Imee: Yearly Neuropsych Tests Crucial For PNP

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Senator Imee Marcos has warned that the recent murder of an elderly woman by a police master sergeant may not be the last, if the existing law requiring psychological tests on police personnel remains weak.

Marcos cited that Republic Act 8551, which amended a previous law on reforming the police force, “continued to be too loosely worded” on the conduct of psychological tests, “allowing crazy cops to be on the loose.”

“The existing law specifies no schedule and only calls for a regular and random conduct of psychological tests. These should be made an annual requirement that each and every personnel of the PNP must undergo,” Marcos explained.

“Policing is one of the highest stress jobs, and neuropsych testing and debriefing following violent operations are crucial. Otherwise, as we have seen repeatedly, innocent victims, the community and other innocent policemen pay the price,” Marcos said.

Marcos has been pushing for clearer guidelines for psychological tests on police personnel, filing Senate Bill 2005 last January shortly after the murder of a mother and son by police master sergeant Joel Nuezca.

“This is the second time that a police master sergeant has murdered an innocent civilian. The cases of Nuezca and, more recently, (Hensie) Zinampan may be called isolated cases, but do we wait for such cases to become more commonplace?” Marcos asked.

Marcos also called on Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar to investigate Zinampan’s immediate superior, which R.A. 8551 states “should be an automatic process” to determine lapses in administration or supervision.

“The strong padrino and frat system in the PNP may continue to take in mentally imbalanced recruits and keep the proteges of higher-ranked officers off the hook,” Marcos said.