ALTHOUGH all Philippine National Police security measures are in place to keep the streets safe 24/7, Philippine National Police officials yesterday said they are not letting their guards down and would want the public to help them thwart the presence of organized crime groups which are expected to increase their activities this Yuletide season particularly now that the traditional Simbang Gabi has already begun.
PNP chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa asked the general public to follow very important tips that could save lives, limbs and properties from criminals or even accidents while traveling in a personal vehicle or a taxi during the Christmas and New Year season.
Gen. Dela Rosa said that with the influx of and movement of people from the rural areas to urban centers this Yuletide Season which covers two long weekend holidays, they are implementing a massive security, traffic and public safety plan.
These include the intensification of the conduct of foot and mobile patrols in areas and during times where their presence is most needed; the establishment of Police Assistance Desks in places of convergence like shopping malls; the deployment of road Safety Marshals; the conduct of more checkpoint operations; and the conduct of joint PNP-Armed Forces interdiction patrols to deter illegal discharge of firearms.
He said important travel safety tips should also be remembered by the public to protect them in their workplaces and their vehicles and ensure their safety while traveling on their way home even as the 160,000-strong police force steps up its massive security program to ensure the safety and protection of the general public.
National Capital Region Police Office chief, Director Oscar D. Albayalde, also warned the public against members of criminal groups expected as the Christmas season draws near. Among these groups are the notorious Salisi Gang, Ipit Taxi Gang, Siksik Gang, Riles Gang, Budol Budol, Sneaky Office Intruders, Condo Criminals and Solicit Gang, he said.
The NCRPO chief has reminded the public to be AVA or be Alert, Vigilant and Accountable to enjoy a safe and peaceful Yuletide.
The official said they remain in Full Alert status in line with the non-lifting of Proclamation Number 55 or “State of Lawlessness” and Threat Level Advisory System Alert-Level 3 declared by the PNP chief.
He also assured that the security situation in Metro Manila is manageable with the local police having intensified their visibility in all places of interests, public places of convergence, vital installations, transportation terminals, and main thoroughfares. “The cooperation and information from the public will help us prevent any possible crime or threat of terrorism,” Albayalde said.
The 2-star police general reminded the public to immediately report to patrolling police or to the nearest police station any suspicious person or items.
Albayalde said the NCRPO can also be contacted through following hotlines and numbers:
NCRPO 838-3203, text hotlines: 0917-708-1135 or 0917-856-1040, Northern Police District 285-2396 / 285-2838, text hotline: 0917-847-5757, 0905-454-2547, 0916-558-2419, Eastern Police District 641-0171/641-0877, text hotlines: 0915-888-8181/0999-901-8181/ 0917-728-3790, Manila Police District 523-1367 / 523-3378 text hotlines: 0919-995-0976 / 0917-899-2092, Southern Police District 519-5525 / 519-8644 text hotline: 0908-377-0025, and Quezon City Police District at 925-8417 / 0917-840-3925.
Information can also be relayed thru text hotline 0995-645-1999/ 0919-496-7833 or through social media: Twitter@ncrporeact or Facebook page @ NCRPOReact.
The PNP leadership reiterated the following Yuletide travel safety tips:
1. If possible, use different doors and gates when departing and entering your home or office.
2. During travel, always fasten seat belts, keep doors locked and windows closed.
3. Pre-plan your route, utilizing main roadways.
4. Conduct a route survey.
5. Use caution if you must use an unpaved short cut during the day.
6. Drive your vehicle at a steady speed and keep distance from the vehicle in front of you.
7. Turn away if something untoward appears to be taking place ahead the road.
8. Beware of accidents and accident scenes as they maybe ‘faked.’
9. Stay inside your car and observe first. If in doubt, do not get off the car.
10. Be prepared to speed away at the first sign of danger.
11. Be constantly alert to road conditions and surroundings.
12. Be alert on possible surveillance by car or motorcycle riding-in-tandem.
13. Be suspicious of slow-moving heavily-tinted cars and motorcycle riding-in-tandem especially riders wearing heavily-tinted helmets.
14. Know the location of police, hospital, military, government and public facilities or other secured areas along your routine routes.
15. Vary your vehicle routes. Do not set a pattern.
1. Do not make unnecessary trips. Travel in group if you can.
2. Do not utilize any unpaved short-cut road at night.
3. Do not pick up strangers or open doors or windows to unknown persons.
4. Do not hastily accept a policeman or other official in uniform as genuine.
5. Do not stop at your residence or workplace if there are unusual events or presence of persons unknown to you.
6. Do not leave personal items openly displayed in your vehicle--you are inviting a smash-and-run thief.
7. Do not attempt to illegally bypass traffic or police checkpoints or other police roadblocks.
8. Do not park in deserted or isolated areas.
9. Be cautious when picking up hitchhikers or stopping to assist persons in distress.
10. Do not stop unnecessarily in uninhabited areas.