Subject: Happy Birthday Brimob, with `love' from Bambang

The Jakarta Post

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Brimob, with `love' from Bambang

Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

This year's anniversary of the Mobile Brigade provided an opportunity for the National Police leaders to boost the morale of the corps in the face of scathing public criticism.

The public criticism, National Police Chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri said, "is a symbol of *the public's* love" of the corps.

The police and Attorney General's Office have come under fire, accused of conspiring to weaken the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) through trumped up charges against its leaders.

Police officers and prosecutors were revealed in wiretapped telephone conversations with a businessman attempting to halt a graft investigation of his brother.

The live broadcast of these conversations recorded by the KPK were a first for Indonesia, following a decision of the Constitutional Court to hold open hearings for a judicial review filed by KPK deputies, regarding their suspension.

A government fact-finding team is scheduled to present its final report to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday. The President has also been criticized for his failure to take action in the case.

Last week, a separate murder trial in which former KPK chairman Antasari Azhar is the defendant, heard an astonishing testimony by a former South Jakarta police chief, who said he had been pressured into framing the defendant.

"The public is testing the image and pride of the police, which seems to have doubted our professionalism especially in law enforcement," Bambang said as quoted by Antara on Saturday.

The statement was part of his speech at the police's 64th anniversary, commemorated at Kelapa Dua, West Java.

"In 64 years, the police force has recorded several achievements," he said, but current developments have overshadowed them.

A historical landmark included the separation of the police from the Indonesian Military after the end of the New Order, leading to hopes of a more professional police force.

The police have also hunted down and killed several terror suspects, included the region's most-wanted, Noordin M. Top, although many of his recruits are believed to remain at large.

Bambang said the current situation was a phase and test to develop a trustworthy police institution, saying the police should continue to work hard and be proud to be part of the professional corps.

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