Bohol PNP on alert vs ‘indiscriminate firing’
By The Bohol Tribune
The Bohol police command has vowed to severely deal with indiscriminate firing of guns on New Year’s eve which in the past had claimed innocent lives.
Senior Supt. Felipe Rivera Natividad told The Bohol Tribune that the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bohol “will be on the streets during the New Year’s revelry to patrol and arrest those who will insist on using their firearms.”
Natividad reminded gun owners, particularly those in possession of unlicensed firearms, that firing a gun upward has the same effect and liability as shooting it directly at a person.
Reechoing PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa’s call, Natividad appealed to the public to help the police prevent fatal accidents caused by indiscriminate firing of guns by reporting those individuals who use their firearms on New Year’s celebration.
In Bohol, reports can be sent via text message to Camp Dagohoy’s Hotline No. at 0917-316-3297.
Quoting a directive from Camp Crame, Natividad bared the 11th Commandment for gun owners: “Thou shalt not fire thy guns indiscriminately as it may hit, kill and injure thy neighbor.”
And the public is reminded of the 12th Commandment: “If thy neighbor fires his gun indiscriminately, thou shalt make sure to take photos and videos to be reported to the PNP and uploaded.”
POLICE URGED TO ENSURE PUBLIC SAFETY
Meanwhile, Dela Rosa reminded anew all police commanders of the operational guidelines and procedures to be undertaken in maintaining order, law enforcement, and in providing public safety services this Yuletide season.
The PNP Chief said that earlier orders for enhanced security operations before, during and after Christmas Day and New Year’s Day shall be strictly observed as it is expected to cause influx of people in shopping centers, churches, transport terminals and other public places.
Further, newly-assumed Acting Director for Police Community Relations (DPCR), Police Chief Superintendent Noel Constantino, directed all police units to avoid extra-curricular or insignificant activities in their respective jurisdictions, but to remain police presence and ensure public safety.
“Police units in the field were advised to refrain from soliciting funds, but to undertake a simple, meaningful yet cost-effective observance of the Yuletide Season and give an opportunity for the PNP families to strengthen camaraderie while ensuring that duty officers are still on-guard in streets,” according to Camp Crame’s statement.
The Operational Guidelines for Ligtas Paskuhan 2016 involve police presence like the establishment of Police Assistance Desks and deployment of road safety marshalls; focused law enforcement operations to include the continuous conduct of PNP Campaign Plan Double Barrel Alpha and the implementation of RA No 7183 (Illegal Manufacture and Sale of Firecrackers and Pyrotechnics); target hardening measures like utilization of force multipliers; and police community partnership and information operations.
The PNP is also working hand in hand with the Department of Health, Bureau of Fire Protection, and other concerned agencies to eliminate, if not, to help reduce the number of victims and damaged properties due to firecracker-related incident this yuletide season.
The PNP also continue to intensify the campaign against loose firearms, illegal discharge of firearms, and campaign against criminal gangs and personalities supported by the Project Double Barrel Alpha, with more focus on the arrest and account of High Value Target Personalities involved in illegal drugs and progressing towards the Barangay Drug Clearing Strategy of the government.
Along with the celebration, the public is encouraged to support and cooperate with the security protocols of the PNP. Any untoward incidents and crime situations should be reported to the police through nationwide emergency hotline 911 or through PNP social media accounts, @pnphotline for twitter or thru the official account of Philippine National Police on Facebook.
NO GUN TAPING FOR PNP MEMBERS
Deviating from the traditional procedure every Christmas season and New Year, the PNP will no longer put a tape on the firearms of police personnel during the revelry.
In a statement said, Camp Crame said there was a proposal to forego the putting of tape on the muzzle of the guns and it was approved by PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.
“Basically, the leadership of the PNP believes that this is a disciplined organization and members of the PNP down to the patroller on the ground… the chief PNP trusts they are disciplined and professional enough that they know what is the right thing to do,” the statement noted.
Camp Crame said the taping of muzzle of PNP personnel is “a symbolic way in the previous years of reminding our personnel not to use their guns (during the revelry) it’s a violation (of the law).”
The PNP chief had said that “the leadership trusts his personnel — they are professional and disciplined enough that we don’t need really to put tape on the muzzles of their firearms just to remind them.”
On the other hand, a health department official has expressed hope that the downward trend of firecracker-related injuries they see at present would continue.
In a press conference, Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said that while it is still too early to tell, he hopes that the total number of injuries from firecrackers would settle at 600 this holiday season, much lower than the 900 recorded during last year’s New Year revelry.
As of Friday, the health department has recorded 116 firecracker-related injuries nationwide since December 21. The figure is 88 cases or 43 percent lower than the five-year average from 2011 to 2015, and 71 cases or 38 percent lower than the same period last year, it said.
Bayugo further noted that injuries recorded on Christmas day were also lower than on the same day in the past years.
Health Undersecretary Herminigildo Valle meanwhile welcomed the declining trend, attributing it to the health department’s efforts and the cooperation of local government units (LGUs).
Valle lauded the LGUs of Marikina, Pasay, San Juan and Quezon City for hosting community fireworks displays.
Valenzuela Medical Center chief, Dr. Imelda Mateo, also noted a decline in the number of patients brought to the hospital for firecracker injuries. The figure, she said, has dropped from 27 cases five years ago to 22 last year to only one so far this year.
The health department officials were making the rounds of government hospitals to check their readiness to deal with emergencies during the rest of the holiday season. (with reports from PNA and PNP-PIO)