Facial hair is a definite no-no for a man in a police uniform.
A 32-year-old rookie with a goatee learned this the hard way on Thursday after he was relieved by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief who chanced upon him during an inspection of security preparations for Monday’s State of the Nation Address (Sona).
PO1 Michael Castellano got a tongue lashing from newly appointed NCRPO director Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo Jr. who earlier stressed that his first priority would be the strict implementation of the “Tamang Bihis” program of the Philippine National Police.
“This is the first thing I will focus on. I already instructed the district directors and chiefs of police about this,” Garbo told members of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) during a visit to the police district earlier this week.
The NCRPO chief’s seriousness in ensuring that policemen wear their uniform properly apparently made no impression on Castellano—a member of the QCPD who was assigned to the Cubao police station—because he was sporting a goatee during his deployment on Thursday to the south gate of the House of Representatives.
Unluckily for him, Garbo was in the area to check on the Quezon City police’s security preparations for the President’s Sona.
The NCRPO chief immediately noticed Castellano’s goatee which the rookie tried to hide by lowering his chin.
QCPD director Chief Supt. Richard Albano said the rookie policeman was also wearing his uniform incorrectly as the collar button was undone, giving them a glimpse of his white undershirt.
“[Castellano] will be reassigned to NCRPO following his relief,” the QCPD chief added.
Castellano though was not the only one who attracted attention for the wrong reason as another policeman sporting sideburns also got a scolding.
“Appearance is also performance,” Albano pointed out.
Aside from being relieved from his post, Castellano will also face administrative charges for violating a specific instruction of Garbo’s, QCPD deputy director for administration Senior Supt. Joel Pagdilao said.
The NCRPO chief earlier told policemen to smarten up and refrain from scratching themselves in public.
He also pointed out that while changes from within may be difficult, something could easily be done about a lawman’s appearance.