippine Constabulary and Metropolitan Command, who fired at us at Mendiola in 1987, it was the police who fired at the farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita in 2004, it was the police who fired at starving farmers in Kidapawan in 2016. Duterte’s hurrah of police abuse and negligence of human rights, and his obsession of spoiling the police with resources and favors has fired up the already oppressive nature of the PNP. Duterte pumped steroids on an already blood-hungry, savage beast.”
KMP demands more than putting Nuezca to justice. “This appalling incident should wake us up to the fundamental flaws of the police force. Urgent and necessary reforms within the PNP and its policies must be undertaken, barring off duty cops to carry guns is an easy start. The PNP must be defunded and reoriented. It would be wise to reduce the PNP’s bloated P191-billion 2021 budget to better address the wide range of factors causing crime and social misconduct, and to holistically face the pandemic and economic crisis,” Ramos ends. #
Image from Philippine Collegian