Media, civilians tapped to watch transparency in police checkpoints

February 21, 2019

THE Philippine National Police leadership headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has again called on the media and the public to help them correct errors which may be committed by policemen manning gun ban checkpoints nationwide in connection with the May 13 national and local elections.

The PNP chief has reiterated a long standing order for all PNP men to strictly comply with police operational procedures in the conduct of checkpoints as the PNP leadership noted past glaring errors in the conduct of checkpoints and maintained those deficiencies would be corrected through proper supervision of officers in the field. 

Unknown to many, the Police Operational Procedures also encourages the participation of the local government units, civil society groups, non-governmental organizations, business organizations, other civic groups, media and other stakeholders during the conduct of police checkpoint. 

Their participation must be confined only as observers to give police additional eyes and at the same time promote transparency of activities in the area. 

According to PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Bernard M. Banac, more than 1,400 , majority of them civilians, have been arrested since last January 13 to date and added that they “expect to make more arrests if people would defy our repeated warnings that they cannot carry firearms and other deadly weapons in the streets during the election period.” 

Banac said that police nationwide have also confiscated 21 light weapons, 47 gun replicas, 74 hand grenades and 365 improvised explosive devices from the gun ban violators last Friday alone. Add to that the more than 9,000 live ammunition and nearly 9,040 other deadly weapons found in possession of other suspects arrested since the start of the gun ban. 

“We have effectively prevented the possibility that these illegal weapons could be used as a tool to commit violence in the streets of the metropolis,” said the NCRPO chief.

Gen. Albayalde said there will be a no let-up drive to account for unauthorized weapons that could be used to commit violence during the election period. Persons caught for violating the gun ban especially  law enforcers face penalties such as not less than one year to six years imprisonment, dishonorable discharge from the service and forfeiture of all retirement privileges and benefits.