PNP to address bullying, other school crimes

Oscar D. Albayalde & Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar

ALL security preparations are in place to ensure the safety of students and the general public during the regular school opening on Monday with Philippine National Police authorities ordered to address all kinds of threats and even bullying cases in different learning institutions in the country, PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said yesterday.

According to the PNP chief, police may conduct inspection of dormitories and schools in their areas upon invitation by local school authorities. Other police efforts are geared at addressing bullying in schools and gather intelligence information to thwart threats posed by kidnapping and robbery-holdup gangs and other syndicates engaged in different modus operandi to steal from their targets.

The PNP chief has already ordered the downgrading of the PNP alert status from full alert to normal alert nationwide except in Mindanao due to the ongoing implementation of the martial law.

He, however, said that the regional directors of Police Regional Offices 1 to 8, Cordillera, and National Capital Region Police Office have been given the discretion to raise their alert level based on the prevailing threat situation in their territories.

“Our police force will continue to be aggressive and intelligence-driven against criminal gangs, terrorists, and lawless elements as we intensify our focused police operations to address threats and violence,” Gen Albayalde said.

The PNP chief said that a total of 120,000 policemen will be deployed across the country as part of their security and safety plans for the resumption of classes on Monday.

“Along these efforts, we set our plans with enough number of police force to be deployed to launch mobile and foot patrols along major routes and highways for the 2019 Balik Eskwela leading to all schools and other learning institutions,” he added.

Gen. Albayalde said that police will establish Police Assistance Desks (PADs) in all school campuses and other learning institutions nationwide in coordination with the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, school authorities, local government units, and their other ‘force multipliers.’

Albayalde assured the public that the PNP is committed to provide security coverage for public safety services and institute various crime prevention operations, focusing on the Enhanced Managing Police Operations Strategy to maintain peace and order within and around the vicinity of schools.

In Metro Manila, National Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said they are fully ready for the scheduled opening of classes on June 3 and are keeping in close touch with school authorities to address all threats posed by criminals and even bomb threats.

The official said that over 7,000 police officers and men will be deployed in different public and private schools and other universities in Metro Manila during class opening with majority of the personnel set to man Police Assistance Desks and are under orders to immediately provide help to students and the rest of the general public.

Eleazar said police marshals will also ride buses, taxis, jeepneys and the Light Railway Transit (LRT) and Metro Railway Transit (MRT) trains as part of their security measures aimed at deterring the presence of criminals known for taking advantage of the school opening to victimize students and even teachers.

Police will also be taking over the enforcement of traffic rules and regulations in the school vicinities in coordination with local school and barangay authorities and the Metro Manila Development Authority. Eleazar said they will be likewise getting support from more than 8,600 ‘force multipliers’ from local government units and non-governmental organizations.

Eleazar said that different police district authorities in Metro Manila have been discussing their security preparations with school authorities in their areas regularly. Apart from keeping a watch on drug dealers, robbers, muggers and con artists known for targeting students during the school opening, the NCRPO director said they have also discussed their standard measures on how to deal with bomb threats.