Logistics woes

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Friday, April 25, 2014


LAST year, it was their service firearms. Or more correctly, the lack of them.

Then, Senior Superintendent Milko Lirazan, provincial police director, admitted that of those assigned in Negros Occidental, 49.8 percent, or about 750, have no firearms. The kawawang cowboy, este, kaluluoy nga pulis have to use their personal money to buy their service pistols.

In Bacolod alone, the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) said that 200 police officers under its unit have no service firearms.

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Last I heard early this year, 110 BCPO personnel with the rank of Police Officers 1 and 2 finally received brand new Glock 17. A total of police officers have so far as I know received 160 firearms. Several more scores to go.

This paper noted in a news feature that Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas in line with President Benigno S. Aquino III administration’s war against criminality, has taken a concrete step to increase police visibility and mobility and enhance their crime fighting ability.

Now this. Yesterday, it was the service firearms, now it’s the patrol cars.

Senior Inspector Lanel Mae Ree Lanado, officer-in-charge of Police Station 1, and his two personnel face reprimands or suspension of not more than 15 days if they are found guilty of transporting three detainees on a jeepney with other passengers.

I first saw the uploaded photos in the Facebook account of former Sun.Star Bacolod reporter Avelyn Agudon-Marañon. Her photo album posted pictures of three detainees of Police Station 1 who were transported from Hall of Justice on Gatuslao Street going to their station on San Juan Street.

Supt. Jefferson Descallar, BCPO deputy city director for administration Office, admitted that our local police officers can only do so much. Of the 10 police stations in Bacolod, each have only one serviceable patrol car. At least two cars in each police station in Bacolod, a highly-urbanized city.

As expected, the photos drew flak from angry netizens. Even Judge Ray Alan T. Drilon could not contain himself online.

Said the good judge, “The same old reason they always give us, lack of vehicles, no gas money and a lot of crap, short of saying that the private sector have to subsidize their operations. Where does the public fund go? There are cops moonlighting as body guards. No wonder they only watch the establishment of those who pay them.”

Nice question. A Waray lawyer, Filomeno Arevalo Arteche III, shot back, “DILG Mar has jurisdiction over PNP. He has to walk the talk.”

Frankly, I think the issues go beyond the means of our local law enforcement agencies. Much of these logistical woes go upwards to the DILG Secretary Mar Roxas.

Honorable Sir Mar Roxas! Heed the judge, act on your promise to Negrenses and to the country. Get serious on the war against criminality.

As it is, it’s our law enforcers who get the brunt of the blame. Worse, with logistical woes, their crime fighting ability has been largely reduced to “the apprehension of the bet collectors of jai alai, acts of petty miscreants, vehicular collisions, or arrest of drug addicts and substance sniffers,” as Judge Drilon fumed.

As Judge Drilon said, “Something should be done to reform this pathetic situation.”

*****

(bqsanc@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 25, 2014.

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