Rogelio Casurao, vice chairman and executive director of the Napolcom. (Photo from the Facebook page of Napolcom)
A refresher course on social etiquette and political science may be in store for officials of the Philippine National Police, as many of them are “too shy” to pay courtesy calls on their congressmen.
The information, given by the head of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) on Tuesday, flabbergasted lawmakers, who had been wondering why they so rarely got to meet their regional police directors or chiefs of police.
At a hearing of the House public order and safety committee chaired by Antipolo Rep. Romeo Acop, Napolcom vice chair and executive officer Rogelio Casurao observed that many high-ranking police officials were uncomfortable in the presence of senior government officials.
Out of comfort zone
Casurao said that unlike mayors and governors, who were mandated to work closely with the police in maintaining peace and order, many police officials felt dealing with government officials and members of the House was out of their comfort zone.
He said he himself got to meet police officials only between promotions.
“I would hardly see them in that window of time from senior superintendent to one-star rank (chief superintendent),” he said.
He proposed introducing courses in social skills and political science in the police academy.
Members of the committee found it hard to believe Casurao’s statements.
Negros Oriental Rep. Juliet Marie Ferrer said it was “very disturbing to hear that our police officers are shy.”
Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia joined Ferrer, saying she was “flabbergasted” and “very bothered” by the information.
“If that is the case, they can also say they can’t maintain peace and order because they’re shy. I am really flabbergasted,” Garcia said.
Acop lamented that the new breed of police officers seemed to lack what he called “commander’s presence.”
He said he last saw this during the stint as PNP chief of Sen. Panfilo Lacson “who commanded such respect every time he entered a room that everybody would quiet down.”
“How can you have commander’s presence if you are shy?” Acop said.
But Casurao stood by his observation.
“It was just my euphemistic way of saying why these regional directors and PNP officers could hardly visit their congressmen. These senior officers are not adelantado (assertive),” he said.
“This is just my observation. Unless you engage them, they won’t enter into another area or domain on their own,” Casurao said.