Palace: Pay hike to make cops more professional
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Saturday said the approved pay hike for cops will make policemen “more professional” amid allegations of abuses in the course of President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial drug war.
Duterte last January 1 signed a joint resolution of Congress authorizing a pay increase for the military, the police, and other uniformed personnel in the government.
In a press conference, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the president added the take-home pay of cops to recognize the importance of their role and to discourage them from going rogue.
“Now that their salaries are decent, our men in uniform will be more professional, although they are already very professional,” Roque said.
“To those cops who are corrupt, our message to them is that the government has already provided support, so it’s time for them to reform. Anyway, only a few policemen are errant,” he added.
More than a week after Duterte approved the joint resolution, Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa reportedly admitted that some police officers had demanded money from suspected narco-traffickers for the removal of their names in the drug watch list.
Meanwhile, the PNP on Friday announced the relaunch of “Oplan Tokhang” — where police visit homes of drug users and dealers and seek their surrender.
Human rights watchdogs claim that in many cases, suspects were not given a chance to surrender, and were instead summarily executed.
Tokhang’s revival came after Duterte barred cops from anti-narcotic operations, which had been notorious for their lethal outcomes.
This time, the PNP promised that Tokhang will be “bloodless” if implemented properly.