Alfred Dalizon

An unsolicited advice to General Marbil

June 11, 2024 Alfred P. Dalizon 128 views

AMID his strict directive to go after motorcycle-riding cops and other traffic enforcers engaged in the so-called ‘escort-for-a-fee’ racket, I’m offering this unsolicited advice to my friend, PNP chief, General Rommel Marbil in order to further beef-up police presence in the streets.

Require every motorcycle-riding policemen in Metro Manila and other urban parts of the country to wear jackets with ‘Police’ markings as they leave their homes for work and vice-versa. If done, this will surely mean increased police visibility in stoplights, busy roads and other main thoroughfares in the country.

I’m making this suggestion since thru the years, we have the problem about civilians who pose as ‘policemen’ by wearing police t-shirts and jackets while attaching PNP stickers, sirens and blinkers on their motorcycles and motor vehicles.

However, real policemen who are on their way to Camp Crame and other police headquarters and stations in the metropolis usually wear jackets without ‘Pulis’ markings although they are easily identifiable with their blue pants and black leather shoes.

Except for members of the Highway Patrol Group and the Police Security Protection Group, you can hardly see a motorcycle-riding policeman wearing a black jacket with the ‘Pulis/Police’ marking. Are they afraid to be identified by the public? Are they afraid to respond to emergency situations? Or are they hiding something?

A neighbor recently asked me: “Bakit marami sa mga totoong pulis naka-jacket pero walang Police marking sa likod pag nagmomotor sa kalsada samantalang yung ibang civilians, lalo na mga pekeng pulis, nagsusuot ng mga Police jackets? I gave him some explanations based on my experience over some beer bottles.

When he was still the PNP chief, I overheard Gen. Alan Purisima telling an NCRPO district director to ‘punish’ any motorcycle-riding policeman in his jurisdiction who will he encounter in the streets wearing a black jacket without any identifying marks.

Purisima told me then that he abhors the sight of a motorcycle-riding cop wearing a jacket over his uniform obviously to cover his nameplate once he violates a simple traffic law, display an unethical behavior or extort money from an ordinary citizen.

The former PNP chief was right. However, nearly 10 years after, we can hardly see an ordinary motorcycle-riding cop wearing a black jacket with the yellow ‘Police’ in the back except for members of the HPG, the PSPG and the SWAT and Tactical Motorcycle Riding Units of the different police stations.

Thus, I would love to see every motorcycle-riding cop, whether those who are driving Big Bikes or the small ones wearing identifiable ‘Pulis/Police’ jackets since they will add up to public confidence in the streets and really prevent criminality.

This is because no criminal in his right mind would attempt to commit a crime like snatch a bag or a cellphone knowing that two, three or four motorcycle riders in the stoplight are cops who are on their way to work.

I asked many friends from the police force if the use of jackets to cover a cop’s identity is being taught in PNP schools and all told me there’s no such thing. Besides, they told me that it was only during the 80s when members of the police and the military tried hard to conceal their uniform due to threats posed by New People’s Army hit squad.

Gen. Marbil earlier ordered a crackdown on motorcycle-riding officers engaged in the lucrative ‘escort-for-a-fee’ service. So far, the PNP-HPG headed by Brigadier Gen. Jay Cumigad has already accounted for one of their men, an ex-Army soldier and two MMDA traffic aides for violating the top cop’s directive.

The PNP chief also told me he is very strict when it comes to ‘moonlighting activities’ by members of the force. “We value office hours so our policemen cannot perform other jobs during when they are on duty. When they are off-duty, they can engage in business but not providing motorcycle escorts or security to other persons for a fee,” he said.

Himself a former PNP-HPG director, Gen. Marbil said there are some policemen who really have not learned the lessons of the past. He also maintained that so-called ‘high-threat’ private individuals or those with real threats on their lives as validated by the PNP Directorate for Intelligence can avail of security personnel from the Police Security and Protection Group and not from other PNP units.

An honest-to-goodness regular accounting of personnel in each and every PNP office and units has been ordered by the PNP chief. He also ordered the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement and the Internal Affairs Service to lead the effort and make sure that everything is in order.

He also emphasized the word ‘command responsibility’ when it comes to the accounting of their men. “Dati kasi walang command responsibility. Hindi lang po tao, hindi puwede na walang alam ang commander and we want justice for all. We will make sure na mapapa-implement ito,” the PNP chief said.