Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong took offense at Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa to send erring cops to Marawi City.
“It’s quite offensive to treat us like trashbin for abusive cops. And to use the Marawi siege as a punishment shows insensitivity,” Adiong tweeted on July 5.
As of writing, his tweet has gained over 1,000 likes and 500 retweets.
“Erring cops should be sued with administrative case. What they need is to face accountability not temporary punishment,” Adiong said in another tweet.
Dela Rosa ordered the deployment of the Mandaluying City cops, PO1 Jose Tandog and Chito Enriquez, who were shown in a viral video beating two violators of a local ordinance against drinking in public. The PNP chief sent the two to Marawi City as punishment and as an opportunity for them to reform.
He added that the two cops would become “the best cops they could ever become” as he was certain of their reformation during their stint in Mindanao.
“Sigurado ako mag-reform ‘yan pag andito na sa Marawi, 100 percent magiging magagaling na pulis yan,” he said, even daring the media to bet on it.
Even Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana opposed Dela Rosa’s move, saying that the government forces fighting in Marawi do not need the abusive kinds of cops.
“Personally, sana huwag,” he said during a press briefing, where he was only seated a few inches away from Dela Rosa.
“You should send me the best people here. We need good people to come here and fight this war. We don’t need ‘yung patapon kasi anong gagawin nun?” he added.
Lorenzana also saw another glitch to this move in the sense that these cops could become troublesome for their commanding officers since they were forced to serve in Marawi. He added that the city needs volunteers and good people.
“Tsaka ‘yung mga taong ‘yun ayaw nila pumunta rito eh, napilitan lang eh. We need some good people, volunteers to come here to help in the problem. Now, if you throw people here who are problematic, bibigyan lang natin ng problema ‘yung mga commanders dito,” he said.
Earlier in the year, “scalawag” cops were also deployed to Basilan, a move that was also slammed for making Mindanao look like a dumping ground for erring cops.
However, Dela Rosa stood by his decision to send the erring Mandaluyong cops to Marawi City and saw nothing wrong with it.
“Ayaw ba nila na madagdagan sila ng tao dito? Give them a chance to reform themselves. I don’t think may masama doon,” Dela Rosa told reporters.
He explained that the erring cops were not only sent to Marawi City.
“‘Yung mga nagkakamali dito na mga pulis na may derogatory reports, andun din sa Cordillera, sa Abra,” Dela Rosa said.
On July 6, Dela Rosa reacted to Adiong’s tweet, explaining that the reassignment of the cops is part of a “punitive, rehabilitative” process.
“While may kaso sila, para matanggal sila, mauproot sila sa kanilang comfort zone, ilagay natin doon,” he said.
“Try nila maging abusive dito (Marawi), kapwa nila pulis ang magyantok sa kanila,” he added.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella came to Dela Rosa’s defense, calling the PNP chief’s move as a “strategic move.”
“He’s acting based on policy,” Abella said.