PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan yesterday underscored anew the major role being played by each and every Filipino family in the country’s war on drugs and terror.
Amid his order for his men to continue a much aggressive campaign against illegal drug trafficking and abuse and terrorism, the top cop emphasized the big role of the Filipino family in helping the police identify and arrest so-called ‘high-value targets’ in their neighborhood, said PNP spokesman, Colonel Ysmael S. Yu.
Yu explained that Filipino families who are one with the government in its war on drugs and terror only need to furnish the police with valuable information regarding the presence of illegal drug traffickers and suspected terror personalities in their communities.
The PNP spokesperson said Filipino parents and their family members can serve as ‘eyes and ears’ of the police by simply reporting illegal activities and suspicious movements of persons in their neighborhood to police hotlines and the official PNP social media platforms.
“We assure the public that all information will be kept confidential and that their identities will be kept in utmost secrecy. Let’s all bear in our minds that this is the fight of the entire country, not only your police force,” said Yu.
Cascolan has ordered his men to embark on ‘solid defense and good offense’ in their stepped-up campaign against criminality, drugs, terrorism and rogues in uniform amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 had said he wants his men to hit ‘three-pointers’ in their day-to-day work as he compared his vision to transform the police force to a well-coached basketball team which see opportunities and potentials for ‘milestone amid the challenges and the odds under the new normal.
Under his term, Cascolan said he wants his men to follow him to the hilt specifically when he says all members of the 209,000-strong police force should be responsible, respected and highly-disciplined.
He pointed out that “we should get rid first of corruption in our ranks and that we will do that and it will be sustained and be maintained and supervised.”
Cascolan also echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s clear instructions to rid the police force of misftis and scalawags while always following the rule of law. “When you follow the rule of law, we follow and never violate the human rights,” he said.
The PNP chief said that being in the middle of the war on COVID-19, the PNP needs to adapt a new mindset. “We now regard the communities to be at the frontlines. In their midst, the invisible enemy is where bullets are fired,” he said.
To do this, Cascolan called on is men to further enhance their cooperation and coordination with the community including the Armed Forces. “We will no longer be regarded as just enforcers in the checkpoints. We will have more presence in barangays. We will be closer to the people in this fight. We will adapt a new hashtag. Today I declare #WeFightAsOne,” he said.
Cascolan has launched his ‘BaCod’ program or short for Barangay Anti-Covid Defense which he likened to Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils or BADAC to further ‘serve and protect’ the community while continuing an aggressive campaign against drugs and other crimes.
Cascolan said that under the BaCod program, five to six barangays will be grouped into one cluster under the PNP Patrulya ng Bayan – Barangay Enforcement Teams (PnT-BET) which will perform specific functions such as assistance in preventing violations of minimum health standard protocols like wearing of face masks and shields and social distancing.
It will also ensure that PnT-BET officers will provide security and patrol operations; encourage backyard farming; security visibility in coordination with barangay councils; assistance in contact-tracing efforts; promote livelihood programs like urban gardening, and skills development.