PNP: Cops to 'secure' in-person classes in 28 NCR schools but will stay off-campus

PNP: Cops to 'secure' in-person classes in 28 NCR schools but will stay off-campus
In this November 15, 2021 photo, students wearing face masks and face shields are seen participating in the limited face-to-face classes in Buenavista Elementary School in Sorsogon City, Bohol.
Release / Department of Education

MANILA, Philippines — With the pilot implementation of the face-to-face classes in 28 Metro Manila schools set to commence on Monday, the Philippine National Police has directed police personnel to refrain from entering campuses.

In a statement sent to reporters Sunday morning, Police Gen. Dionardo Carlos said that the PNP has already received a list of the 28 schools where "the deployment of police personnel will be expected."

The PNP is "all systems go" to "provide security" at these schools, Carlos said.

“The resumption of the face-to-face learning setup is not new anymore for us since other schools have already started this last November,” the PNP chief said.

"We just have to follow the template and remind our police personnel to strictly limit themselves from going inside school premises unless there is a request for security assistance."

Earlier, the PNP drew criticism after photos of police officers wielding long firearms standing guard inside a classroom where children were attending classes went viral. 

The incident prompted the Department of Education to issue a statement on the viral photos later Monday, reminding school heads that "schools, as a general rule, should be free from the presence of armed combatants, whether they be from government forces or armed groups."

FROM INTERAKSYON: DepEd discourages presence of armed cops in school

Police Maj. Reinwexk Alamay, officer-in-charge of Alaminos City Police Station, claimed that the cops were deployed to the Longos Central Elementary School in Barangay Pangabisan, Alaminos City on Monday "upon the request of school officials [to] ensure observance of minimum public health standards." 

“The police units only had pure good intention in acting on the request of school officials," Police Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Peralta, PNP Regional Director of Police Regional Office-1 is quoted as saying in a report on the incident sent to Carlos' office. 

Peralta added that it was "just unfortunate that some persons may have felt intimidated by the presence of security personnel."

“Schools are zones of peace and we will acknowledge that. Much has been done to orient our personnel regarding this policy,” Carlos also said of the incident in late November. — Franco Luna 

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