Return of 'secret marshals' hit-A A +A
Sunday, September 23, 2012
A PARTY-LIST lawmaker on Saturday criticized the plan of the recently appointed Metro Manila police chief to deploy "secret marshals" in passenger vehicles, a tactic employed by Martial Law era police.
The plan was revealed by National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina Friday as the nation commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Martial Law declaration.
Espina suggested this idea as he directed district commanders under the NCRPO to increase police visibility in the streets and curb the rising crime rates in Metro Manila.
"Ironically, while the nation relives the terror that was Martial Law, here is an announcement from the NCRPO that seemingly wants to revive the horrors of that era," Kabataan party-list Representative Raymond Palatino said.
The police first deployed secret marshals during the Marcos regime, but said practice was eventually phased off, after various incidents wherein civilians get killed by undercover agents who mistook them for criminals.
"History has shown that instead of protecting commuters, putting secret marshals in buses, jeeps and other public transportation posts serious risks for passengers," Palatino said.
"It's a practice long buried in the past. Why is NCRPO digging its own dirt?" he added.
Instead of reviving a Marcos tactic, Palatino said the Philippine National Police should focus on improving its existing security programs and ensure that authorities are doing their jobs. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)