By Martin Sadongdong
If other employees have already went on vacation to spend the holiday season, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will not take a break from conducting anti-illegal drug operations as lawless elements are likely to take advantage of the situation with the active flow of money.
If all things go according to the plan, PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde is expected to make the rounds to select Metro Manila areas on Monday, December 24, to ensure that police are deployed and public safety is secured on the eve of the Christmas Day.
He said he already issued a directive to all commanders on the ground to continue their anti-criminality and anti-illegal drugs operations even on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day celebrations.
“Walang tigil ‘yan sa illegal drugs. During the previous years, wala tayong sinasabi na break pagdating sa laban sa illegal na droga. Last year nga, meron pang kahit kapaskuhan ng December 24 at 25, may mga operations pa tayo (We will not have a break in our anti-illegal drug operations. During the previous years, we never had a break when it came to our fight against illegal drugs. Even last year, we had operations on December 24 and 25),” Albayalde stated, citing his experience when he was still the regional director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
As for current NCRPO Director Guillermo Eleazar, he said the Metro Manila police force remains in full alert status and all the vacation leaves of cops were cancelled so that they would be available for duty.
“Wala tayong holiday break. Historically, ang pulis meron silang Christmas at New Year’s break but we cannot afford that now. Kapag hinati mo ‘yan, pagbabakasyunin mo ‘yung kalahati, ‘yung other half duty, hindi sila pwede 24 hours mag-duty. So mayroon tayong day shift at night shift (We have no holiday break. Historically, cops have Christmas and New Year’s break but we cannot afford that now. If you split the [force], allow the half to go on vacation and order the other half to go on duty, they won’t be able to do it on a 24-hour basis. So we have a day shift and a night shift),” Eleazar explained.
Eleazar earlier disclosed that more than 7,800 police officers will be deployed in places of convergence in Metro Manila to secure the public.
For his part, Albayalde advised the cops to always be on alert against unscrupulous individuals who are out to commit crimes.
He also advised the public to be vigilant and report to police any suspicious individuals and activities.