The Philippine National Police is planning to set up a database of police officers involved in illegal activities as a reference for future appointments and promotions in the police force, PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez said yesterday.

He also told the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service (IAS), which investigates allegations against police officers, to “make itself relevant” after he found out that there were unresolved complaints filed as far back as nine years ago when a case should ideally be resolved within 90 days.

“We are looking at putting up a comprehensive database which will contain the names of the police officer or officers, the date of the commission of the offense, the date the case was filed,” Marquez said.

He added that the database, which will contain a comprehensive list of police officers with past and pending administrative and criminal cases, will complement the newly created ad hoc disciplinary committee.

Marquez said the database will be accessible to members of Senior Officers Placement and Promotions Board to ensure police officers with questionable records are not given positions and additional authority.

The newly appointed PNP chief said ridding the police force of scalawags is one of the top priorities of his administration.

In his speech upon assumption in office, Marquez envisioned meritocracy in the PNP as a proverbial double-edged sword: the first cutting edge addresses the imperative for excellence and equal opportunity while the second cutting edge deals with the usual suspects – the misfits and scalawags.

“We know that our main mission as law enforcers is to fight crime. However, when crime fighters coddle criminals or become criminals themselves, our citizens learn to distrust, and even condemn, not just those few erring cops, but the whole organization as well,” he noted.

Marquez warned all 160,000 police officers nationwide against being involved in illegal activities or face sanctions.

Like many other police officers, Marquez said he is tired of hearing the words “palibhasa pulis (just because they’re police officers)” whenever police officers are linked to criminal activities.

Marquez ordered the immediate review of the disciplinary mechanism in the PNP.

“We shall re-focus not only on the accountability of our supervisors but their indispensable participation in exacting discipline at all levels of the organization. We shall re-invent the IAS and make sure that improvements are incorporated in the Modernization Bill currently being crafted at the House of Representatives,” he added.