Bulalacao tells cops: ‘Don’t drink in public’

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ILOILO City – Policemen must conduct themselves professionally in public. They should not be seen drinking in bars, nightclubs and other public places, according to Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, director of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6). He was echoing an order from President Duterte.

During a barangay summit on peace and order in the National Capital Region on Jan. 8, Duterte ordered all law enforcers to refrain from drinking in public places because they tended to get into trouble.

According to Bulalacao, the President was iterating a long-standing policy embodied in the Philippine National Police (PNP) Ethical Doctrine and the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Standards.

Section 3.1 of the PNP Ethical Doctrine states: “PNP members shall adhere to high standards of morality and decency and shall set good examples for others to follow. In no instance during their terms of office, among other things, shall they be involved as owners, operators, managers or investors in any house of ill-repute or illegal gambling den or other places devoted to vices, nor they shall patronize such places, unless on official duty, and tolerate operations of such establishments in their respective areas of responsibilities.”

Bulalacao said violators of the policy face an administrative charge of grave misconduct or dismissal from the service.

“In my visits or inspections of police stations, I always emphasize to policemen to have simple  lifestyles, refrain from drinking alcohol and other vices degrading to our being police officers. They should be loyal to their spouses,” said Bulalacao.

In Manila, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Eduardo Año said, “Nakakahiya at masagwang makita na may mga pulis na nag-iinuman sa publiko. The job of the police requires the respect of people. Therefore, they must do what it takes to gain and maintain public trust.”

Policemen drinking in public places may face administrative charges such as dereliction of duty, insubordination and gross neglect of duty, said Año.

“We cannot have armed policemen walking around in public reeking of alcohol and not in their best state of mind as it implies lack of discipline among our uniformed personnel. Respetuhin ninyo ang tsapa at uniporme ninyo,” he stressed.

The police can instead opt to drink alcoholic beverages in the confines of their homes or private households, said Año.

On the other hand, Chief Superintendent Benigno Durana Jr., PNP spokesperson, said penalties for the commission of acts/practices in violation of the PNP Ethical Doctrine shall be in accordance with the Revised Penal Code, Republic Act (RA) 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft Practices Act and other specials laws.

For acts or omissions that merely require administrative sanctions, the applicable punishments as provided for the rules and regulations promulgated by the PNP, National Police Commission, Civil Service Commission, and DILG shall be applied, Durana said. (With a report from the Philippine News Agency/PN)

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