THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has penalized 9,172 erring police personnel in the past three years as part of its internal cleansing, the Department of Interior and Local Government said yesterday.

The agency, which supervises the police, said 51% or 4,721 policemen had been suspended, while 31% or 2,806 had been dismissed.

PNP “continues and persists in seeking to change the culture and image of the police organization in the face of ongoing challenges,” Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año said in a statement. “The controversies hounding the police service will not stop us in pursuing our internal cleansing initiatives.”

Mr. Año said 762 PNP personnel had been reprimanded, 535 demoted, 208 forfeited their salaries, 80 had their privileges withheld and 60 were under restrictions.

The penalties covered workers from July 2016 to September this year, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya said in a mobile-phone message.

Mr. Año also commended the revamp being enforced by PNP Officer-in-Charge Lieutenant General Archie F. Gamboa.

Mr. Gamboa took office this month after the resignation of General Oscar D. Albayalde, who was accused of trying to protect 13 rogue cops from Pampanga province when he was still a deputy director for Metro Manila.

Mr. Albayalde and the 13 policemen are facing graft and drug-dealing charges at the Justice department. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas