SOMEONE ELSE’S WINDOWS: A chicken or egg question

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/11 September) – We’ve always heard it said whenever policemen, the supposed guardians of peace and order, get involved in crimes themselves that those acts don’t mirror the whole police organization. Of course, except that such acts no longer seem to be “isolated incidents” committed by “a few bad eggs”.

Mind you, these misfits in uniform are not endemic to the national capital region alone. Even the so-called pulis probinsiya have learned the tricks of moonlighting the dirty way. Gone are the days of the pulis patola, the derogatory term for cops who are being portrayed as naïve and stupid, if naiveté means the inability to earn on the side through illicit means.

What I’m saying is this: Reports of police personnel being implicated in crimes have surfaced as often as rumors about showbiz figures. At least, stuff about entertainers amuses us. But news about police involvement in crimes is another thing; it sends the chilling message that those paid by taxpayers’ money to protect us cannot be trusted 100 percent with our safety and security. A monster could be lurking beneath that well-pressed, sleek uniform and clean-shaven face.

So where does the problem lie? At the recruitment stage where standards might have been compromised for some consideration, for example, in the conduct of psychiatric tests? The reluctance, if not unwillingness, of authorities to really instill discipline? The culture of machismo that makes them susceptible to the prospects of instant money? Or is it the example set by their superiors and senior peers that draw them to things they have sworn to prevent or stop in the first place?

Perhaps it’s the combination of some or all of the above.

And what are the authorities doing about it? Has the Department of the Interior and Local Government done serious efforts to cleanse the police force? It seems [almost] nothing is done aside from issuing statements and holding press conferences.

Sadly, in many cases, we never get to know about the progress (is there?) in investigations and litigations of erring cops. The cycle has never changed: policemen are implicated in a crime; their higher-ups promise an investigation and prosecution; and the media and public eventually forget the incident until another one happens.

For instance, have we heard any update on that report linking some high-ranking police officials to the sale of firearms to the New People’s Army?

A few bad eggs? Well, there must be a bad hen somewhere. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached at