Cops should always be role models, even in following health protocols

June 15, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 553 views

FOR the nth time, PNP chief, General Gilor Eleazar has reminded anew members of the 220,000-strong police force to serve as good examples to the public especially when it comes to following the minimum public health safety standards against COVID-19.

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The top cop has every right to say those things since police are always under the scrutiny of the watchful public, netizens in particular. This is the reason why a policeman in full uniform can’t beat the red light or violate other traffic rules and regulations while driving his car on his way home while ordinary people like jeepney, bus, tricycle and taxi drivers can.

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This is the reason why a policeman in uniform cannot go against the flow of traffic while driving his motorcycle while Grab, Lalamove and other similar courier or food service drivers can. Being on the road six days a week, it appears to me that civilian motorcycle riders, those who claim they only want to earn a living, have been given the privilege to always make a counter-flow and violate all kinds of traffic laws unmindful of the dangers they pose to themselves and other motorists and pedestrians.

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The unlucky ones may get a traffic citation ticket in case they are apprehended. However, expect a video of a policeman in uniform committing traffic violations to go viral. Netizens would always be glad to take a video of a cop committing traffic infractions but won’t take a second look at ordinary drivers and motorcycle riders. It’s how things work, how democracy works in our dear country.

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On Tuesday, Gen. Eleazar ordered an investigation into a netizen’s complaint about some Quezon City policemen apprehending civilians without face shields although they themselves are not wearing the same.

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“Tayong mga pulis po ang mga tagapagpatupad ng batas kaya’t dapat tayo ang nangunguna sa pagsunod dito. How will civilians follow the rules and regulations or ordinances if our law enforcers do not?” Hindi nila seseryosohin ang mga regulasyong ipinatutupad natin kung tayo mismo, makikita nilang hindi naman sumusunod sa mga ito,” he said.

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Again, the PNP chief’s reaction was triggered by an online video which showed how some members of the Q.C. Police District Station 16 tried to issue Ordinance Violation Receipts to persons not wearing face shields, while they –themselves- were not wearing any.

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The policemen also refused to acknowledge the violators’ complaints that they were also violating the city ordinance, the video uploaded by one of the citizens accosted showed.

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Gen. Eleazar however said that the public must also understand that police are strictly implementing minimum health safety protocols amid the daily complaints they have been also receiving regarding violations of these measures to help prevent the further spread of the killer virus.

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“Napakarami din kasing complaints ang ating mga kababayan na kapag nasa loob ng mall o passenger bus, may gamit ngang face shield pero itinataas naman o kaya tinatanggal kapag nasa loob na ng mall, passenger buses at iba pang establishments and I am sure marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nakakapansin nun,” he said.

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“Nauunawaan natin ang sentimyento ng kumuha at nag-upload ng video pero ibang usapan na rin kung hihiyain ang mga pulis at pagbuntunan ng galit. Sana maunawaan ng ating mga kababayan na hindi naman gawa-gawa lng ang mga ordinansa o batas tungkol sa minimum public health safety protocol, at sana maunawaan din nila na bilang mga alagad ng batas, mandato naming ipatupad ang mga ito,” Gen. Eleazar explained.

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The PNP chief has asked my friend, QCPD director, Brigadier Gen. Tony Yarra to ask the policemen on video to explain why they were not wearing face shields. “Hindi natin makukuhang muli ang tiwala at kumpiyansa ng mamamayan sa atin kung makikita nilang tayo pa ang nangunguna sa paglabag sa batas. Seryosohin natin ang pagpapatupad ng batas para sumunod din ang mga tao,” he said.

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Gen. Eleazar had these final words: “Hindi ko ito-tolerate kung ang mga pulis mismo ay lumalabag sa mga batas at hindi maayos ang pakikitungo sa ating mga kababayan pero hindi ko rin naman hahayaan na bastusin ninyo ng ganun-ganun na lang ang ating kapulisan,.”

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PNPA CADETS ‘PASAWAYS’ AT CAMP CRAME QUARANTINE FACILITY

Several sources have told me that a number of PNP Academy (PNPA) cadets currently undergoing quarantine at a Camp Crame facility have been cautioned by the PNP leadership for being ‘pasaways,’ for showing full lack of discipline while under isolation after contracting the COVID-19 virus.

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Their offense: instead of staying in their designated rooms, these PNPA Cadets have been found loitering outside their rooms and going inside rooms of their upperclassmen for still unknown reasons. These activities were reported by the Task Force Linis of the PNP Headquarters Support Service after their inspectors caught the cadets on the spot.

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Those cadets quarantined at the PNP General Hospital Extension COVID Ward located at Camp Crame’s Provident office were cautioned by officials amid the possibility that they may transfer the virus in the PNP national headquarters.

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Following the incident, I learned that PNPA director, Major Gen. Rod Armamento sent his officers to the quarantine facility in order to remind the cadets to avoid roaming around and visiting other rooms since they may turn to be virus carriers. The PNPA officials’ visit and advisory is good.

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However, there have been suggestions too that PNPA officers in complete Personnel Protective Equipment, just like the nurses and doctors in the area, be stationed at the same facility 24-hours a day to fully watch those cadets and impose disciplinary measures on them in the event they commit more infractions while under quarantine.

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