Will internal cleansing be on new IPPO chief’s agenda?

Colonel Ronaldo Palomo

By Jennifer P. Rendon

In his assumption speech, newly-installed Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) director Colonel Ronaldo Palomo said the anti-criminality campaign will be his main focus.

Just like other police commanders, he said he will “enhance the police intervention and legal operations against all forms of illegal activities – illegal drugs, illegal gambling, illegal fishing, and mining.”

But he forgot to mention internal cleansing operations, which is usually part of the motherhood statements of most commanders when formally assuming a leadership position.

When he was later asked if internal cleansing will be one of his thrusts, Palomo again mentioned legal offensives that the IPPO would launch on illegal gambling, illegal drugs, illegal fishing, as a directive by our regional director and our governor.

When told to elucidate instead on internal cleansing, he said that it’s part of the PNP’s job.

But how can a police leader push for the importance of internal cleansing when he himself has pending cases?

“As I’ve said, I won’t discuss the merit of my case because it’s already in the court,” Palomo said.

After all, “the good will always prevail over evil.”

But how important is internal cleaning within the police organization?

According to the PNP Facebook page, “the PNP new internal cleansing program which includes three approaches namely, the preventive, punitive and restorative, aims to develop accountability and closer cooperation among PNP members in the pursuance of internal reforms, particularly in firmly instilling discipline and spiritual and moral values.”

As reported, when Palomo was assigned to the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) in Region 5, a warrant of arrest was issued against him on Dec. 6, 2022 for alleged acts of lasciviousness.

But he was able to post a P36,000 bail for each count.


On top of the criminal complaint, Palomo is also facing three administrative charges.

An indorsement signed by Atty. Chito Bustonees, Staff Service Chief – Legal Affairs Service of the National Police Commission, indicated that a presidential clearance was already granted for the PNP National Internal Affairs Service to proceed with the formal investigation against Palomo for grave misconduct, simple misconduct, and conduct unbecoming of a police officer.

Based on the IAS records, the specific cases against Palomo are for violations of the Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code and the Republic Act No. 11313.

Article 336 of the RPC defines and penalizes “acts of lasciviousness.” The states that  “any person who shall commit any act of lasciviousness upon other persons of either sex, under any of the circumstances mentioned in the preceding article, shall be punished by prision correccional.”

On the other hand, RA 11313 or The Safe Spaces Act (Bawal Bastos Law) covers all forms of gender-based sexual harassment (GBSH) committed in public spaces, educational or training institutions, workplaces, and online spaces.

The case is now under summary hearing proceedings.