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PNP readies strategy to address street crimes

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Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said a new strategy may be needed in running after criminals after President Rodrigo Duterte expressed the need to purchase new motorcycles for the Philippine National Police (PNP) to help prevent street crimes.

“Gagawa kami ng strategy (We will prepare a strategy). It would be a combination of uniformed and non-uniformed policemen just for that purpose. Lilinisin natin yung mga kalsada na yan ng masasamang loob (We will clear the streets of criminals),” Año said in an interview over DZBB.

Año said he directed PNP chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan to submit requirements on the acquisition of new motorcycles that will strengthen policemen's capability to prevent and respond to street crimes.

“With the order of the President, nag-usap kami ni Gen. Cascolan. Sabi ko submit yung requirements nung motorsiklo pa na kailangan natin at ilang mga tao ang kailangan natin i-train. Ito yung mga special units na gagawin namin para maghabol lang ng mga criminals na gumagamit ng motorsiklo, mga nagka-carnap ng motorsiklo, mga nanghoholdap gamit yung motorsiklo (I talked to Gen. Cascolan, I told him to submit requirements for the necessary motorcycles and some personnel who need to be trained. We will use these special units to run after criminals using motorcycles, those involved in carnapping and holdup,” he said.

He said members of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) have already been undergoing training to improve their capability to go after street criminals.

In his public address last Wednesday, Duterte said he intended to “go hard” against criminals in the last two years of his term, noting an upsurge of street crimes after quarantine classifications were relaxed.

The President said he understood the "nightmare" that police are facing in chasing motorcycle-riding suspects who could easily get away after committing crimes.

Duterte, a motorcycle enthusiast, said it is not enough for cops to know how to ride a motorcycle, but should undergo training.

He asked Año to plan the purchase of motorcycles, suggesting that the 250cc motorcycles "would be a good one".

Año lauded Duterte’s intention to provide new motorcycles for the law enforcers to effectively address street crimes.

“Palagi naman kaming merong provisions sa pagbili ng mga patrol cars at mga motorcycles but with this instruction of the President natutuwa kami kasi mukhang magbibigay siya ng additional budget para sa immediate procurement ng motorsiklo. So mas maganda yan kaysa aantayin mo yung regular na budget pero mas maganda kung magkakaroon ng special fund at magkaroon kami ng immediate procurement (We always include provisions for the purchase of patrol cars and motorcycles but with this instruction of the President, we are happy because it seems he will provide an additional budget for the immediate procurement of motorcycles. It is better than waiting for a regular budget. If there will be a special fund, we can have immediate procurement),” he said.

Año also said the campaign of the PNP to address the street crimes will not spare “some” police personnel.

“There are very few in the past kasi alam mo naman napakalaki ng pulis, 200,000 policemen sa organization. Minsan nga kahit sa isang pamilya merong lalabas na black sheep hindi ba. So kailangan tuloy-tuloy yung pagbabantay natin sa disiplina, behavior ng ating policemen at hindi natin papayagan yan (because we know PNP is 200,000 policemen organization. Even in a family, there is a black sheep. So, we need constant monitoring in discipline, the behavior of our policemen and we will not allow those involved in street crimes),” he said.

He promised to jail policemen who continue to engage in criminal activities as part of the ongoing PNP’s internal cleansing program.

“Mas dobleng galit natin kapag ganyan. Talagang gusto natin mabulok sa kulungan yung mga ganyang klaseng pulis. Makakaasa kayo na una natin tatargetin yan mga pulis na involve sa mga krimen (We really hate this kind of behavior. We want them rotten in prison. You can expect that we will run first against policemen involved in crimes),” he said.

He said the PNP also continues to go after the so-called “ninja cops”, police officers who are engaged in the recycling of confiscated illegal drugs.

“Tuluy-tuloy yung kampanya natin sa pagsugpo, pagtanggal sa serbisyo at pagkakaso sa mga ninja cops. Yung mga controversial na mga ninja cops na pinag-usapan sa Senado, sa publiko, tanggal na sa serbisyo lahat ng mga yan. Nadismiss na natin yun (Our campaign continues in eliminating, removing from services and filing of cases against ninja cops. Those controversial ninja cops identified in the Senate hearing, they have been removed from services. They have been dismissed already),” he said.

Cascolan earlier said more than 4,000 police officers were dismissed from the service as part of the intensified internal cleansing program of the PNP.

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