Moreno welcomes new MPD chief, calls for focus on 'basic governance'
Photo release shows Manila City Mayor Francisco Moreno Domagoso welcoming Police Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco, the new chief of the Manila Police District.
Release/Manila City PIO

Moreno welcomes new MPD chief, calls for focus on 'basic governance'

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - December 1, 2020 - 1:57pm

MANILA, Philippines — Manila City Mayor Francisco Domagoso formally welcomed Police Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco as chief of Manila police Tuesday, the city government said.

This comes after Police Gen. Debold Sinas, the chief of the Philippine National Police, began a major revamp of the national police over the weekend, reassigning key posts within the agency which included the Manila Police District. 

As part of the revamp, Police Brig. Gen. Rolando Miranda, MPD chief before Francisco, was named as the new regional director of the Western Visayas. 

"My order is basic governance, including Ordinance No. 5555 (Drinking in Public Places), obstruction and all other things. That is what we need to enforce. Speaking of the pandemic, we didn't have to separate people, but nowadays, we have to follow health protocols, especially now that it's Christmas," the mayor told reporters in mixed Filipino and English. 

"There are more or less 5,000 cops in Manila, but there are 2 million (citizens)...it will be more effective if people will cooperate. Kusang disiplina. Let us do our job. Let them do their job. They can do it, but it will be more efficient with the help of the people," he also said. 

RELATED: Police set to use 'anti-tambay' template for quarantine enforcement

In a statement, the Manila City public information office disclosed that Francisco had been directed by Domagoso to focus on illegal drugs, kidnapping, video karera machines, and drinking along the streets for his term as MPD chief. 

Earlier in November, PNP chief Sinas and Police Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao, newly-appointed chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, both expressed their intent to focus on and intensify the administration's campaign against illegal narcotics amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Despite the worsening pandemic, no less than President Rodrigo Duterte has found time to mention his flagship "war on drugs" during his public addresses, where he has gone as far as calling human rights advocates his "enemies." 

Rights groups both local and international have said that the nightly killings linked to the administration's anti-drug campaign only increased amid the coronavirus-induced lockdowns, a claim corroborated by the government's own data. 

READ: Despite police claims, drug war killings continue amid COVID-19 lockdown — int'l rights monitor

Police figures claim some 8,000 "drug personalities" slain in official police operations, though the same rights groups say the number may be as high as 30,000 deaths since Duterte's "war" began in 2016. 

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