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Mario J. Mallari

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will hold the simultaneous taping of the muzzles of all police firearms nationwide as part of the all-out efforts against illegal discharge of guns during the yuletide season.
Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, officer in charge of the PNP, issued a memorandum ordering all PNP personnel to launch an intensified campaign against illegal discharge of firearms and indiscriminate firing.
Part of the memorandum is the simultaneous taping of gun muzzles on Monday which covers PNP units in the national headquarters to regional offices and down to provincial, city and town stations.
“This traditional gun muzzle is a strong message to all gun owners, especially our policemen and soldiers who are the primary enforcers of the law, to refrain from firing their guns and help prevent casualties and injuries during the revelry of the yuletide,” Espina said.
Espina added the PNP is now in close coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for an intensified intelligence campaign to run after violators.
“Intensified intelligence efforts in coordination with AFP, other law enforcement agencies and local government units will be conducted to identify probable violators,” Espina said.
“Joint PNP and AFP teams will also be organized to conduct preventive patrols to arrest or apprehend uniformed personnel, members of law enforcement agencies and civilians involved in indiscriminate firing,” he added.
Espina stressed the intensified efforts against illegal discharge of firearms and indiscriminate firing also cover civilian gun owners.
“(This is) a stern warning on indiscriminate and illegal discharge of firearms by government and civilian gun-holders as part of their support to a ‘gun-free’ celebration of Christmas and New Year,” the PNP-OIC said.
Meanwhile, the PNP-Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) yesterday urged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to file criminal charges against inmates of the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) who yielded unlicensed firearms during a raid that was led by no less than Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Chief Supt. Virgilio Moro Lazo, director of the FEO, said the NBI should file charges of illegal possession of firearms against Peter Co and other inmates against whose quarters at the facility the high-powered firearms were seized during the raid last December 15.
Co, one of the high-profile prisoners at the NBP, yielded a cache of firearms that included several pistols and an M-16 rifle which, according to records from the FEO, were registered to several politicians and a government employee.
“The NBI should file charges against the people who were found in possession of the firearms,” Lazo said.
He added they were hoping that the NBI could furnish them with copies of the charges that were filed against the inmates in order for them to have a basis too in asking for the original owners of the firearms to explain.
“They must explain how come those guns ended in the possessions of the other people, other than them as the registered owners,” Lazo said.

Gov’t troops to be vigilant on interrupted ceasefire days

Friday, 19 December 2014 00:00 Published in Nation

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is cool on the interrupted ceasefire declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in celebration of the Yuletide season and upcoming papal visit.

The CPP-NPA Central Committee on Wednesday announced it is observing ceasefire 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 24, 2014 to 11:59 p.m. of Dec. 26, 2014; 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 31, 2014 to 11:59 p.m. of Jan. 1, 2015; and12:01 a.m. of Jan. 15, 2015 to 11:59 p.m. of Jan. 19, 2015.
AFP chief of staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. said that he instructed troops to be on alert and vigilant during the times when the CPP-NPA is not observing ceasefire.
The government started observing a month-long suspension of police and military operations midnight Thursday. It will last up to midnight of Jan. 19.
“Sana binuo na nila para patas kami. As of now, medyo butas butas so ung oras na hindi sila nag-declare ng ceasefire, nakaalerto kami,” Catapang said.
“We will be extra cautious and more defensive…on alert during the times that they have not declared ceasefire,” he added.
The AFP chief said that military troops are under instruction to be prepared for any eventuality during the lull of communist ceasefire.
“We will be pro-active and ensure that our patrol bases and our camps are not attacked,” vowed Catapang.
It will be noted that the CPP-NPA ceasefire covered the entire (Jan. 15 to 19) visit of Pope Francis in the country and CPP’s founding anniversary on Dec. 26, which is traditionally marked by atrocities by the NPA.
However, Catapang said that the military will not lower its guard for possible attacks during the CPP anniversary.
“Hopefully, they will not do any untoward or offensive operation against our troops,” Catapang said.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II yesterday assured the public of “safest Christmas” as the Philippine National Police (PNP) started an intensified campaign against crimes to maintain peace and order during the yuletide season.

Roxas said keeping the holiday season safe is the gift of the DILG and the PNP to the public this Christmas.
“This will be our gift to the Filipino public: the safest Christmas season that we’ve all been working for,” Roxas told leaders of the 150,000-strong PNP.
According to Roxas, he has already instructed Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, officer in charge of the PNP, to ensure that high crime areas of convergence, especially malls in Metro Manila, will be under the close watch of authorities.
“We saturate these areas with police personnel because criminals cluster around commercial areas,” Roxas said.
Roxas also directed Espina to install checkpoints for public utility vehicles such as vans and taxis on major routes in Metro Manila.
Force multipliers such as volunteer radio groups and barangay peacekeeping action teams (BPATs) were also deployed with uniformed police personnel to help provide additional security in convergence areas.
“Everyone should be on board. We welcome the future where all police personnel are doing what they’re really supposed to do,” Roxas added.
Roxas previously confirmed a downward trend in criminality in National Capital Region (NCR) mainly due to the deliberate, programmatic and sustained approach that the PNP has taken. He also confirmed that the operation plan is set to be cascaded to all regions beginning early 2015.
According to the latest update from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), robbery, theft, car and motorcycle napping incidents are at an all-time low of 534, compared to the weekly average of 900-1000 petty crime incidents before the campaign was rolled out.
“We can’t work ad hoc, in silos and sporadically. With ‘tuwid na daan,’ this is just the beginning of many other reforms,” Roxas said.
In addition, the DILG has also been active in social media by advising the public to take the necessary precautions to prevent any untoward incidents and to keep their holiday celebrations merry and safe.

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