THE Philippine National Police leadership headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde again won’t require the 175,000-strong police force to seal the muzzles of their guns with tapes before the New Year festivities but will see to it that there will be a much tougher campaign against indiscriminate firing.
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 that they veered away from the tradition knowing that foreign tourists in the country are wondering why the guns of policemen patrolling near them are sealed and signed too by the beat officer.
The PNP chief explained that tourists gawked at the site of a cop with a sealed firearm during previous years and the site makes them believe that local policemen are not that disciplined enough compared to the policemen in their country.
For his part, National Capital Region Police Office chief, Director Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said that 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 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 in 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.
Under the PNP Ligtas Paskuhan 2018 memorandum, Gen. Albayalde has 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.