DILG Secretary To Field “More Boots On The Ground”

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (JGL) – Philippine Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas is pulling out policemen from guard and administrative duties.  He intends to assign them to patrol the streets to stem the tide of rising criminality in the Philippines.

Roxas told former Senator and DILG Secretary Joey Lina during a radio program aired on Sept. 13 that his department is hiring additional 10,000 new policemen and another 10,000 civilians who will take over the clerical duties of policemen doing guard and administrative duties. Lina is the host of DZMM 630 radio’s Sagot Ko Yan, which is monitored live in Chicago, Illinois.

“These are still not enough,” Roxas said in Filipino.

He said there are now 150,000 policemen all over the country, guarding 100 million Filipinos, putting the ratio of one policeman guarding 666 Filipino people. He said his department needs 200,000 policemen to close the gap of the ideal ratio of a policeman, guarding 500 people.

“Balak ng aking departamento na mag-hire ng 10,000 civilians na pupuno ng mga ginagawa ng mga police sa opisina at security guard duties na nagbabantay ng mga gates na mga blue guards. Halimbawa, sa Camp Crame na merong 12 gates, itong 36 guards ay agad puede nang mag-patrolya.” (DILG is planning to hire 10,000 civilians to take over the duties of policemen doing office works and security guard duties, who are manning the gates, called the blue guards for the color of their uniforms. For instance, at Camp Crame, which has 12 gates, this translates to 36 guards, who could be fielded at once for patrol duties.”)

BROAD DAYLIGHT ROBBERY PULLED BY COPS

Peace and order became the topic of discussion following a broad daylight robbery pulled last week, involving several members of the Philippine National Police (PNP ) along E. de los Santos Avenue in Mandaluyong. A photo taken by a cell phone camera while the robbery was in progress captured the incident and went viral in the Internet that led to the arrest of the perpetrators.

Eight of the 11 suspects are in custody. Two of them are in jail while six others are restricted at Camp Karingal and Camp Bagong Diwa.

Witnesses were initially reluctant to complain because the suspects are policemen, Roxas said. But after the witnesses were advised by their lawyers, Director Carmelo Valmoria of the National Capital Region then ordered the arrest of the policemen. The witnesses identified the suspects through photos they were shown.

When asked how many percent of policemen are facing charges, Roxas demurred to answer, saying his department intends to fast track the prosecution of the rogue policemen and impose them the harsher penalty provided by law.

Roxas said any witness to criminal activities particularly those involving policemen may call or text his number 0917.627.6927 (Globe). The caller/texter will be provided with a complaint or reference ID number.  Lina suggested these complaint/reference numbers should be posted online in the DILG website so the caller/texter will be able to follow-up the progress of his tip. Roxas was grateful to  Lina for his suggestion, adding he was going to consider.

Roxas plans to streamline the prosecution of cases against policemen by monitoring very closely how the National Police Commission (Napolcom) and the PNP Chief will speed up resolution of the administrative cases against them. He wants “certainty of the outcome” and the cases should be “time bound” so they will not be “dribbling” or tossing to each other pending cases of policemen, causing the delay of the resolution.

He said he also has the power to withdraw the “exercise of operational control at the local level (80 governors, and 144 city mayors and 1,496 town mayors) over policemen.” He cited the case of a provincial environmental officer and civilians who were engaged in a firefight with civilians in Bikol, where he withdrew the Napolcom deputization power of the governor and ordered the Napolcom central office to investigate the matter.

Roxas did not identify the name of the provincial governor pending the result of the investigation.

In the middle of the interview, Roxas noted there was a reported discrepancy in the number of passengers listed in the Philippine Coast Guard manifest than the actual passengers of M/V Maharlika 2, which sank off the waters of Southern Leyte Saturday night after being buffeted by typhoon “Luis.” Three people died while 144 were rescued.

“Kung nakatala ay 60 passengers at crew sa manifest, why is it that 100 plus were rescued.” (If the manifest lists 60 passengers and crew, why is it that more than 100 were rescued.)? More investigation is needed,” he said.

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PHOTO CAPTIONS:

PHOTO 1: DILG Secretary Mar Roxas

PHOTO 2: Sagot ko ‘Yan radio host, former Senator and DILG Sec. Joey D. Lina

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