At least 49 policemen are facing possible dismissal from the service over charges of extortion, PNP chief Dir. Gen. Nicanor Bartolome said Sunday.

In the first quarter of the year, the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management has already handled 96 cases of extortion involving policemen, Bartolome said in a statement.

Of the number, 41 cases have been “resolved” while 49 others are undergoing “summary dismissal proceedings,” he said.

Bartolome gave the remark as he reminded the 185 new graduates of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) to obey President Benigno Aquino III’s order to fight corruption.

Aquino gave the order after leading the PNPA graduation rites in Laguna on Saturday.

The graduates, who just earned the rank of inspectors, are now the youngest officers of the force mired with a number of extortion cases that affected public trust over the years.

“Corruption in the ranks had, in fact, once tainted the image of the national police to a certain extent that it deeply eroded public trust and esteem of the police institution,” Bartolome admitted.

“We acknowledge as well that the police service presents a wide variety of opportunities for graft and corruption to take place, and that much needs to be done to sustain our objective to block all opportunities for graft and diminish police tolerance to corruption,” he said.

“Speedy investigation is underway against a handful of deviants in the service who failed to toe the line,” Bartolome vowed. (John Roson)

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