PNP ready for school opening

THE Philippine National Police is ready to secure students and the general public during the regular school opening on Monday with police authorities ordered to address all kinds of threats and even bullying cases in schools, PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said yesterday.

According to the PNP chief, police may conduct inspection of dormitories and schools upon invitation by local school authorities. Other police efforts are geared toward addressing bullying in schools and gathering intelligence information to thwart threats posed by kidnapping and robbery-holdup gangs and other criminal groups.

The PNP chief has already ordered the downgrading of the PNP alert status from full alert to normal alert nationwide except in Mindanao where martial law is in force.

He however said that the regional directors of Police Regional Offices 1 to 8, Cordillera, and National Capital Region Police Office have been given the discretion to raise their alert level based on the prevailing threat situation in their territories.

“Our police force will continue to be aggressive and intelligence-driven against criminal gangs, terrorists, and lawless elements as we intensify our focused police operations to address threats and violence,” Gen Albayalde said.

The PNP chief said that a total of 120,000 policemen will be deployed across the country as part of their security and safety plans for the resumption of classes on Monday.

“Along these efforts, we set our plans with enough number of police force to be deployed to launch mobile and foot patrols along major routes and highways for the 2019 Balik Eskwela leading to all schools and other learning institutions,” he added.

Gen. Albayalde said Police Assistance Desks (PADs) will be established in all school campuses nationwide in coordination with the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, school authorities and local government units.

In Metro Manila, National Capital Region Police Office director Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said they are fully ready for the scheduled opening of classes on June 3 and are keeping in close touch with school authorities to address all – including bomb — threats posed by criminals and even bomb threats.

The official said that over 7,000 police officers and men will be deployed in different public and private schools and other universities in Metro Manila during class opening with majority of the personnel set to man Police Assistance Desks and are under orders to immediately provide help to students and the rest of the general public.

Eleazar said police marshals will also ride buses, taxis, jeepneys and the Light Railway Transit (LRT) and Metro Railway Transit (MRT) trains as part of their security measures aimed at deterring the presence of criminals known for taking advantage of the school opening to victimize students and even teachers.

Police will also be taking over the enforcement of traffic rules and regulations  around schools  in coordination with local school and barangay authorities and the Metro Manila Development Authority. Eleazar said they will be likewise getting support from more than 8,600 ‘force multipliers’ from local government units and non-governmental organizations.