Business Options; Workshop on Police Ethics

Article excerpt

Byline: Mercedes B. Suleik

Last July 12, 2007, on the occasion of the celebration by the Manuel Luis Quezon University (MLQU) celebration of Criminology Month, FINEX through its Ethics Committee offered a seminar on Police Ethics to criminology students of that university. MLQU is one of the schools with which FINEX has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the aim of helping schools of criminology to promote and reinforce ethical practices among their students. These students eventually become the new entrants to the Philippines police and investigative sector.

Taking advantage of the month's theme, "Internalizing Ethical Values in Law Enforcement," Dean Jesus Arceo, in partnership with the FINEX Ethics Committee, included in MLQU's program of activities a workshop to enhance the ethical awareness and competence of the university's criminology students. The Committee's Chairman, Atty. Eduardo de los Angeles also happens to be the President of the University.

FINEX Ethics Committee members who came to facilitate the caselets that had been developed for discussion in the seminar workshop were: the Chairman, Atty. Dindo De Los Angeles; Mr. Greg Navarro, Liaison Director for Ethics; Mr. Ricardo Lazatin, Mr. Sonny Coloma, and Ms. Merci Suleik. The faculty of MLQU came in full force to ensure the success of the event. Headed by the Dean, the other faculty members who came were: Prof. Rufo Cayabyab, Prof. Santio Andres, Prof. Medardo Escolano, Dr. Cipriano Herrera, Dr. Liebert Acibo, Atty. Cleto Senorin, Atty. Jose Belmonte, and Prof. Federico Militante.

The participants were mostly third year and graduating students of criminology of MLQU. It should be mentioned that there was one guest participant, a fourth year student from the Philippine College of Criminology (PCCR) who made a good summarization and analysis of the case handled by the group to which she was assigned. They were given the opportunity to discuss disguised real situations and hypothetical cases that confront policemen and criminal investigators which would test their ethical awareness and commitment. Examples of these "cases" included that faced by a policeman, an arresting officer who actually saw a crime (a shooting) taking place and who is approached by a powerful politician who happened to be the father of the suspect. Another involved a handwriting expert who was asked to confirm the authenticity of a forged signature in a will. Altogether, six caselets were given to the students, with a FINEX member facilitating the discussion with contributions from the MLQU faculty, to discuss the pros and cons of an action that would be taken.

Basically, in the case for example of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the facts recognize that the PNP is the main law enforcement arm of the government, and as such is expected by the citizenry to discharge its duty of maintaining law and order at the same time upholding transparency and accountability in its dealings with the public. …