Alert status raised for Christmas breakBy Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has not monitored any security threats during the yuletide season, but has raised its alert status to ensure the safety of people travelling to and from their provinces.
“We have not received any serious security threats for the yuletide season, [but] we do not want to be complacent,” newly appointed PNP Chief, Director General Alan Purisima, said in a statement Monday.
He said this is the reason “we raised our security alert status to maximize the security coverage as people troop to the provinces to take advantage of the two long weekends and also to the churches for the traditional hearing of Masses.”
“We will maintain a high level of vigilance until our people have gone back to their work and schools,” he added.
According to Purisima, he was satisfied with the current security preparations of police commanders from the regional to the municipal level.
He said that they are on the lookout for the rise of accidents and injuries caused by firecrackers and pyrotechnics as the New Year’s celebrations draws near.
“Right now, we are more concerned with the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic materials and that is why we are joining forces with the Department of Health (DOH) in reducing firecracker-related injuries,” Purisima said.
“While the DOH will take the task of massive information drive, we in the PNP will focus on the enforcement of laws that will help in reducing [casualties] to the lowest level … like inspection of factories and stores where firecrackers are sold,” he added.
Purisima also warned all policemen against using their firearms during the New Year’s revelries to avoid injuries from stray bullets.
“I [am warning] all our personnel to refrain from using their firearms in greeting the onset of the New Year, otherwise, you will certainly end up regretting for the entire 2013 or even in your entire life why you dare defy my order,” he said.
“There are safer means to greet the New Year and our policemen should be the role model in the government’s efforts [for a safe celebration],” he added.
Purisima also appealed for understanding from the families of police officers as they have to work during the holidays instead of spending precious quality time together. “I hope you understand that they have to make these sacrifices once again in the interest of public service.”