By Aaron Recuenco
If you think those police text hotlines are just for display and do not actually matter, think again.
In Metro Manila, a total of 29,073 Short Messaging System (SMS), or popularly known as text messages, sent to the police hotline ‘I-send Mo Sa Team NCRPO’ since it was launched in June 29 last year have been acted upon according to the data from the National Capital Region Police Office.
Of the figure, NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said that a total of 5,767 of them were actionable, meaning, complaints that were verified to be true. He added that 1,177 of those actionable SMS complaints were those who sought police assistance in responding to a crime or preventive measures against the potential occurrence of crime.
Broken down to specifics, Eleazar said more than half of them, or 2,928 SMS complaints, are related to illegal drugs in the complainant’s respective communities.
“This only shows how people in Metro Manila support the anti-illegal drugs operations of President Duterte. That big figure which is more than half of the actionable text complaints is a manifestation of support and cooperation to our aggressive campaign against illegal drugs,” said Eleazar.
On the other hand, 838 of the text complaints are related to illegal gambling which the NCRPO chief translated to the arrest of illegal gambling supervisors and bet collectors, especially after Duterte ordered the suspension of the lotto and Small-Town Lottery operations before.
A total of 481 of the complaints are lodged against erring policemen, 10 are related to extortion activities of government employees, nine are related to threats, 273 are related to violation of city ordinances being implemented by the NCRPO since July last year, 14 are related to theft and robbery, 10 are related to wanted persons and nine are violations of election laws during the campaign period for the 2019 midterm elections.
It was recalled that Eleazar launched the hotline ‘I-send Mo Sa Team NCRPO’ hotline in order to facilitate police response on complaints by Metro Manila residents and workers. The numbers are 099-99018181 for Smart users 0915-8888181 for Globe users.
“Since I assumed as Regional Director of the NCRPO, I started encouraging the public to reach out to the Metro Manila police force through hotline numbers. I expressed commitment to provide an appropriate and immediate response to concerns related to peace and order and policing,” said Eleazar.
Of the 29,073 complaints received thru SMS, 13,518 messages were received through the Smart number text hotline while 15,555 messages were received from Globe number hotline.
All the complaints received through the police hotlines are treated as highly confidential.
President Duterte himself encouraged the public to report all their complaints about corruption to a hotline based in Malacañang.
But what happened to the rest of 23,306 SMS complaints?
Eleazar said 7,654 of them are heartwarming messages to the police that include expression of support which served as a motivation for Metro Manila policemen to go on with their job.
“If you would only read those messages, it really inspires every policeman to work and work harder. We thank those who sent those messages for giving us pride, and inspiration to work harder,” said Eleazar.
On the other hand, a total of 5,846 of the SMS complaints were not NCRPO-related complaints but Eleazar said those complaints were forwarded to the concerned agencies.
NO PRANKS PLEASE
A total of 9,806 of those received complaints turned out to be sent by pranksters, according to Eleazar.
The official urged the public not to do so since it is just consuming the time of the policemen to more valid complaints.
“These are all about the future of their security and the future of peace and order in Metro Manila. They could do a lot in transforming the police organization into a professional police force, a police force with true sense of courage, public service and integrity,” Eleazar said.
Eleazar said this is the rationale behind the recently-launched Intensified Cleanliness Program (ICP) of the NCRPO which he describes as a blueprint of peace and order policy for Metro Manila.
He said the ICP has three basic tenets: cleanliness in police offices and their surroundings, cleanliness within the police ranks, and cleanliness of Metro Manila from crime and illegal drugs
SOCIAL MEDIA TOO
Earlier, Eleazar also urged the public to report complaints and their concerns to social media, adding that he also mandated all police commanders to monitor social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, especially those which go viral.
“Our commanders should do away with the mindset that social media is only for millennial or young people,” said Eleazar.
In order to compel police commanders to monitor social media, Eleazar said he would usually forward information he received or read from social media applications to concerned unit commanders for verification and appropriate action.
“Your NCRPO is now social media active. In fact, we were able to monitor, identify and punish or reward our policemen through the photos and videos posted and shared in various social media platforms,” said Eleazar.