Long List of Police Corruption History and Scandals in the Philippines

By the numbers, the Philippine National Police is no doubt the most corrupt government agency in the Philippines. Setting aside the alleged extra-judicial killings, police has a recorded history of corruption long before President Rodrigo Duterte swept into power.

Let’s take a look at the major police involvement that made headlines in the last five years.

Atimonan Massacre
On January 6, 2013, thirteen people were killed in a mass murder, authorities said to be an alleged shootout conducted by Philippine National Police. More than a dozen police officers were charged with multiple murder.

Abduction and murder of Jee Ick Joo
Three policemen abducted the South Korean businessman last year when they went to his house on the pretext of a raid on illegal drugs, then killed him the same day but claimed he was still alive to extort money from his wife, authorities said.

Drug generals
In July last year, newly elected President Duterte accused five police generals — two retired and three in active service — of being part of the country’s illegal drugs trade.

All five denied involvement, but the three active-duty officers were removed from key posts, though none of them has been charged in court.

Police Supt. Marvin Marcos, a dozen others charged with murder
Marcos and his cohorts were charged with multiple murder for killing former Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espoinosa.

Drug set up
A judge dismissed a case in October last year against an Australian man accused by police of drug trafficking. Police had claimed the man was arrested in a raid on a Manila street with ecstasy tablets.

But CCTV footage presented to the court showed police had hauled him out of his hotel room. The judge dismissed the case after ruling the police officers had fabricated evidence and their testimonies had no “integrity”.

Assassins unmasked
Two gunmen on a motorcycle killed a female anti-crime activist outside her home on the central island of Mindoro in October last year but were then wounded in a gunfight with police and arrested.

The assailants turned out to police officers, one of them a police chief of a neighboring town. Police said the two would be charged with murder.

Wheel of torture
Ten police officers were sacked in 2013 for running a secret prison in a safe house near Manila where jailers wearing wigs and masks spun a roulette wheel to pick among a list of tortures to be meted out against inmates.

The tortures included a 20-second beatdown, electric shocks and hanging inmates upside down like a bat for 30 seconds. The government’s Human Rights Commission exposed their activities.

Penis torture
In 2010 a video went viral on social media showing a naked man at a central Manila police station screaming in pain as the precinct chief whipped him and yanked a rope that appeared to be tied to the victim’s penis.

The police chief was sacked.

Sixty-five police and military officers were among nearly 200 people charged for participating in the Philippines’ worst political massacre in 2009, when a prominent Muslim clan organised the ambush of a convoy of its political rival and accompanying journalists. Fifty-eight people were killed.

The officers allegedly took part in the attack to stop a rival of the Muslim clan from filing his election candidacy for provincial governor. Their trial is ongoing.

Kidnappers’ negotiator
A policeman was charged in 2015 over his alleged involvement in the kidnapping-for-ransom by Islamic militants of an Australian man, Warren Rodwell, in the southern Philippines.

Rodwell was held for 15 months and released after a ransom was paid. Rodwell then identified the policeman as the negotiator for the Islamic militants.

‘Euro’ generals
Nine senior Philippine police officials, including the comptroller in charge of the force’s budget at the time, were briefly held at a Moscow airport in 2008 for carrying 105,000 euros (about $112,000) while on their way to an Interpol conference in another Russian city.

The Ombudsman, the government’s special anti-graft prosecutor, filed graft charges against the officials in 2013 for the alleged misuse of police intelligence funds for their travel expenses. The case is ongoing.

Sale of AK47 rifles to NPA
A total of 1,004 Russian-made AK-47 assault weapons worth P52 million were reportedly sold to the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels from 2011 to 2013 with the unwitting assistance of several senior Philippine National Police officials, according to the Ombudsman.

2 QC cops caught receiving P10K from suspect’s kin behind station
July 19, 2016. Two rookie Quezon City policemen were arrested by their colleagues on Monday after they were caught at the back of their police station receiving P10,000 from the family of a drug suspect they had earlier taken into custody.

Estrada orders relief of 10 police precinct chiefs in Manila
Oct. 10, 2013. Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada ordered the relief of 10 Police Community Precinct commanders of the Manila Police District due to rampant illegal gambling activities in their areas of responsibility.

63 ARMM cops fired
July 31, 2013. At least 63 police officers in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have been dismissed from the service since April this year due to abuses and other infractions.

104 cops fired, 428 punished for offenses
July 30, 2013. The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it dismissed over 100 policemen from the service during the first six months of 2013 in keeping with the PNP’s resolve to weed out misfits from its ranks.

Police force of Negros town relieved
April 8, 2013. Except for its newly installed acting head, the entire police force of Pulupandan town in Negros Occidental was relieved upon orders of Camp Crame to ensure that the lawmen would not be influenced by politicians.

The move came two weeks after three policemen assigned to the station were relieved for allegedly escorting Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña, who had challenged the chief of staff of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. to a fistfight at the capitol on March 25.

Espina fires 15 erring Manila cops
Dec. 12, 2012. Fifteen Manila police officers, many of whom rookie cops, were ordered dismissed for allegedly committing various offenses as the National Capital Region Police Office intensifies efforts to clean up its ranks.

NCRPO Director Leonardo Espina said the officers were weeded out from the police service after being found guilty of grave misconduct.

CamSur police director, other officers relieved for failure to curb illegal gambling
October 30, 2012.Several Philippine National Police (PNP) officers, including the Camarines Sur police provincial director, have been relieved of their duties for failure to curb illegal gambling in the province.

38 cops handling drug cases fired for skipping court hearings
Nov. 25, 2013. Thirty eight police officers handling drug cases were dismissed from service, while over 350 others were slapped with administrative charges following their alleged failure to attend court proceedings of the cases, a Philippine National Police official said.

Police Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias, PNP-Anti Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force chief, said that of the 392 police officers charged with administrative cases, 38 have been dismissed, and six others were suspended, based on records from the monitoring system from 2006 to March 2013.

The list goes on and on. The police force is becoming a stepping stone for people to become rich.

Although President Duterte is relying heavily on PNP, it seems the root of the problem is the agency itself which the president may find hard to solve. /Ruffy Aquino/
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