Around the world many people call them ugly names; “Pigs”, “Gestapo” or “Thugs with a Badge”. Generally most people do not like the police but few stop to realize how difficult their job is, especially here in the Philippines.
There are an average of 37,254 crimes against people and property committed here every year. There is one rape every three hours; there are 5,735 murders and over 4,079 homicides annually. Fifteen women and six children are reported beaten every day. There are 5,185 sex crimes committed against just children each year. Every time you see a beautiful innocent child, think about that. That means that almost one out of every four children will be molested before they reach eighteen years of age.
To make law enforcement even more difficult 45% of our courts have no judges. There is a 22% shortage of prosecutors and many people find the justice system so flawed they do not even bother to file a case. Many crimes just go unreported. Those that do seek justice are often threatened and intimidated by criminals into dropping the case.
Beyond this horrendous work load and almost impossible burden of preventing crimes, some law enforcement officers fail their brothers. Over 4,447 police officers were disciplined for failing in their duty; 239 officers were completely dismissed from the service.
We have an expression in America, “Never judge a man until you have walked in his shoes”. Being a Philippine police officer is a very difficult profession. Six out of ten police officers are paid below the nation’s poverty level. Out of these poverty wages they must buy their own uniforms, equipment and maintain the highest standard of appearance. Nine out of ten police officers admitted they have debts to government and private lending institutions. One out of two have no bank savings. Often the people they arrest earn more money in a week than they make in a month. You always hear about the “dirty cop” but you never hear about the thousands of hard working honest cops; the brave men who risk death trying to protect you.
Public safety is a team effort. The police cannot do their almost impossible job without your support. File those criminal charges; testify and put the bad guys in jail. Remember those 37,254 crimes reported every year, 85% were solved and the criminal arrested. That is not bad for a bunch of “pigs”. Think what they could do if we helped them a little more; honored and supported them a little more. That frail thin blue line is the only thing between us and anarchy, total chaos. They are not “pigs” they are your brothers and sisters. Help them fight graft, corruption and crime. Give them the respect most of them have earned.