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Armed, uniformed cops to guard 61 churches and dawn masses – MPD Chief Dizon

MPD on Simbang Gabi 2022
MPD Director PBGen. Andre Dizon (middle) is sandwiched by (Dizon’s right) Itchie G. Cabayan and Andi Garcia, president and vice president, respectively, of the Manila City Hall Reporters Association (MACHRA), in a posterity shot taken after the “MACHRA’s Balitaan” held at the Century Seafood Restaurant in Malate, Manila. In photo are (from left) MPD spokesman and public information officer Col. Philipp Ines, MACHRA directors Jerry Tan and Pat Santos, Cabayan, MPD Director Dizon, Garcia, Juliet de Loza, Mylene Gregorio-Alfonso, Garcia, Jun Reloban and Jhun Anzures. Behind Garcia are Brian Bilasano and Mary Ann Santiago. Also in photo are media attendees (2nd from left) Raya Capulong, (4th from left) Cherry Ilaw and (23rd from right) Justinne Punsalang. (JERRY S. TAN)

A good number of armed, uniformed policemen will be deployed in the 61 Catholic Churches all over Manila to ensure peace and order as the traditional dawn masses or “Simbang Gabi” is set to begin.

Manila Police District (MPD) Director PBGen. Andre Dizon told the Manila City Hall Reporters’ Association (MACHRA) forum held at the Century Seafood Restaurant that the deployment of PNP personnel begins at early morning of December 16, specially in huge places of convergence like the Quiapo Church, Sto. Nino Church, San Sebastian Church, the Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church, among others.

“Madaling araw pa lamang ay magde-deploy na kami ng PNP personnel sa 61 Catholic Churches ng mobile patrol. Pinaayos naming lahat ng blinkers in such a way na malayo palang po ang mga miyembro ng komunidad ay makikita na nila na may awtoridad o pulis,” Dizon said.

The MPD chief said that in the vicinity of each Church, people will see uniformed policemen either on motorcycles, mobile cars, bike patrol and even on foot patrol.

Said cops, he added, will be armed “dahil hindi natin alam ang mga criminal elements sa paligid.”

According to Dizon, the MPD’s implementation of preparations for the holiday season actually began right after “Undas” or the observance of All Saints’ Day.

This, he said, is in line with the directives from the President, the Chief PNP and Regional Directors for the police to become more visible to the public making use of all possible means.

“Ito ay upang maramdamam, makita at maging significant ang PNP sa community… from foot, bike, motorcycle and mobile patrol, lahat ‘yun ay ipararamdam sa public in such a way na ‘yung police memners ay nasa paligid at handing magbigay ng tulong,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dizon said that the practice of covering the muzzle of the service firearms of policemen will no longer be done, stressing he expects and trusts that the MPD officers and men to take it upon themselves not to engage in indiscriminate firing during the holidays.

Dizon said the number of policemen who have been dismissed from the service because of the said offense is lesson enough for every cop to be reminded of what is right and wrong and what they are about to lose if they violate any regulations or policies.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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