The head of the Philippine National Police on Wednesday apologized to the public for an officer's killing of a 52-year woman "like a chicken" and vowed to implement a stricter recruitment process for law enforcers.
PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said he couldn't blame the public for the outrage over the incident after the hashtag #PulisAngTerorista dominated Twitter due to the killing which was caught on video.
"Sobra ang ginawa niya, parang manok na pinatay itong lola na nakita natin doon sa video...Ito'y karumal-dumal at talagang hindi katanggap-tanggap at ako ay humihingi ng dispensa sa ating mga kababayan sa actuation na ginawa ng pulis na ito," Eleazar said in an interview with GMA-7's Unang Balita.
"Nakakalungkot pero hindi ko man masisi ang ating mga kababayan. They are entitled to their own opinion pati sentiments kaya what we can do ay doblehin pa ang aming pagtatrabaho para yung aming objective nga na muling manumbumalik ang tiwala ng ating mga kababayan sa ating pulis ay patuloy na mangyari," Eleazar said.
In the viral video, Master Sergeant Hensie Zinampan was seen approaching Lilibeth Valdez, who was outside her home in Barangay Greater Fairview. The police officer then drew a firearm from his bag, walked towards the woman, pulled her hair, and shot her head.
Zinampan initially denied that he had anything to do with the incident until he was confronted by the viral clip.
Improving PNP recruitment
Eleazar admitted that the incident has again tainted the reputation of the PNP, reminiscent of a police officer's killing of a mother and her son last year which was caught on video too.
Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca was dismissed from the police force early this year and charged with murder after he shot dead an unarmed mother and son in Tarlac. The incident went viral on social media and spurred the use of the hashtag #PulisAngTerorista too.
"Ito ay talagang malaking dagok, malaking kahihiyan sa aming organisasyon at sa aming pamilya," Eleazar said. "Siguraduhin po natin yan na katulad nung kay Nuezca masibak na agad sa serbisyo."
Addressing concerns on the mental health fitness of police officers, Eleazar said PNP unit commanders have been instructed to recommend subordinate police officers for neuropsychiatric tests should they notice any apparent difference in their behaviors.
"Itong trabaho ng pulis hindi naman ito kagaya ng ibang trabaho na lang dahil dapat dito talaga psychologically ay talagang nasa wastong pag-iisip ka dahil pinagkakatiwala sayo yung baril na pwede mong gamitin sa hindi maganda sa anumang pagkakataon," Eleazar said.
In terms of recruitment, Eleazar said the PNP is streamlining its process to ensure that there is no corruption and that applicants are fit for the job.
"Dun tayo tumututok sa ating maayos na recruitment process na walang padrino, walang palakasan kasi diyan nagsisimula ang korapsyon," he saId.