Retrain rookie cops | DCPO conducts seminar to personnel handling cases involving children

THE DAVAO City Police Office (DCPO) on Monday started the conduct of a child-friendly seminar to their personnel, particularly rookie cops, to re-orient them on the proper handling of minors in conflict with the law.

The seminar was launched after two DCPO rookies allegedly imposed corporal punishment inside the hall of Barangay 19-B to children who were rounded up for curfew violation last month.

Sr. Insp. Maria Teresita Gaspan, DCPO spokesperson, said in an interview that the series of seminars aims to re-orient the police officers on various laws that protect the children, such as the juvenile delinquent act and the laws protecting women and their children.

Lawyers handle the lectures that also include respect to human rights.

The whole-day seminar, to be conducted every week at the DCPO headquarters at Camp Domingo Leonor at San Pedro Street, will also discuss the police operational procedures.

“We are prioritizing the new policemen, especially those who are in the field,” Gaspan said.

The DCPO spokesperson said police officers assigned at the Mobile Patrol Group (MPG) are the first batch to attend the seminar “because they are the first responders.” The two police officers accused of mauling the curfew-violating children are MPG members.

Police officers assigned on foot and bike patrols and the personnel of the 12 police precincts will later be attending the seminar.

The DCPO was put in a bad light after a CCTV footage of the two police officers punishing the children went viral.

The office released a statement apologizing for the incident and vowed that the incident will never happen again.

“We apologize for the acts committed by our two personnel and ensure that no similar incident will follow,” a statement coming from the office of DCPO Director Alexander Tagum said.

“May this not affect your trust and confidence in us as we will continue to serve you with the full length of recognizing the rule of law and the respect for human rights in all aspects.”

Accused officers PO1s Jeobani Natividad and Jesre Masinading are still under restrictive custody at the DCPO headquarter pending the investigation.

The two have since asked for forgiveness and explained that it was an act of imposing a “brotherly” discipline.

Criminal charges, including child abuse, have already been filed before the City Prosecutor’s office.

The two are also facing administrative charges as the DCPO has already submitted investigation report to the Police Regional Office (PRO) XI and the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) XI.

The incident also prompted the DCPO to modify its buddy-buddy system.

Before, the tandem police officers could be two junior officers. Now, a junior officer will be with a senior officer in doing the rounds, Gaspan said.

The DCPO is composed of 1,850 officers.