The sacking of De la Peña
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
That was swift rendering of punishment to the Quezon City policeman who attempted to extort money from a young man who turned out to be the son of the top official of his organization.
SPO4 Jose de la Peña, the policeman involved, was ordered dismissed from the police service in less than a week after the incident that took place in a well-populated area of Quezon City.
But it was not only the case of his extortion try on the son of the head of the National Capital Region Police Office, Gen. Leonardo Espina, that caused the instant dismissal of De la Peña. As soon as the report on the attempt on Espina’s son came out, several other people surfaced to reveal similar activities of the police officer which they had earlier hesitated to report, for fear of consequences.
The quick decision of the NCRPO head has sent a clear message to the rest of the members of the police organization of their possible fate when they, too, are caught involved in similar operations. We hope this campaign to cleanse the ranks of the country’s police will not be just a singular case because of the personality involved. There are far too many instances of misbehavior of our so-called law enforcers that the people no longer look at them as protectors, but as potential oppressors instead.
Reports yesterday said that, aside from De la Peña, there were 15 other policemen also dismissed from the service. These were already on the verge of dismissal even before Espino took over, because the charges against them had already been processed.
We congratulate the new chief of the NCRPO, and hope that his example will be followed by all other chiefs of local government police offices. Too long have our police suffered under a reprehensible reputation that the decision to actually penalize some of them can only be viewed as a very positive development in that organization.*