Metro cops to report to village chiefsBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
If you live in Metro Manila and see uniformed policemen patrolling in your barangay, don’t be surprised or frightened.
Most policemen in Metro Manila, except those doing administrative and clerical jobs in stations and precincts, have been assigned to the barangays by the new chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina.
Espina’s idea of maximum police visibility is having his policemen report every day to barangay chairs to coordinate their assignments for the day.
The new Metro Manila police chief bared his plan to this columnist who paid him a visit Thursday at his office in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City.
Espina’s order, which starts after he has talked with all officers of the different police districts—Manila, Quezon City and the northern, southern and eastern districts—is very practical.
Cops will be forced to go out and mingle with the citizenry, instead of waiting for complaints inside their precincts or stations.
An irate citizen who noticed very few cops patrolling the streets, once commented that policemen were just “hatching their eggs in the precincts (naglilimlim ng kanilang mga itlog sa presinto).”
Policemen in the country are reactive—waiting for crimes to happen—instead of proactive or preventing crimes from happening.
If you’ve been to Singapore or Hong Kong, you may have noticed that uniformed cops are everywhere: In the malls and on the sidewalks walking in pairs.
That’s what Espina’s plan calls for: He wants to make Metro Manila policemen ubiquitous or seen everywhere.
The more uniformed cops there are in the streets, the less crimes are likely to take place.
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Under Espina’s watch, all administrative cases filed against Metro Manila cops will be resolved within a month.
Repeat: One month!
“My office (as regional commander) has the power to dismiss police officers found guilty of administrative offenses,” the ramrod straight, flat-bellied police general said.
Normally, administrative cases filed against policemen by aggrieved civilians take so long— months and even years—that the complainants lose interest and drop the cases.
Hurray for Espina!
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I had the good fortune to have dinner Thursday with former Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Antonio Sotelo after so many years.
Sotelo was a helicopter squadron commander, who turned the tide of the Edsa Revolution in favor of the Enrile-Ramos rebel group, when he landed his helicopters in Camp Crame at the height of the revolution.
At 79, Sotelo is still sprightly, healthy and strong.
He attributes his good health to eating vegetables—saluyot, bitter melon (ampalaya), eggplant, camote tops in salad—and a lot of walking.
I think he’ll live up to 100, by his looks.
We talked about many things which will be a subject in one of my next columns.
More from this Column:
- An incompetent airport manager
- How easily voters forget
- Dead man biggest winner
- My fearless forecasts
- Jojo Binay’s juvenile tantrum