PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Debold Sinas has ordered the suspension of the localization program that deploys police personnel in or near their areas of residence.
“I already stopped it. We have procedures on how to transfer. We have procedures for the transfer of our personnel. They know what to do,” Sinas said in a press conference in Camp Crame on Monday, November 23, 2020.
However, he said those who have already been deployed back to their hometowns under the said program will be retained. Between 4,000 and 5,000 policemen were transferred to their hometowns under the program.
“'Yung iba na parang gusto ma-retain. Maraming nagpa-revoke ng order kasi sabi nila, hindi naman daw sila talaga nag-request. I don’t know who’s telling the truth but they said they never made any request for transfer,” said Sinas.
Sinas said the localization program, which former PNP chief Camilo Cascolan implemented during his brief term, is untimely and greatly affects the PNP’s anti-crime campaign and its efforts against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic especially in Metro Manila.
“So ngayon (now), we momentarily (put it on hold) to prevent an exodus of police personnel. What happened... we are in the middle of a pandemic and then our police personnel were reassigned to different places. We would wait until all these 4,000 to 5,000 police personnel across the country are done with their reassignment,” he said.
In implementing the localization program, Cascolan had explained that policemen who are assigned in or near their hometowns are less prone to commit abuses and engage in illegal activities.
He also said it will boost a policeman’s morale and welfare because they will be near their families.
Cascolan said the program was in accordance to the Section 63 of Republic Act 8551 or the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, which gives a police officer the sense of ownership of the locality that he represents. (SunStar Philippines)