PNP disowns airport cop who berated taxi driver
MANILA, Philippines–The Philippine National Police’s Aviation Security Group (PNP Avsegroup) disowned the airport police who berated a taxi driver after the latter refused to surrender his license at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal (Naia) 3.
Chief Superintendent Christopher Laxa, PNP Avsegroup chief, said in a phone interview with INQUIRER.net that the security personnel seen in a viral video cussing and smashing afterwards the window of a taxi driver he had a spat with is not a PNP officer.
Earlier reports caused confusion that Police Officer 2 Alejandro Pineda Jr. who berated MGE taxi driver Boots Imagata for picking up passengers illegally was a PNP personnel.
PO2 Pineda, who has since been relieved of his post after the incident, is a member of the Terminal 3 Police Division under the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).
“We are clarifying that the man in the video is not a PNP officer. He is an airport police. As of the moment, there’s already a move to change their title (airport police) to avoid the ambiguity,” Laxa said.
“His actuation doesn’t speak well of our organization.”
The confusion has prompted the PNP Avsegroup to ask MIAA to omit “police” from the title of its security group.
”This is what we’re asking the MIAA; to remove the word “police” since they are not policemen to begin with,” he said.
Laxa said that like the PNP, the MIAA has included in its charter that the airport police follow a similar hierarchy from PO1 up to Superintendent rank.
“Through time it has changed, the standards for airport police have become more stringent. They’ve been called airport police from security guards,” he explained.
The PNP Avsegroup also sought MIAA and Office for Transportation Security’s cooperation to harmonize the functions of the agencies’ security forces.
Recalling the ambush of a Zamboanga town Mayor at Naia 3, Laxa said there had been a confusion as to who had jurisdiction over the place where Mayor Ukol Talumpa was shot dead by motorcycle –riding gunmen.
“During that time, it wasn’t clear to us who should respond to the area where (the) shooting occurred. We need to harmonize our functions so we can maximize our deployment,” he said.
No conviction in cases
Laxa also urged MIAA general manager Jose Angel Honrado not to limit the functions of airport police, especially when handling petty crimes.
When airport police file cases before the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office, Laxa said they would often leave the cases hanging.
“Wala tuloy accountability. Kaya ‘yun ang napansin namin, out of so many cases sa Pasay, walang conviction,” he said.
(There is no accountability. We noticed that no one has been convicted in the many cases in Pasay.)
“Ngayon lahat ng criminal cases, kami naghahandle kasi kapag hindi nag-attend ang tao namin sa hearing, natatanggal sa service,” the police official added.
(We are compelled to handle all the criminal cases because if our personnel don’t attend the hearing, they are removed from the service.)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.