The rottenness and criminality up to the upper echelons of the state police forces are being played out fully in the senate hearings during the past few days.
The police chief himself has been implicated in the case involving police officers who pilfered more than 160 kilograms worth P650 million in a 2013 drug bust operation and set free the suspected drug trafficker in exchange for 50 million pesos and sports utility vehicles.
Such nefarious acts by police officers are a daily occurrence in the country. This is widely known to the broad masses. The people know well how police officers are daily involved in criminal syndicates from the street pickpockets to the various rungs and highest levels of the drug criminal syndicates.
Crime and politics meld in the PNP, as well as in the AFP. The police and military are a battleground of rival political cliques and criminal syndicates in the illegal drug trade, jueteng and other forms of illegal gambling, prostitution, human trafficking and others. Police and military officers are loyal to one or another rival criminal network, at the same time, to one politician or another rival dynasty or party.
Police and military generals pocket millions of pesos for providing protection to their allied syndicates. They also use their positions to hit at the operations of rival syndicates or prevent these from entering their territories.
The combination of crime and politics is now at its worst. The involvement of Duterte’s top police officers in criminal activities shows that the so-called war on drugs is a big hoax foisted on the people. Duterte, who is publicly known to be friends with big Chinese drug lords, has made himself the overlord of the illegal drug trade in the country by using the police and his police-controlled vigilantes to make every syndicate kneel to his power. He has assigned loyal officers in the AFP to control large-scale smuggling through the Bureau of Customs. Under Duterte, the illegal trade in shabu, cocaine, ecstasy and fentanyl has reached new levels.
The senate hearings exposing crime and corruption in the PNP are being falsely touted as an effort to cleanse the police of scalawags. In fact, these are just a manifestation of the deepening fissures within the police and military organization, which in turn, are an extension of rising conflicts within the ruling clique, as well as between Duterte and the political opposition. The exposés are a public spectacle where rivals within the pro-Duterte political circles are jockeying to have their loyal police officers gain juicier positions in the PNP.
Crime and corruption in the PNP and the AFP are symptoms of the problem of bureaucrat capitalism in the Philippines, under which the ruling class government serves as an instrument to protect and advance the economic interests of the ruling political dynasties and whichever business group or criminal syndicate willing to share its profits. Duterte is currently the top bureaucrat capitalist in the Philippines.