NEWLY-INSTALLED police director of Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) warned his men from engaging in any form of abuses, including vices that put the police organization in disrepute.
Police Senior Superintendent Benedicto Lopez issued this warning as he tries to put the house in order upon assuming office over the weekend.
In a brief dialogue with Cocpe personnel shortly after the turnover of command Saturday, Superintendent Lopez said it was not enough that police officers keep criminals at bay. One important task is to remain "clean" in the eyes of the public, he said.
"What that means is that policemen should distance themselves from any form of vices," he told the 400-strong police personnel.
"Ayokong makita kayo na nandoon sa sabungan, or naglalasing at nadoon sa mga beerhouses dahil pangit tingnan, lalo na't naka-uniporme (I don't want to see you inside cockpit arenas, or getting drunk in beerhouses because these are not pleasing to see, especially in uniforms)," he added.
Lopez also instructed precinct commanders to maintain cleanliness in their respective stations and be in proper uniform every time they're in duty.
"You should be courteous and always have respect to the rights of other people without any biases as to the status of their lives in the community," he said.
The police official also hinted that a possible revamp might take place among station commanders and the heads of specials units "if needed."
Being a total stranger to the city, the police official said he will devote most of his time visiting the city's 10 police stations, including doing rounds in different checkpoints and "critical areas" in Cagayan de Oro.
Lopez also said he will continue the programs of his predecessor, Police Senior Superintendent Noel Armilla.
Lopez is a member of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Class 1983. (Annabelle L. Ricalde)