ILOILO City – “We will not be doing the usual taping of gun muzzles. But I trust that you are professional policemen and responsible people, and you will not use your firearms for indiscriminate firing that will endanger the lives of our people.” That’s Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) director, Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao telling his men.
He warned Western Visayas policemen against firing their service firearms to welcome the New Year.
Remain “active” and continue with law enforcement efforts to maintain peace and order in all parts of the region, Bulalacao further told policemen.
December last year, the PRO-6 also did away with taping policemen’s gun muzzles. Bulalacao said there was not a case of indiscriminate firing involving policemen recorded in the region.
“We hope to maintain that. I hope our policemen will remain disciplined,” he said.
According to Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde, skipping the gun-muzzle sealing activity aims to show that policemen are disciplined and can be trusted not to illegally discharge their service firearms during the holiday revelry.
“Tinatawanan tayo kung minsan kung bakit kailangan nating i-masking tape ang baril when in fact, kung gusto mong iputok ‘yun, pwede mo namang tanggalin ‘yung masking tape,” said the PNP chief.
Cops will be facing appropriate charges and may even be dismissed from service if they illegally discharge their service firearms. Their immediate superior will also be sanctioned.
This is the third straight year policemen do not have to seal their gun muzzles during the New Year’s Eve revelry.
Policemen across Western Visayas are on full alert. No one is allowed to go on leave or be absent just “in case communist rebels initiate offensive activities on police and military operations.”
Only PRO-6 personnel performing administrative functions are allowed to take leaves, said Bulalacao.
The regional police office activated “Oplan Ligtas Paskuhan” on Dec. 16 yet to ensure that law and order is maintained throughout the region during the Yuletide season.
Despite the holiday season, Bulalacao said the PRO-6 is continuing regular law enforcement operations by increasing police presence through the setting up of police assistance desks in areas where people converge, for instance malls and churches.
“We have also deployed road safety marshals, like mobile patrols,” said Bulalacao.
The PRO-6 has also intensified ther campaign against loose firearms. The search for unlicensed firearms is ongoing in the entire region, the police director stressed.
“We launched this in line with our aim to ensure that there will be no indiscriminate firing on Christmas and New Year,” said Bulalacao. (With a report from the Philippine News Agency/PN)