Albayalde, Eleazar demolish San Juan sidewalk precinct

Oscar D. Albayalde

A SAN JUAN City Police-Community Precinct sitting illegally on the sidewalk just outside the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame was demolished yesterday by PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde and National Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar as police moved in to remove all road obstructions in Metro Manila on orders of President Duterte.

According to Gen. Albayalde, the NCRPO is heeding the presidential instruction to remove all illegal structures in the metropolis including police outposts which have been erected on sidewalks since the late 80s.

‘’This is day 1 of the implementation of the DILG memorandum circular...at maganda na bago tayo manggiba ng iba e gibain muna natin yung sa atin na nagba-violate” said Eleazar as he and Gen. Albayalde took part in the demolition of the San Juan City PCP 6 sitting on the sidewalk of Barangay West Crame just a stone’s throw away from the PNP national headquarters.

Eleazar said he has ordered all five NCRPO police district directors to oversee the demolition of all illegal police structures and other facilities in their areas in compliance to the Department of Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular 2019-121 issued by DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.

‘’Magkakaroon na sila ng moral ascendency na gibain yung kanila kasi giniba nga natin yung sa tin eh’’ said the NCRPO chief in referring to his men who have been ordered to assist mayors and barangay captains in Metro Manila in demolishing all road obstructions including house extensions built on the sidewalks.

Sec.  Año has sought the citizenry’s help in their move to clear all road obstructions and help regain ‘missing sidewalks’ in the metropolis which have been used as house extensions, parking areas, ‘’sari-sari’ stores and other commercial purposes.

“This program to clear all road obstructions in Metro Manila as well as all over the country is long overdue.  Hindi na uubra ang mga alibi lalo na’t ang Pangulo na mismo ang nag-utos.  Kelan pa ba tayo aaksyon para maibsan ang traffic?” the DILG chief said as he ordered Metro Manila mayors to prioritize clearing primary roads directly contributing to traffic in the metropolis as well as arterial roads leading to main thoroughfares such as Commonwealth Avenue, Osmeña Highway, Aurora Boulevard, C5, among others.

He said next on their list are tertiary roads and residential areas where even the sidewalks are being used as tiangge, parking area, sari-sari store and house extension.

“Talagang nagkaroon ng pagpapabaya sa bahagi ng LGU at pagmamalabis sa bahagi ng mga mamamayan.  Kapag pinabayaan natin ito, sisikip ng sisikip ang mga daanan, mas lalong lalala ang traffic at walang mangyayaring pagbabago,” said Año a day after the Journal Group reported the presence of countless ‘missing sidewalks’ in the metropolis due to the failure of barangay captains to prevent their constituents from erecting permanent concrete structures including house extensions in these public pedestrian walkways because those who built those structures in the sidewalks are either their relatives, friends, ‘compadres and comadres’ and most importantly, their voters.

Eleazar was ordered to provide full police assistance to the LGUs in the conduct of road clearing operations and to ‘arrest or detain’ those who will interfere with the clearing operations amid expected violent resistance from some people.

Año also directed Eleazar to dismantle police outposts or stations located on sidewalks that cause traffic in their areas.