Starting January 2019, when the salary increase of policemen takes effect in compliance with Joint Resolution No. 1, it bears watching if ‘kotong cops’ will disappear from the street corners and dark alleys and instead focus on their job of protecting and serving the people.
I have high hopes that it will materialize, since with all the benefits and unprecedented salary hike accorded to the military and uniformed personnel, thanks to the strong political will of President Rodrigo Duterte who almost singlehandedly pushed for the same, there is every reason for right-thinking police officers to love and secure their profession, not to mention to be motivated enough to show a debt of gratitude to their Commander-in-Chief who made an almost impossible legislation to pass.
Looking back, I can’t help but realize how we – starting from our cadetship in the Philippine Military Academy, all the way to retirement from the uniformed service, were fed, clothed, sheltered, and provided with all the logistical support and more – should have no reason whatsoever not to give back all we can, even our lives to government and the Filipino taxpayers who spent for all that we needed.
That is why it is deplorable, to say the least, when we hear of ranking military and police officers who abuse their positions, steal government funds, and even the meal allowances of their men.