Ensuring a ‘zone of discipline’ in our camps

February 04, 2020

I fully agree with PNP chief, General Archie Gamboa’s directive to ensure that the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame and all other police facilities across the country will be a ‘zone of discipline’ or an area where motorists fully abide by the law. In fact, i think Gen. Gamboa is the first Chief,PNP who has ordered his men nationwide to conduct an honest-to-goodness on-the-spot checking of motor vehicles and motorbike entering and leaving their camps in order to apprehend law violators.

To do this, the PNP chief has ordered a massive crackdown on policemen and civilians entering PNP headquarters and other camps and stations on board  so-called ‘hot cars’ and motor vehicles and motorcycles without plate numbers or are unregistered or are flagrantly violating the country’s traffic code and other regulations simply because they think they can get away with the law.

It’s really high time for the police to follow the law. As they always say, if police obey the law, the rest will follow. It’s very simple: a motorcycle rider won’t wear a crash helmet if he sees that a uniformed policeman is not also wearing a helmet. If a police car beats the red light or go against the traffic even though they are not chasing a criminal, others drivers will also follow suit.

Gen. Gamboa is seeing to it that discipline will start right from their organization. Thus, in line with their Enhanced Revitalized PNP Internal Cleansing Strategy, the PNP chief has ordered the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group or PNP-IMEG and the PNP Highway Patrol Group to lead the checking of MVs and motorbikes entering different police camps nationwide.

On Monday, over 130 policemen and civilians were apprehended by combined agents of the PNP-IMEG headed by Colonel Ronald Lee, the PNP-HPG under Brigadier Gen. Ely Cruz  and the PNP Headquarters Support Service headed by Brig. Gen. Manny Abu in line with the ongoing crackdown on ‘hot cars’ and other traffic violations ordered by the PNP chief. Lee told me that together with the PNP-HPG and concerned territorial units, they also conducted on-the-spot checking of motor vehicles entering and leaving the headquarters of the National Capital Region Police Office, the Southern Police District, Police Regional Offices 3, PRO4-A, PRO7, PRO9, PRO11, PRO12, PRO13 and PRO Bangsamoro Administrative Region.

The operations which started at 6:30 in the morning were likewise conducted at the headquarters of the Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite and Cebu Police Provincial Offices and the Cebu City Police Station. More operations will ensue in the coming days, I was told.

Lee said that a total of 6,216 motor vehicles and motorcycles were checked during the operation leading to the apprehension of the drivers of 38 MVs and 95 motorbikes.  Of the 133 violators apprehended and issued traffic citation tickets by the PNP-HPG, 101 were civilians, 1 is a member of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, another is a Jail Officer 1 from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and 30 are police personnel.

The 30 policemen are comprised of the following: Major-1; Captain-1; Police Executive Master Sergeant-3; Police Senior Master Sergeant-3; Police Master Sergeant-2; Police Staff Sergeant-4; Police Corporal-4; Patrolman-9; and Non-Uniformed Personnel-3.

The member of PMA  ‘Tanglaw Diwa’ Class of 1992 told me that 55 of the 133 violators were found to be in possession of  expired registration papers; 8 without license plates; 22 without driver’s license; 20 with no Land Transportation Office’s Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration; 1 with an unauthorized LED light; 1 without helmet; 1 driving without seatbelt; and 1 for presenting OR and CR which did not match that of his vehicle.

The rest were accosted for wearing slippers while driving; driving with unauthorized sidecar; and driving with no LTO papers. I really believe that to effectively implement the program, Camp Crame should ‘punish’ those apprehended specifically those driving without a license or in possession of questionable motor vehicles and motorcycles.

It’s now the time for Gen. Gamboa to see to it that there will be no more policemen who would say he doesn’t’ have a driver’s license since all he would tell a civilian traffic enforcer accosting him for a traffic violation  and asking him to produce his license is “Pulis ako.” Many officers have encountered this breed of cops during surprise inspection and chance encounters in the streets.

The public should also help Gen. Gamboa and his men in their crackdown on all police personnel and civilian personnel using ‘hot vehicles, driving without license or violating the country’s traffic code inside all police camps by simply giving information about the violators..

I learned that Gen. Gamboa himself noticed some driving violations in Camp Crame himself prompting the crackdown which started last Monday. Add to it reports and observations that some police personnel and civilians entering Camp Crame are themselves law violators: some of them using recovered or unregistered  motor vehicles; some equipped with banned sirens and blinkers; or driving without license.

Drivers entering Camp Crame are now being required to present their driver’s license and Land Transportation Office Certificate of Registration and Official Receipt. Those who will fail to present their papers upon request will be subjected to investigation and their motor vehicles impounded.

Those who passed the inspection are given ‘MV Lockdown’ receipt showing the plate number of their vehicles and the date it was inspected. The receipt should be presented upon renewed entry at the camp. It may inconvenience others but as long as it will benefit all law-abiders, what the heck.

Hundreds of motor vehicles were inspected at Camp Crame early morning Monday two weeks after a similar crackdown was launched by the NCRPO headed by Major General Debold Sinas. I was told that the NCRPO crackdown led to the apprehension of over 200 policemen and civilians who were issued traffic citation tickets by the NCPRO in coordination with the PNP-HPG and the PNP-IMEG for violating various traffic code  including driving without license or using unregistered motor vehicles.

On instruction of Gen. Gamboa, the PNP-IMEG is also going after police personnel  and even civilians using recovered motor vehicles and motorcycles inside  police camps and other facilities. issued  Ordinance Violation Receipts to the violators of the traffic code. The PNP chief had strictly warned that PNP personnel who will be found to be utilizing vehicles which were recovered during various police operations or even using vehicles inventoried as evidence in police operations will be dismissed from the force.

There were also reports that some police personnel specifically those assigned in PNP operating units or stations are using unregistered or stolen vehicles or driving without or expired licenses and registration papers. Add to that the presence of some personnel who are using unregistered vehicles, with expired or with no driver’s licenses, those with no plates, those who are engaged in the illegal transfer of plates, those using sirens and blinkers without any authority and  those who are not in possession of updated LTO papers.