PHILIPPINE National Police chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa, has ordered the stricter enforcement of applicable laws and regulations to curb the proliferation of unauthorized sellers, manufacturers, and distributors of police uniforms and accoutrements, many of them being used by lawless elements in Metro Manila and the countryside.
In a latest directive, the PNP chief asked his men nationwide to fully implement the PNP directive on ‘Tamang Bihis’ to prevent criminals and even the New People’s Army and Southern Philippines-based terrorists like the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute Groups from buying unauthorized police and military uniforms which are rampantly being sold on the streets. These apparels are used by lawless elements to pose as ‘cops or soldiers’ each time they conduct criminal attacks or surprise raids on government facilities.
Director Efren M. Perez, head of the PNP Directorate for Research and Development, reiterated the strict implementation of PNP Letter of Instruction 09/06 or ‘Tamang Bihis Alpha’ in line with Gen. Dela Rosa’s instructions. In the past, NPA rebels have gained access to police and military detachments and other targets by wearing police uniforms and posing as officers out to coordinate their mission in a particular area.
“The new order reinforces the courses of action that will guide the Task Force “Bantay-Bihis” and other PNP units in implementing it,” he said.
The memorandum underscored the fact that PNP uniforms with patches and seals are being used by some criminals and other civilians to usurp authority and take advantage of other persons on the streets, all incidents which contribute to the negative image of the force and hamper its programs to gain the trust and confidence of the public.
PNP uniforms and t-shirts, shorts and sweatshirts with ‘POLICE’ marking are being sold by unauthorized distributors. These uniforms mostly end up at the hands of NPA guerrillas, the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute Group and other bandit rings in Mindanao who pose as policemen.
In 2000, Executive Order No. 297 was issued prohibiting the unauthorized manufacture, sale, distribution and use of uniforms, insignias, and other accoutrements of the PNP.
The PNP-DRD said most of the PNP uniforms and accoutrements are already registered with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) to safeguard the ownership of the PNP on its patented designs.
Perez bared that the PNP has accredited persons and entities through Dayspring Consolidated, Inc. to manufacture, sell, and distribute PNP uniforms and accoutrements given the rights and privileges as authorized and exclusive distributors.
“The PNP Chief urged all PNP uniformed personnel to wear the prescribed and authorized uniforms at all times while on and off duty, said PNP spokesman,” Chief Superintendent Dionardo B. Carlos.
Perez also asked concerned commanders to inspect all dealers, manufacturers, sellers and distributors of PNP uniforms and accoutrements in their areas to check whether they have the Provisional Certificate of Conformity issued by the DRD.
All members of the 170,000-strong police force have been ordered to fully observe the proper wearing of police uniforms and other accoutrements or face disciplinary measures for violation of the direct order from the Chief, PNP.
The PNP leadership also ordered a crackdown on stores known for selling sub-standard PNP uniforms outside Camp Crame and other police camps nationwide and unauthorized persons using police shirts and other materials.