Put it on speed dial: New telephone hotline for reporting corrupt cops

Bato and Bato

The Philippines’ chief of police has announced a new telephone hotline for reporting corrupt cops.

The number — 0998 9702286 — was released when Ronald launched a new Counter Intelligence Task Force (CITF) to crack down on rogue police.

The move comes after South Korean Ji Ick Joo was abducted by anti-drug officers before being strangled at national police headquarters Camp Crame. (See our reports here and here.)

Following the discovery of the crime, a period of chaos, confusion and contradictions culminated in the decision to suspend police involvement in the war on drugs. (Read more here and here.)

Rather than file criminal charges against law-breaking officers, a range of punishments have been enacted or threatened.

Last week, dela Rosa bad-mouthed a group of officers while making them do press-ups before television cameras.

There has also been talk of making erring officers clear the lilies from the river frontage of the Malacañang Palace.

This week, it has been announced that some corrupt officers will be sent to the terrorist-infested southern island of Basilan.

However, as yet there has been little talk of formal criminal charges.

Speaking at the launch of the CITF yesterday, Mr dela Rosa said: “We are announcing to you the official hotline of CITF so that the public can send their complaints, information and everything relative to erring policemen, especially ‘scalawags’.

“Our focus now is on extortion, abuses, lack of discipline. Please use this number 0998 9702286.”

Dela Rosa also said that appropriate measures would be taken to protect police officers from harassment or false claims. “We will validate, investigate and then case build-up,” he added.

The CITF will initially have a staff of 100 officers, including a company from the elite Special Action Force. This is expected to expand over time.

“We are still on the stage of organising but still in to address and start the ball rolling, we launched the CITF today,” said dela Rosa.

“We also have counter-intelligence operatives from our Intelligence Group and investigators from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.”

That number again: 0998 9702286 — you might want to put it on speed dial.