PNP: Use cellphones for public safety

December 29, 2018
Oscar D. Albayalde

WITH the country set to welcome the New Year, the Philippine National Police leadership is making its final appeal to a vigilant citizenry: record with your cell phone cameras persons who will fire their guns indiscriminately to welcome 2019.    

PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde reminded the public that crack police teams have been deployed to arrest individuals including members of the uniformed service who will fire their guns indiscriminately during the New Year revelries.

With the PNP having veered away from the yearly practice of sealing the muzzles of police firearms, the country’s top cop has urged concerned citizens to use their mobile phone cameras to secretly record trigger-happy persons.          

The PNP leadership earlier said that crack police teams will be deployed to arrest individuals including members of the uniformed service who will fire their guns indiscriminately during Yuletide.

PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Benigno B. Durana Jr. said that as part of the government’s effort to prevent cases of deadly stray bullet incidents during the New Year revelries, police and soldiers have been ordered to conduct joint interdiction patrols to deter illegal discharge of firearms.

“We’re calling on the citizenry to use their mobile phone cameras in recording any person who will fire their weapons indiscriminately during the Yuletide season since the recording will serve as hard evidence against the suspect,” said the official.

Durana also said that information on indiscriminate firing can be immediately relayed to the nearest police station or by calling the government hotline 911, the DILG Patrol 117 or thru 0917-8475757. He assured that all complaints will be immediately addressed by concerned police units as the PNP has a strict feedback mechanism that goes after policemen who fails to do their job.

The PNP has veered away from  the traditional practice of taping the muzzles of police firearms before Christmas Day since Gen. Albayalde believes it does not speak well of a disciplined police force.

Cases of indiscriminate firing usually mar New Year festivities each year leaving innocent people dead or badly injured. Some of the victims of stray bullets in Metro Manila and the rest of the country were unfortunate children who were hit by falling slugs while either playing in the street or in the confines of their homes. Many of these cases remain unsolved to date with no arrests made.

All police commanders have been ordered to follow Gen. Albayalde’s directive aimed at further raising the bar of discipline and promoting the responsible use of police-issued firearms, said Durana.