A psychiatrist has hit back after police chief Ronald dela Rosa blamed “materialistic” wives of corrupt cops for encouraging them to be extortionists, kidnappers and murderers.
Dr Jessy Ang has made the obvious point that all people should be held responsible for their own actions.
Speaking at a mass wedding for police personnel at Camp Crame on St Valentine’s day, dela Rosa said: “One of the major causes of why police resort to corruption, why police resort to illegal means to score extra income, is their wives.
“Do not pressure your husbands to buy you expensive stuff so your husbands are not pressured to look for income through illegal means that will lead to corruption.”
In response, Dr Ang, who specialises in treating soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, said that such thinking reflected an attitude of “scapegoatism” in which culprits don’t want to take responsibility for their own actions.
Speaking to reporter Jovic Yee of The Inquirer, she said: “We have to be accountable for our decisions, actions. You can’t say that you made a mistake because your spouse pressured you, or that because your child has a problem.
“You should be mature enough to face the consequences,”
In the doctor’s view, one of the main causes of police officers engaging in corruption was the lack of “effective law enforcement” in the country.
As an example, the psychiatrist pointed out how in most countries a speeding fine would be paid to the government, rather than going into the back pocket of a police officer.
He also bemoaned how the justice system in the Philippines was heavily biased in favour of the rich and powerful.
As an example, Dr Ang pointed to the case of former president Joseph Estrada, who was convicted of plunder and handed a life sentence.
However, Mr Estrada — or Erap as he is often known — was immediately pardoned by his successor as president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who now represents Pampanga in Congress.
Mr Estrada, a former film actor, is currently the Mayor of Manila. As we reported yesterday (here), just days after giving up cigarettes himself, he announced a crackdown on public smoking in the city this week.
Dr Ang continued: “The problem with us Filipinos, as former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew said, is that we are softhearted to people who commit major crimes. We should be firm and strict.
“If someone is violating the law, he should face the consequences and be given the right punishment.”