QUEZON CITY, June 3 — Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Police General Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar is seriously considering suggestions on subjecting all police personnel to regular neuro-psychiatric tests.
The recommendations arose from a gruesome incident involving PMSG Hensie Zinampan who was caught on video fatally shooting his neighbor 52-year-old Lilybeth Valdez in Barangay Greater Fairview, Quezon City. The suspect is already in police custody, slapped with criminal and administrative charges.
Calls for neuro-psychiatric assessment of PNP personnel were amplified because of a similar incident which happened on December, last year involving former policeman Jonel Nuezca who shot and killed his neighbors Sonia and Frank Anthony Gregorio in Paniqui, Tarlac.
“The PNP will study this recommendation of subjecting our personnel to regular psychiatric assessments or tests. Personally, I acknowledge that there is really a need to prioritize this given the nature of our duty,” PGen Eleazar said.
But the PNP chief admitted that the healthcare services of the organization still has limitations.
“Dapat nabibigyan din po ng pansin ang trauma risk management ng aming organisasyon. However, I would also have to admit the limitations, at present, in our healthcare capacities and services. Pagaaralan po naming mabuti kung paanong magagawang regular ang neuro-psychiatric tests sa lahat ng ating kapulisan,” he said.
PGen Eleazar added, “Until then, our police commanders who observe signs of emotional imbalance or mental disorder on their men should immediately refer them for neuro-psychiatric evaluation, through their respective health units. This way we can help them cope and heal and avoid being a danger to themselves and others.”
He assured that the PNP will explore possible partnerships with groups, institutions and facilities advocating the importance of mental health.
According to PGen Eleazar, aside from their physical health, the police personnel’s mental health should also be well taken care of.
“We will also assess if we could enter into partnerships with mental health institutions so that we can also take good care of the mental health of our personnel. Hindi lamang po pisikal na pangangatawan ang dapat naming pangalagaan para makapagsilbi ng maayos sa publiko, kung hindi pati na rin ang aming mental health,” PGen Eleazar said. (PNP-PIO)