Kotong cops manning checkpoints face arrest

NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Debold M. Sinas yesterday warned policemen manning Quarantine Control Points or QCPs in Metro Manila they will face dismissal from the force if they are found engaged in ‘kotong’ activities.

The official called on all NCRPO officers and men manning QCPs in the metropolis to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus to perform their duties with integrity amid reports and complaints from commuters and drivers they have encountered some mulcting policemen manning the checkpoints.

“There are reports that some policemen are asking drivers and commuters P500 for ‘padulas,’ or for easy passage thru their checkpoints and this will not be tolerated. We are investigating all such complaint since all our efforts will be tainted if we cannot stop such alleged practice,” Sinas said.

The NCRPO director said he will make the five NCRPO District Directors, Chiefs of Police, Station Commanders and the Field Commander of their Regional Mobile Force Battalion responsible if anyone of their men will be found engaged in such illegal activity.

“One incident of ‘kotong’ will destroy everybody and we will not allow that to happen,” Sinas said.

The official earlier reminded all policemen manning QCPs in the metropolis to fully observe police operational procedures and allow the quick passage of persons authorized to work in the metropolis provided they show their IDs and company papers.

The NCRPO director also ordered his five District Directors to establish ‘fast-lanes’ or ‘zipper lanes’ which will be used by cargo trucks and vans delivering food stuff, medicines and other basic goods to the metropolis amid the heavy traffic triggered by the checkpoints aimed at stopping the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

“We have some colleagues who seem to be enjoying their vacation in the province without being subjected to accounting by our superiors. It’s really unfair to our police generals and other officers and men who are out there in the field inspecting the condition of our colleagues manning checkpoints since last week,” one non-commissioned officer said on condition of anonymity.

Sinas said that the concerned policemen would be in for a lot of trouble if the complaints against them would be proven by NCRPO investigators.

Officials explained that in times of calamity and national emergency like the one that is being experienced by the country, all offenses or crimes committed by members of different law enforcement agencies including those from the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces shall be considered grave in nature.

Sinas and his district directors and other officials have been having very little sleep since last week, supervising the needs of their men manning QCPs in different parts of the metropolis.