Marbil orders more cops out on field duties

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
Marbil orders more cops out on field duties
File photo shows Philippine National Police personnel attending the launch of the ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ cam- paign at the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City in January.
Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has ordered field commanders to intensify police presence in the street across the country, but clarified that it has nothing to do with the alleged presence of members of the Chinese military.

Acting on the directive of Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos, PNP chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil yesterday mandated a nationwide intensification of patrol operations in all regional, provincial, city and municipal police stations.

Marbil’s order includes foot patrols in urban centers, residential areas and other high-traffic locations to maintain visible police presence in communities.

“This initiative is designed to not only prevent crime, but also to build trust and rapport with the communities we serve,” Marbil said in a statement.

Also included are motorcycle patrols to ensure swift response to incidents and emergencies.

Marbil also wants more Oplan Galugad and Oplan Sita operations in crime-prone areas to deter criminal activities.

To ensure that his directive is accomplished, Marbil ordered that 85 percent of the 232,000-strong police force be actively engaged in field duties, reducing the number of police officers assigned to desk duties.

“Our goal is to protect and serve the public with integrity and dedication. We must work hand in hand with our communities to create an environment where everyone feels safe and secure,” he said.

The PNP clarified, though, that the deployment of more police officers on the streets is not related to the alleged presence of members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the armed component of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), reported espionage activities by China and the ongoing conflict in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

“While it concerns security, our objective is not only limited and focused on what is said to be possible espionage activities of the Chinese that we caught, and of course, what is happening in the WPS,” PNP’s chief publicist Col. Jean Fajardo said at a news briefing at Camp Crame.

The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission recently discovered what it suspected are PLA uniforms at an illegal Philippine offshore gaming operator hub in Porac, Pampanga, which raised suspicions about the reported presence of clandestine forces from China.

Fajardo said the conflict between China and the Philippines in the WPS is an external issue, but added that the PNP is ready to assist the Philippine military, if needed.

Shooting ‘surge’

Following this development, the Southern Police District (SPD) yesterday assured the safety and security of the public amid the recent “surge” in shooting incidents in southern Metro Manila.

“We are deeply troubled by the recent surge in shooting incidents within our community, and we understand the fear and concern this has generated among residents,” the SPD said in a statement.

“We want to assure you that the safety and security of every individual remains our top priority. Our dedicated law enforcement officers are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to bring those responsible to justice,” it added.

The SPD said it has intensified police presence across southern Metro Manila.

Other proactive measures, including increased patrols and implementation of strategic checkpoints, have also been carried out to deter criminal activities.

SPD director Brig. Gen. Leon Rosete has ordered his personnel to “redouble their efforts” in addressing the issue.

“We are deploying all available resources and manpower to swiftly investigate these incidents and apprehend the perpetrators,” Rosete said.

The SPD urged the public to remain vigilant and to immediately report any suspicious activities. – Nillicent Bautista

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