No gun muzzle sealing for New Year proves cops’ discipline: PNP

MANILA — There will be no muzzle taping of guns for this year’s holiday revelry to prove that police personnel are responsible enough, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said.

“I think nag-start iyan (it started) last year, and last year we were able to prove (that) our PNP personnel are responsible enough. Wala akong alam na (I have not received any reports of) indiscriminate firing last year. So this year, sana (I hope we will have) zero incident of indiscriminate firing,” Albayalde told reporters in an interview on Monday.

“We have to show to the public that we are a responsible, professional, dynamic police organization. Hindi na namin kailangan siguro na tinitape dahil una kapag yung mga tao (I don’t think there is a need to put tapes on it because when people), even or most especially foreigners, mga tourists na pumupunta rito medyo napapahiya tayo kapag nakakita sila ng (baril ng) pulis na merong masking tape sa dulo(It doesn’t look good especially for tourists who visit us if they see that the guns of our police officers have masking tapes on the muzzles),” he added.

Albayalde, however, warned that cops will be facing appropriate charges if they illegally discharge their service firearms during the celebration and their immediate superior will also be sanctioned.

“So I think by this time we have already given strict directive and we have cautioned over and over again our personnel not to indulge in indiscriminate firing. Otherwise that will mean their immediate dismissal from the service,” Albayalde said.

For his part, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Police Director Guillermo Eleazar said they would intensify the campaign against loose firearms to significantly reduce cases of indiscriminate firing in Metro Manila.

Eleazar said they would deploy additional uniformed policemen in areas where indiscriminate firing of guns happened in the past Christmas and New Year celebrations so violators would be immediately arrested and put behind bars.

Eleazar also ordered the cancelation of the rest and recreation and other leave applications of policemen and directed them to report for duty during the holidays.

Earlier, the “Oplan Ligtas Kapaskuhan 2018” was designed to minimize crimes during the Yuletide season as the PNP chief reminded anew all police commanders about the operational guidelines and procedures to be undertaken in maintaining order, law enforcement, and in providing public safety services during the traditional nine-day ‘Simbang Gabi’.

Albayalde said he expects field commanders to make inspection rounds in churches around the metropolis and suburbs on Sunday to assess the implementation of beat patrol and mobile patrol operations in areas, where parishioners gather to attend the traditional nine-day dawn masses.

The PNP chief instructed all police regional directors to redirect police patrol operations to maximize police visibility around churches.

Albayalde specifically instructed field unit commanders to deploy mobile patrol units with blinkers turned on to visibly establish police presence but not necessarily create undue alarm to the public.

Local police units were also reminded to be on the lookout for criminal elements engaged in common street crimes such as mugging, swindling, gang wars, robbery and theft, and burglary of unattended residences.