Azurin orders cops to continue securing schools, says opening of classes peaceful, safe

Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr., chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), ordered all police units to have their personnel stay near schools and all roads leading to campuses across the country in order to sustain what he described as peaceful and safe resumption of face-to-face classes for millions of students nationwide.

More than 23,000 policemen were deployed to secure the opening of the classes on Monday, Aug. 22, while assistance desks were set up in strategic areas especially in urban areas.

"We have already set the operational guidelines to ensure peace and order and public safety during the opening of classes and the succeeding school days. Thus, my instruction was to intensify law enforcement activities in learning institutions, transport hubs, and places of convergence to suppress any form of criminality like theft and robbery where children and parents can be vulnerable victims,” said Azurin.

At least 7,000 of those deployed were instructed to conduct regular patrols to monitor public areas and make sure that minimum public health standard is strictly observed in light of the ongoing pandemic, according to Azurin.

“We have directed police stations to conduct mobile and foot patrols along major routes and highways leading to all learning institutions and within the immediate vicinity of school premises to monitor and evaluate the daily activities,” he said.

Azurin also reminded police officers that they were only limited outside school premises following the mandate from the Department of Education.

But in case of emergency, he said PNP personnel can assist inside the school in the pursuit to attain peace and order.