THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has once again warned the public about crimes that commonly take place during the holiday season.
In a press conference, Colonel Jean Fajardo, PNP chief of the Public Information Office (PIO), reminded families to double-check their houses before leaving them unattended, especially during the long holiday vacation. She noted that criminals may take advantage of the situation.
She urged families to ensure that their houses’ doors, gates and even windows are properly locked or closed.
Fajardo said it is also important to double-check that electric appliances are unplugged to avoid fire.
If possible, the PNP urged homeowners to install alarm systems or security cameras to monitor their houses even when they are away.
Fajardo said the public should also have the contact numbers of the nearest police station or barangay for immediate response to their concerns.
“For those na mga kababayan natin na mag aavail ng public transportation, hangga’t maaari ay kung may mga tickets na tayo, maaga tayong pumunta sa mga terminal para hindi tayo masabay doon sa dagsa at buhos ng mga tao dahil yan din y’ung opportunity na kinukuha ng mga kawatan para magnakaw, mandukot,” she said.
(For our fellow countrymen who will be using public transportation, as much as possible, if we already have tickets, let's go to the terminals early so that we won't be caught in the rush and crowd of people because that's also the opportunity that thieves take to steal or pickpocket.)
“Hangga’t maaari ay huwag na tayong magsuot ng mga alahas, ‘yung mga mamahaling gadgets natin huwag natin basta ilabas doon sa mga bintana ng mga jeeps at buses kasi madali pong mahatak yan at mahablot at ‘yung mga bata at mga senior citizens ingatan din natin at lalong lalo ngayon na medyo ‘yung panahon natin ay hindi rin maganda,” she added.
(As much as possible, let's refrain from wearing jewelry, and let's avoid displaying our expensive gadgets near the windows of jeeps and buses because they can be easily snatched. Let's also take care of children and senior citizens, especially now that the current situation is not favorable.)
Fajardo urged the public to avoid "at the moment" postings on social media, as criminals take advantage of the internet to monitor potential targets, particularly through such platforms.
“Huwag na tayo magpost ng at the moment post na alam na umalis kayo sa inyong bahay papunta kayo sa airport pati ‘yung ticket ay pinopost, ilang araw kayo magbabakasyon kasi marami na rin tayong cyber criminals na nagmamatyag sa inyong posts sa inyong respective social media accounts lalong lalo na po ‘yung nakapublic. Eh para na inannounce na rin natin na walang tao sa bahay,” she said.
(Let's refrain from posting "at the moment" updates, especially when leaving home for the airport, including posting tickets and the number of vacation days. We have numerous cybercriminals monitoring posts on our respective social media accounts, especially those set to public. It's like announcing that there's no one at home.)
The police official also warned about other internet-related scams amid the holiday season as he encouraged the public to verify information they see online to avoid getting victimized.
“Tumataas ‘yung mga insidente ng online scam lalong lalo ngayon may mga nagpopromote ng mga raffle prizes, bumili ka ng ganitong items mura na tapos entitled ka pa sa raffle. So karamihan sa nakikita natin diyan fake ‘yung lagi nating paalala diyan, kung hindi ka naman sumali sa raffle ay huwag tayo mag expect na mananalo tayo,” said Fajardo.
(The incidents of online scams are increasing, especially now with some promoting raffle prizes like buying affordable items that also make you eligible for the raffle. Most of what we see there is fake. Our constant reminder is, if you didn't join the raffle, let's not expect to win.)
“So mag-ingat tayo doon sa mga nag-a-advertise ng mga murang pangregalo, mga gadgets lalo’t hindi niyo kilala ‘yung source. Mas mabuting mag engage tayo at magtransact doon sa mga authorized na mga online shopping apps para alam natin na hindi tayo maloloko,” she added.
(Let's be cautious about those advertising affordable gifts, especially gadgets, particularly when we don't know the source. It's better to engage and transact with authorized online shopping apps to ensure that we won't be deceived.)
Fajardo cited several incidents of “staycation gone wrong” where renters of hotel and private rooms would end up being thieves.
He noted the importance of conducting inspections on guests.
She said the PNP will remain under full alert status to ensure maximum deployment of forces on the ground amid the expected holiday exodus, particularly in major thoroughfares, tourists areas, malls, religious places, transport terminals and air and seaports.
Police personnel are required to be on duty amid full alert status to ensure the safety and security of the public.
To ensure that police response will not be hampered, she said the PNP will continue its practice of not muzzling firearms of cops.
In the past, the PNP leadership ordered the muzzling of policemen's firearms amid incidents of indiscriminate firing involving cops.
“We will leave it to the field commanders, regional directors to make sure na mai-remind and with stern warning ang sinumang pulis na gagamit ng baril sa any form of revelry, particularly this holiday season ay may kakaharapin na mabigat na kaso maliban sa criminal case na maaari nilang kaharapin na maaaring makapatanggal sila sa serbisyo,” said Fajardo.
(We will leave it to the field commanders, regional directors to ensure that they remind and issue a stern warning to any police officer who will use a firearm in any form of revelry, particularly this holiday season. They will face serious charges, aside from the criminal case, which could lead to their dismissal from service.)
“So again, we would like to take this opportunity to remind all our PNP personnel to refrain from using 'yung kanilang mga baril lalong lalo na sa pagsalubong ng bagong taon,” she added.
(So again, we would like to take this opportunity to remind all our PNP personnel to refrain from using their firearms, especially in welcoming the new year.) (SunStar Philippines)