I may sound like a broken record again but I won’t get tired of asking the help of the public in helping our police catch indiscriminate firers during the New Year celebrations including law enforcement agents.
Please use your cellphone videos to record persons who are shooting their guns in the air and if possible, secretly collect slugs and spent casings that can be used as hard evidence against the suspects in the event they are arrested and jailed.
Although crack police teams have been deployed to arrest individuals including members of the uniformed service who will fire their guns indiscriminately before and during the New Year festivities, records will show that there have been several incidents of stray bullets and victims of indiscriminate firing in some parts of the country.
Thus, I join PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde in calling anew on the citizenry to use their mobile phone cameras to record the presence of persons who will fire their guns during the New Year revelries. Please make sure too that if you have CCTV cameras in your homes, they are working efficiently and can record incidents even at night.
Although the PNP has veered away from the yearly tradition of sealing the muzzles of their firearms, I still believe that there will still be some undisciplined cops and civilians who will not be prevented from squeezing the triggers of their guns to show off during their drinking sessions.
My friend, PNP spokesman, Chief Superintendent Bong Durana told me that information on indiscriminate firing can be immediately relayed to the nearest police station or by calling the government hotline 911, the DILG Patrol 117 or thru 09178475757.
I was given the assurance by the PNP leadership that all complaints will be immediately addressed by concerned police units as the PNP has a strict feedback mechanism that goes after policemen who fails to do their job.
Although the NCRPO headed by Director Gilor Eleazar has been successful in keeping a very peaceful situation in Metro Manila last Christmas thru their 24/7 stepped-up police presence, the real test will come during the New Year celebrations where people from all walks of life gather in the streets to welcome the New Year.
I’m calling on Gen. Eleazar to see to it that all his station commanders are in their offices and directly supervising their men. The public may call the nearest police stations or the NCRPO’s hotline at 0915-888-8181/ 0999-901-8181 if they have any complaints or concerns.
Both Gen. Albayalde and Eleazar have made it clear that chiefs of police will be relieved in the event they won’t be able to solve a deadly case of indiscriminate firing in their territory within a 24-hour period.
The PNP leadership likewise also reminded anew its officers and men of the ‘one-strike policy’ when it comes to incident of death resulting from indiscriminate firing during the period. Police are also under orders to arrest the illegal manufacture, sale and use of prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnics nationwide as part of the government’s effort to save lives and limbs.
The PNP has veered away from the traditional practice of taping the muzzles of police firearms before Christmas Day since Gen. Albayalde believes it does not speak well of a disciplined police force. It’s a very right move to show the public that the PNP is a disciplined and trusted organization and in that case, it does not need muzzle taping.
The move is also aimed at raising the bar of discipline and responsibility among the PNP personnel and the trust and confidence of the people. However, officials said that undisciplined policemen won’t use their government-issued guns to engage in indiscriminate firing and instead fire unregistered guns. Officials also said that records will show that trigger-happy civilians are mostly the suspects in previous indiscriminate firing incidents recorded by the police.
The probability of one individual policeman being caught if he fires his service gun is also big in the event slugs and casings are recovered since the ballistic records of all PNP-issued firearms are stored in a database of the PNP Crime Laboratory.
KUDOS TO QCPD
On a personal note, I would like to commend the Quezon City Police District headed by my friend, Chief Supt. Joyet Esquivel for immediately solving the case of an old man who was badly injured in a motorcycle theft case last Friday.
Esquivel’s men quickly buckled down to work after seeing the viral video of 64-year-old Lunito Romo trying to struggle with suspect Banjo dela Paz, a known criminal in Q.C. I saw the video wherein the old man hurled into the ground and rolled several times after a failed struggle with the armed suspect.
It turned out that Dela Paz was driving a stolen black Honda TMX motorcycle when he collided with a car around 8:30 a.m last Friday along Osmeña Street in Barangay San Antonio, Q.C.
Instead of settling the damages, the suspect simply left his motorbike and walked away from the scene heading towards Roosevelt Avenue where he forcibly stole the old man’s motorcycle. The incident was recorded in the helmet camera of a Good Samaritan, also a motorcycle rider who tailed the suspect.
Congratulations are in order for members of the QCPD Station 2 headed by Supt. Rodrigo Soriano and the QCPD Station 3 in Talipapa under Sut. Alex Alberto for arresting the suspect around 14 hours after he committed the offense.
The suspect was lucky enough to be alive after he yielded a loaded caliber .38 revolver. I’m quite sure that the QCPD cops were wanting to lay their hands on him. Quite understandable since what would you do if the old man in the viral video turns out to be your father.