Civilians wearing soldier uniforms to be penalized
AUTHRORITIES reminded civilians or unauthorized persons to desist from wearing police or military fatigue and camouflage uniforms, citing that it is punishable by law and they can be penalized if caught.
Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division (ID) Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) chief Captain Jerry Lamosao said there is a law that prohibits civilians the wearing of their uniforms.
"Persons are not allowed to wear our uniform if they are not a soldier or reservist," he said.
Under Republic Act 493, it prohibits civilians from wearing, using, manufacturing, and selling military uniforms, insignia, medals, and badges prescribed only for soldiers and policemen.
They cited that criminals and terrorists wear their uniforms, thus, tainting the AFP as people would quickly jump into conclusion that the person wearing the uniform is a part of the government forces. It also adds confusion to the public.
He urged the public if they see people wearing one to report it to their office and simply tell them not to wear it.
"Let us respect our soldiers by not wearing the camouflage uniform," he added.
Police Regional Office (PRO)-Davao spokesperson Police Chief Inspector Andrea dela Cerna warned illegal manufacturers of police uniforms, saying that they will file appropriate case once caught.
Currently, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is observing Oplan Tamang Bihis for the proper wearing of uniforms.
An inspection team from the national headquarters called Bantay Bihis will check personnel whether they are properly wearing the required uniform and where the uniform is bought.
The PNP has authorized exclusive distributors or providers.
In 2000, Executive Order No. 297 was issued prohibiting the unauthorized manufacture, sale, distribution and use of uniforms, insignias, and other accoutrements of the Philippine National Police.
The EO reinforced Article 179 of the Revised Penal Code (RA 3815), which penalizes "any person who shall publicly and improperly make use of insignia, uniforms or dress pertaining to an office not held by such person or to a class or persons of which he or she is not a member.”
EO 297 also orders the "immediate closure of the establishment, plant or office where the uniforms and other items are illegally manufactured, stored, sold or distributed."
All PNP uniforms and accoutrements are registered with Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines to safeguard the ownership of PNP on its patented designs to stop the illegal production of substandard and unauthorized uniforms by illegal manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and sellers which is prohibited under Republic Act 8293 otherwise known as "Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.”