TO ensure enough officers patrolling the streets and keep criminals at bay during Yuletide, National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said there would be no Christmas and New Year break for his men.
“While everybody would be enjoying Christmas and New Year with their families, we will see to it that our personnel will be out there in their stations and the streets to keep the community safe,” the official said.
According to Eleazar, he has decided to do away with the practice of rotating the schedules of police personnel for Christmas and New Year to give way for holiday breaks this time since securing Metro Manila requires the presence of all officers and men of the 19,000-strong metropolitan police force.
“Habang lahat ay nagdiriwang sa kapaskuhan at naka-bakasyon, ang NCRPO po ay walang bakasyon, wala po kaming Christmas break or New Year’s break na dati’y ginagawa, hinahati ang ating personnel “We cannot afford na hatiin ‘yong ating personnel dahil nga sa napakarami ng ating babantayan,” the 2-star police general said.
Since the start of the “Simbang Gabi” last December 16, Eleazar has ordered the deployment of 7,800 cops to maintain peace and order in Metro Manila with the help of local government units and their other “force multipliers.”
Eleazar said his instruction to his men is to be firm but courteous when dealing with the public. “I told them they should be approachable and should immediately react to any complaint from the public,” he said.
The NCRPO chief has veered away from the previous police tradition of sealing the muzzles of the guns of their officers and men with tape before the New Year festivities but just like Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde wants a much tougher campaign against indiscriminate firing and would see to it that commanders who will fail to prevent or immediately solve incidents of reckless firing of guns in the air would be administratively relieved from their posts.
Eleazar said that in line with the PNP’s ‘Ligtas Paskuhan 2018’ program, “the Team NCRPO is celebrating the holiday season by intensifying police visibility to ensure there will be peace, order, safety and joy in our midst, every moment of the day.”
He said they are fielding 7,823 NCRPO personnel who, with the support of nearly 10,000 force multipliers will oversee the peace and order situation in Metro Manila.
The NCRPO chief said that the police and “force multipliers” are posted strategically regionwide particularly in all places of convergence and vital installations. “We have posted officers in our police assistance hubs in all major public markets, malls, churches, airports, LRT and MRT terminals, seaports, and transport terminals,” Eleazar said.
The NCRPO chief has ordered the fielding of more than 1,000 uniformed policemen at nearly 300 churches in Metro Manila to ensure the safety of church-goers attending the traditional “Simbang Gabi” which started last Sunday and will end on December 24.
He added that police will also be securing all routes and roads leading to and coming from these places of worship.
“For any untoward incident, you may contact us through the nearest police stations or NCRPO’s hotline at 0915-888-8181/ 0999-901-8181. Sa ngalan ng Team NCRPO, nawa’y umiral ang tunay na pagmamahalan sa isa’t isa nitong Pasko at sa darating na Bagong Taon,” Eleazar said.
The official also said he has ordered his four district directors to step-up their efforts to account for loose firearms in their areas including those with expired gun licenses.
Police have also been ordered to establish Police Assistance Desks or PADs in places of heavy convergence including shopping malls, bus terminals, airports and seaports and at the same time deploy Road Safety Marshals in major streets in the country.