THE Philippine National Police is now on a warpath, not against illegal drugs anymore but versus ‘Riding-in-Tandem’ or RIT assassins and holdupmen in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
PNP chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa, said that in the wake of President Duterte’s order directing the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to conduct the country’s war on drugs, they will be focusing their attention against criminals specifically RIT assassins and holdupmen,’ terrorists and other lawless elements.
With the latest presidential directive, all ongoing police anti-narcotics operations including conduct of surveillance, buy-bust operations and service of search warrants for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 were stopped and all comprehensive anti-narcotics plans and intelligence reports ordered submitted to the PDEA headed by Director General Aaron N. Aquino.
The PNP chief said that with the police now ‘hands-off in implementing RA 9165, he has asked his men to concentrate in dismantling motorcycle-riding hitmen and robbers in the National Capital Region and across the nation.
“’Yung riding-in-tandem, bantay kayo ngayon. Upakan namin kayo. Sige bumaril kayo ng bumaril diyan. I will instruct my policemen na tutukan ang riding-in-tandem na ’yan dahil ’yan ang gumagawa ng masama... tapos isisisi sa pulis,” Dela Rosa said.
In a memorandum to all 18 Police Regional Office directors and the heads of the different PNP National Support Units specifically the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the Highway Patrol Group, and the Drug Enforcement Group, PNP Director for Operations, Director Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan directed all concerned ‘to adhere to the Presidential directive effective immediately,’ saying that ‘violators shall be dealt with accordingly.’
To further beef-up their campaign against RIT criminals, Gen. de la Rosa disbanded all Drug Enforcement Units from the 18 Police Regional Offices down to their police stations and ordered officers and men of the abolished units to concentrate their operations against motorbike-riding gunmen.
The PNP chief said that in line with President Duterte’s directive preventing the PNP from conducting anti-narcotics operations, the implementation of the PNP Project: Double Barrel and Oplan: Tokhang was suspended immediately.
PNP spokesman, Chief Superintendent Dionardo B. Carlos admitted that one of the major street crimes now destroying the reputation and credibility of the PNP is the non-stop occurrence of Riding-in-Tandem/Motorcycle-Riding Criminals involved in deadly shooting incidents and robbery-holdups.
In a memorandum, Cascolan said that for this matter, “all DEUs from PROs down to police stations are hereby dissolved.” “You may convert the DEUs to Detectives/Police Intel operatives responsible for detection, prevention and solution of street crimes. Just be advised to vet properly your members,” Cascolan said.
The official explained that all police commanders are under instruction to thoroughly screen the members of the disbanded DEUs who will join tracker teams assigned to go after motorcycle-riding criminals.
Cascolan said the PNP Drug Enforcement Group headed by Chief Supt. Graciano J. Mijares will now be limited to intelligence consolidation and gathering only. The information being gathered by the PNP-DEG will be submitted immediately to PDEA.