VOWING heavy ‘HPG presence’ on the streets, new Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group director, Brigadier General Eliseo DC Cruz yesterday told the Journal Group he has ordered round-the-clock HPG patrols to arrest incidents of carjackings, highway robberies and hijackings in the country.
“In consonance with the directives of PNP chief, General Oscar Albayalde, we will pursue a more visible and active presence in the highways particular in known carnapping and hijacking-prone areas,” the member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Bigkis Lahi’ Class of 1990 said.
Cruz said that as part of his effort to have the public feel the heavy presence of HPG operatives on the streets, he wants all HPG patrol cars to patrol the streets. He also said he wants to see all HPG offices including those in the provinces being manned by uniformed HPG personnel 24/7, not closed after 5 in the afternoon.
“I don’t want to see HPG mobile cars parked inside Camp Crame or any other HPG regional or provincial units. What I want is to see HPG mobile cars out there on the streets with their crewmen either helping monitor the situation in the area, spotting suspected stolen motor vehicles and lending assistance to motorists in distress,” the official said.
Cruz also ordered the immediate dismantling of all HPG permanent structures being used in the conduct of checkpoints in the highways like the one being maintained by the Regional Highway Patrol Unit 5 in Bicol.
“I don’t want to see permanent HPG checkpoints, only HPG patrol cars. Leave them (checkpoints) immediately or I will go after you,” he told his 17 Regional Highway Patrol Units during a command conference at Camp Crame.
Cruz said he wants to permanently erase the public perception that HPG checkpoints are being used in mulcting or ‘kotong’ activities by some rogue personnel particularly those targeting truck and delivery van drivers.
Last week, he also ordered the deployment of 20 HPG patrol cars and 36 motorcycles in key parts of EDSA to help address the perennial traffic problem. He also ordered the recall of all HPG Patrolmen or Police Officers 1 assigned in administrative offices and in real highway patrol duties.
“We will be unrelenting in our campaign against carnapping, hijacking, highway robbery and other crimes involving stolen motor vehicles and motorcycles for these are the cause and instruments of the large number of crimes committed against persons and properties,” Cruz told the Journal Group.
He added that in their day-and-night patrols in the highways, “we will include in our concern the safety of the motorists and pedestrians by focusing on the enforcement of the law against vehicle over speeding and reckless driving.”
Cruz said they will also initiate motorist assistance in the highways specifically in helping victims of road cases. “I want my men to do an OCA or One Commendable Act everyday if possible in line with the programs of our Chief,PNP,” he emphasized.
“We have to assist motorists if they encounter hassles and inconvenience on the road. Huwag tayong mag-atubiling tumulong kung may motoristang nasiraan ng sasakyan sa daan. We will make the road users feel the presence of the HPG in the highways and put in their minds that once they need assistance, they can always call the HPG. By doing so, we will be highly-respected by the community,” he said.
Cruz also asked his men to totally support the government’s effort to reclaim all public roads and spaces that are being used for private ends.
The official was the erstwhile Southern Police District director before he was designated as PNP-HPG director vice Brig. Gen. Roberto B. Fajardo of PMA ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987 who has been appointed new PNP Civil Security Group director.