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PNP warns anew vs illegal use of police uniform

June 19, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 2387 views

THE Philippine National Police (PNP), headed by General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr., on Monday, warned anew the public that unauthorized use of police uniforms and other accouterment (accessory items) is a “criminal offense” that could send them to jail for as much as six years in the event they are proven to have committed a crime while wearing an officer’s outfit.

PNP Public Information Office (PIO) chief Brigadier Gen. Redrico A. Maranan said that any civilian wearing a police uniform and pretending to be a person of authority or public officer is committing a violation of Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), otherwise known as usurpation of official functions.

Article 179 of the RPC, or “illegal use of uniform or insignia,” also says that the penalty of prison mayor in its maximum period shall be imposed upon any person who shall publicly and improperly make use of insignia, uniforms or dress pertaining to an office not held by such person or to a class or persons of which he is not a member.

Maranan said they are very strict on the matter since there have been many incidents wherein criminals, specifically robbers and kidnappers, have posed as policemen by wearing PNP uniforms when they attack their targets.

Even New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas in the past have managed to attack some police stations and other facilities by disguising themselves as police officers.

“We have been receiving complaints regarding the presence of some persons who are engaged in the unauthorized use of PNP uniforms and thus would want to warn these persons they may be held liable under the law,” Maranan said.

On Monday, the PNP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Lazada Group, the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), and the University of the Philippines (UP).

“This MOU holds immense importance as it underscores the recognition of research and development in our continuous pursuit of excellence. It serves as a testament to our commitment to enhancing our existing and future operations with the ultimate goal of better serving and protecting the Filipino people,” Gen. Acorda said.

The PNP chief said that their agreement with Lazada is aimed at combating the proliferation of the unauthorized selling of counterfeit and sub-standard PNP uniforms, insignias, and accouterments.

“We all understand the grave consequences that arise from the unauthorized manufacture, sale and distribution of official PNP items. Not only does it compromise the integrity of our organization, but it also poses a serious threat to public safety and security. In line with this, the signing of this MOU represents a significant step towards eradicating these illicit activities,” the top cop said.

He added that the issuance of Executive Order (EO) No. 297, Series of 2007, which regulates the manufacturing, sale, distribution and use of PNP uniforms, insignias and other accouterments, solidify their commitment to safeguarding the proper use of these items.

“As we all know, the EO explicitly prohibits the use of PNP items by individuals who are not active and bonafide members of the PNP. Hence, it is our responsibility to uphold this order and ensure that our uniforms and accouterments retain their rightful exclusivity,” Gen. Acorda said.

He thanked the Lazada Group for joining them in their endeavor. Lazada, as one of Southeast Asia’s leading e-commerce platforms, plays a vital role in providing an online marketplace for third-party sellers, the PNP chief said.

“Their support and commitment to combatting the unauthorized selling of PNP items are commendable,” he added.

He also appreciated the TUP and UP’s collaboration with the PNP in the said initiative as well as in helping the police force improve its research and development programs as well as in the realm of intellectual property.