Editorial - Scalawags In Uniform

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http://ph.news.yahoo...-185012574.htmlThe only positive aspect of these stories is that most of the suspects have been arrested. In the first case, 10 members of the Manila Police District were ordered arrested on charges that they conspired with two Korean tour guides to kidnap and extort $30,000 from four Korean tourists.South Koreans account for a large chunk of tourist arrivals in the Philippines. They have also been among the biggest targets of robbers and extortionists, from the moment they arrive at airports in Manila or Aklan.Like several previous victims, the four Korean tourists sought help from their embassy to complain that the tour guides had led them into a trap set up by the Manila policemen last Feb. 14. At gunpoint, the tourists were forced into a van, where the policemen allegedly showed them a sachet of marijuana that they would be accused of possessing unless they paid $30,000. The two Korean tour guides facilitated the payment. Four of the Manila cops have been arrested; the six others have been missing since Feb. 14.In another incident, also in Manila, a traffic cop was arrested recently for taking a vault containing P10 million in cash from a maid who had nearly fallen for a popular scam. The maid, Geraldine Tamorete, told Police Officer 1 Dominic Tappay that she received a call last Saturday from a woman who said the maid’s employer, together with two children and a family driver, had met an accident and had been rushed to the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center. Tamorete said she was told to bring a vault in her employer’s house to the hospital to pay for the medical expenses.She hauled the vault to a taxi, whose driver, upon hearing her story, suspected a scam and brought her to Tappay, who boarded the cab and talked to the caller on Tamorete’s mobile phone. The caller was scared away, but when Tamorete got out of the taxi briefly to buy load for the phone, it sped away with Tappay. The cop and the vault were tracked down at his Malate home by arresting officers.These stories are not unique; cops have figured in worse crimes across the country. They highlight the need for a continuing housecleaning in the police, and more measures to develop a professional police force that merits public trust. (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)
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While this is bad, bent cops happen all over the world. Some places tolerate more corruption than other. For decades, New Orleans, a very popular southern USA tourist spot was known for having one of the most corrupt police departments in the country. Their officers were the lowest paid anywhere in the USA. But it was a very popular job due to the high amount of graft and payoffs almost every officer expected and got. They had drug dealers as partners, were implicated in murders of both rival drug dealers and even innocent civilians that got in the way.What is good is that occasionally they get caught and go to jail. That has a chilling effect on other officers considering the same sort of activities. While one of the most unpopular (among policemen) departments is the Internal Affairs division, without honest and strong self-regulation, an officers badge is not protection against greed and bad judgement.The story of Frank Serpico is a perfect example of long tolerated graft becoming the norm and only the efforts of the rare honest individual to resist both the lure of money and the pressure of peers open the door to the light of scrutiny.

Edited by Tatoosh
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