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Okubo to conduct more surprise inspections of NCRPO stations

June 20, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 163 views

Including jails for ‘lapses’

NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Major General Edgar Alan O. Okubo on Tuesday said he will be conducting more surprise inspections of different Metro Manila police stations and their facilities, specifically lock-up cells, to see if commanders are complying with instructions he gave since he took over his post last March.

Among the instructions he ordered to be strictly followed by the five NCRPO District Directors and their chiefs of police and station commanders are the removal of television sets installed at the lobby of NCRPO stations and police community precincts (PCPs), the assignment of Female Customer Relations Officers (FCROs) and installation of CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras in front of their custodial facilities.

During a surprise inspection of the Baclaran Police Sub-Station 1, the Bangkal Police Sub-Station 4, the Malibay Police Sub-Station 6, the Pasay City SOCO Team office, and the Motorcycle Unit of the Pasay Police Sub-Station 1, the NCRPO chief said he discovered some “lapses.”

They include the lack of personnel on duty, the absence of CCTV cameras in some lock-up facilities, the absence of female desk officers, and the presence of duty policemen who are not wearing their proper uniform in violation of the “Tamang Bihis” policy of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Okubo said he has asked concerned PCP commanders and those found to be violating the PNP “Tamang Bihis” policy to formally explain their side.

The official said that in a visit to a police station in Maharlika Village in Taguig City, he discovered only one officer on duty while the rest were reported to be conducting checkpoint operations.

The NCRPO chief said he had earlier ordered implementing a “buddy system” in the NCRPO so that there will be at least two policemen on actual duty in a small station while the rest are performing patrol duties.

At the Baclaran PCP, he said that he found out that there was no female desk officer while there was a “glaring” absence of CCTV cameras to monitor the detention facilities of the Malbay and Bangkal police sub-stations.

Okubo said that he also chanced upon members of the Pasay Scene of the Crime Operations (SOCO) under the PNP Forensic Group not wearing uniforms while on duty.

Under his NCRPO Development Framework, the official said their implementation of the “Revitalized-Pulis sa Barangay” or R-PSB program will ensure that the metropolitan police force will be regularly mingling with the community to help them address their peace and order problems and build a much-stronger police-citizenry partnership in line with the “5-Focused Agenda” of PNP chief General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr.

Okubo said there would be no more viewing of telenovelas and basketball games in the lobby of NCRPO police stations and PCPs under his command as he has ordered the removal of television sets that can be found hanging on the walls of the lobby of these police facilities to enable his men to fully concentrate in attending to people seeking assistance from them.

The official said that by removing TV sets in open areas of their headquarters and sub-stations, duty officers would be able to concentrate on their job to deal with people asking for assistance and making different inquiries.

Previously, TV sets that can be seen in the lobby of police stations and PCPs in the metropolis aimed to provide the public with some form of entertainment as they waited for their turn to be given assistance.

However, it has been observed that the purpose has been defeated with the presence of police officers unable to fully do their job of helping the citizenry as their attention was distracted by what is being played on the television in their stations.

There have been complaints that duty policemen can be seen glued to their television sets while watching basketball games or boxing events, telenovelas, variety shows, or old movies even though people have arrived to seek their assistance.

The official said that the police TV sets have to be transferred to other parts of the area which are off-limits to the public, like the mess halls and investigation rooms.

Okubo also emphasized that there are rules to be followed when it comes to watching TV sets in their stations and precincts. For one, only those on break and having meals may watch TV.

Those monitoring news programs may do so inside other offices.

The NCRPO chief earlier said he is “hell-bent” on changing the image of the metropolitan police force by coming up with an idea to replace male desk sergeants in NCRPO stations with female officers.

Thus, he ordered the training of the all-women team who will act as police customer relations officers or customer service representatives in Metro Manila police stations tasked to deal with people from all walks of life and refer their problems to concerned units whose actions will be fully monitored by the NCRPO leadership.

The member of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) “Tagapagpatupad” Class of 1992, who made history as the first PNPA graduate to head the elite PNP Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) and later the NCRPO, said he wants customer service-trained policewomen to act as their “go-to-guys” in police stations for a change.

He said he came up with the idea after fielding a number of undercover agents or “mystery clients” in different NCRPO stations shortly after he assumed the top Metro Manila police post vice Maj. Gen. Jonnel C. Estomo, now the PNP Director for Plans.

The official said that the so-called “mystery clients” secretly filmed the actuation of male desk sergeants in the stations they visited, and many of their actions were “disappointing.”

One secret video showed a policeman smoking vape in public; another watching television unmindful of the presence of the mystery client, while another seemed to be not interested in the complaint of the undercover agent and, after a lengthy talk, merely referred her to the barangay.