Robredo admits hearing corruption, abuse issues vs cops | Global News
WIKILEAKS EXPOSÉ:

Robredo admits hearing corruption, abuse issues vs cops

/ 02:10 PM September 08, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo admitted hearing about the rampant corruption and abuses in the Philippine National Police.

“Hindi ako aminado pero naririnig ko na (I won’t admit it but I’ve been hearing about it),” Robredo said in the wake of a release of a Wikileaks document where US diplomats supposedly compared the PNP with the Chicago cops in the Al Capone era who tortured, extorted and even murdered suspected criminals.

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But he said the allegations about the PNP could just be a “gossip.” “Ang tsismis ay pwedeng totoo, pwedeng hindi (A gossip could be true, or not),” Robredo said.

The 2005 cable, sent apparently by the then number two at the US embassy in Manila, outlined in colorful language what it said was “endemic” corruption within the 117,000-member Philippine National Police (PNP) force.

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“Mission observers compare the PNP to police forces in Al Capone’s Chicago, or 1940s ‘LA Confidential’ Los Angeles,” said the cable published by anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks

“Apart from corruption, many cops undertake investigative short cuts that often employ physical abuse, the planting of evidence, and sometimes — allegedly under guidance from local elected officials — the extra-judicial killing of criminal suspects.”

Robredo said if those allegations could be proven, something must be done.

“I don’t know if their (WikiLeaks) basis those were true or not,” he said.

Al Capone gained notoriety in the US for his involvement in gambling, prostitution and bootlegging rackets in Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Oscar-winning 1997 Hollywood film “LA Confidential”, starring Russell Crowe, portrayed police corruption in Los Angeles in the 1950s.

Among the many specific examples of alleged corruption by Philippine police, the WikiLeaks cable said officers regularly stole money meant for training and salaries.

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Police trainers also extorted money from recruits while other officers pressured businessmen to fork out money to put petrol in their patrol vehicles, the cable said.

In one case, an agent with the National Bureau of Investigation went into swindling, extortion, and kidnappings while being helped and protected by Manila police officers, according to the cable.

The leaked cable was signed and written by “Mussomeli”. Joseph Mussomeli was the number of two at the embassy at the time, and is now the US ambassador to Slovenia, according to a US government website. With Agence France-Presse

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TAGS: abuse, Graft and corruption, Jesse Robredo, PNP, Police, US cables, Wikileaks
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