MANILA, July 23 (UPI) -- More than 200 people who took the test to become a police officer in the Philippines last year have been disqualified for cheating, officials said Tuesday.
The National Police Commission said the cheats were found in Mindanao, an area where the desire to be a police officer is strong, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. They were found through an analysis of answers to the test with a suspicious pattern of wrong answers.
"We don't want dishonest cops to come in. We don't want to undermine the credibility of the Philippine National Police," Eduardo Escueta, the commission's vice chairman and executive officer, told the Inquirer. "Who would believe the PNP if cheaters can be policemen?"
The cheaters included 205 people seeking entrance to the police and 20 rookie officers being tested for admission to the National Police Academy. They have been barred from taking the test again for at least three years.
Escueta said Mindanao residents appear to believe getting a police job is easy.
"Now they learned their lessons the hard way. It was not that easy to cheat police exams," Escueta said.
The number of cheaters appears to have gone down since 2008 when more than 400 people were discovered smuggling cheat sheets into the examination room.