Tuesday, July 14, 2009


One of the Philippine National Police's (PNP) best-guarded secrets is its so-called "poultry." This refers to a group of hardened criminals, some in death-row, who are maintained and protected by certain police officers, who can order them to commit such crimes as kidnapings, bank holdups, and even murders.

In sensational cases involving policemen, some "poultry" members are used as fall guys in which they are killed and blamed as the culprits for purposes of police cover-ups. Members of this group are convicts still in jail who are set free on criminal missions for the police brass. And because they are supposed to be in the can, these criminals possess the perfect alibi. They are also said to provide the muscle in police protection rackets that demand "contributions" from legitimate businessmen as well as drug and prostitution syndicates, notably those operating in the tourist belt and Chinatown.

The PNP has such a terrible image now that they must do something about it soon. In the past, people used to run to the police for help. Now, they run away when the cops are in sight. Take note of the following:

- Almost all PNP officers, national and regional, are in the payroll of jueteng lords with monthy tong running in the millions.

- A majority number of traffic cops are extortionists.

- Most cops have multiple families.

- Jeepney, taxi and bus operators give daily tong to traffic cops who use cigaret and sampaguita vendors as their collectors. "Barkers" are a favorite instrument of the police as well.

- One notorious police scam is the extortion of merchants bringing food from the provinces. A favorite target are vegetable trucks.

- When policemen go to cocktail lounges and karaoke bars, they don't pay for their drinks and force the GROs to entertain them gratis et amore.

- Police investigators have the nasty habit of pocketing evidence especially when what was confiscated are cash and shabu. Fact is, the main supply of shabu in the streets come from cops.

- When crimes are committed, especally in Chinatown, the victims don't bother to report to the PNP anymore. "What's the use?" They ask, when the cops will ask for gasoline money and for other expenses anyway. Plus, many fatalities in shoot-outs are kidnap victims themselves. Cops have a reputation of being trigger-happy, and many times, kidnap victims are shot and killed together with the criminals elements.

- The PNP make big bucks escorting funerals (this is not part of their job).

- A number moonlight as security detail for gambling lords. Some work as bouncers in nightclubs and bodyguards for politicians. (this is not their job too).

- They are notorious for third degree interrogations and many know about the infamous water cures and plucking of finger-nails.

- And if all else fail, they resort to salvaging.

It's high time the PNP leadership clean its ranks top to bottom. Otherwise, you leave citizens no option but to arm themselves and be sympathetic to vigilante groups. Self-preservation is still top priority. The irony of it all is part of it is protecting themselves from the police - who must always obey the law while enforcing the law.
(Image from www.philstar.com/)

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