PHILIPPINE National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, for the 3rd straight year has banned the traditional practice of taping the muzzles of policemen’s guns but maintained there will be a much toughter campaign against indiscriminate firing with ground commanders to face relief in case they prevent or fail to solve firing of guns in the air or stray bullets in their areas before and during the New Year festivities.
Gen. Albayalde explained that since they started veering away from the traditional practice of putting masking tapes on the muzzles of the service firearms of their men last year, they have been able to prove that members of the police force are responsible enough.
“Last year, there is no case of indiscriminate firing involving a policeman with a sealed firearm. With that, we have shown the entire public that we are responsible police officers,” the PNP chief said.
Gen. Albayalde also said they veered away from the tradition knowing that foreign tourists are wondering why the guns of policemen patrolling near them are sealed and signed too by the beat officer.
The PNP chief explained that before, tourists gawked at the site of a cop with a sealed firearm and the sight gave them the wrong impression that local policemen are not that disciplined enough compared to policemen in their country.
For his part, National Capital Region Police Office chief, Director Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, said in line with the PNP’s ‘Ligtas Paskuhan 2018’ program, there will also be no more sealed guns for the Team NCRPO but all Metro Manila policemen are under orders to further intensify police visibility to ensure there will be peace, order, safety and joy in our midst, every moment of the day.
Eleazar said the sealing of firearms gives the wrong public impression that police officers cannot be trusted. “Hindi na lang seselyohan kasi parang mali eh. Parang umpisa pa lang, wala ka nang tiwala,” he told the Journal Group.
The official explained that in fact, there were fewer cases of policemen being accosted for violating the directive against indiscriminate firing since the PNP leadership veered away from the tradition.
Eleazar said they have fielded nearly 8,000 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 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.
“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 sa darating na Bagong Taon,” Eleazar said.
Under the PNP Ligtas Paskuhan 2018 memorandum, Gen. Albayalde had 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 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 collateral damage of firecrackers is not discounted to include the risk brought about by the illegal discharge of firearms,” said Gen. Albayalde.
The PNP is also watching threats posed by remnants of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf Group as well as the New People’s Army in the aftermath of President Duterte’s decision to scrap talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Since last December 16, the PNP has focused on its enhanced Managing Police Operations (EMPO) strategy in conducting security coverage across the country.
The PNP Directorate for Operations said that all police regional offices and national support units have been ordered to intensify intelligence-driven and managed patrols in areas where they are most needed.
Police have also been ordered to establish Police Assistance Desks (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 thoroughfares.
On orders of Gen. Albayalde, PNP mobile forces are also patrolling control points and areas in the country and assisting in the conduct of beat, foot and mobile patrols.
The PNP ‘Ligtas Paskuhan 2018’ likewise called for intensified patrol operations during the New Year revelries.
Gen. Albayalde said they also have their focused law enforcement operations which refers to the implementation and enforcement of applicable laws; aggressive operations against suspected terror groups and criminal gangs; manhunt operations against wanted persons; immediate resolution of cases specifically those involving firearms; and the conduct of Oplan Sita, Oplan Baka, Oplan Galugad, Oplan Katok, service of warrant of arrest and search warrants and other police interventions.