Cops barred from bars

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Police officers inspect a Cagayan beerhouse for loose firearms. (CJ Iguig photo)

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ban its personnel from drinking in bars, nightclubs and in public places in compliance with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Año said the PNP leadership should issue the necessary administrative circular to ensure that policemen conduct themselves professionally in public.

“The President himself prohibited policemen from drinking in public places such as bars and streets. We will file the necessary charges against anyone found violating this order,” Año said.

Duterte issued the directive on Tuesday during the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Barangay Summit on Peace and Order held in Pasay City.

“To all the police, I’m warning you, do not drink in public. I have done that in Davao, now I am also prohibiting the entire police force. All over the Philippines, you do not enter into drinking places,” the Chief Executive said.

Año said he expects the senior officials of the PNP from Director General Oscar Albayalde down to all chiefs of police in all cities and towns to lead by example so that their men will follow.

He said the President is right in saying that people lose their respect and trust in policemen and the entire PNP as an organization when they see drunken policemen in public.

“It’s unbefitting for policemen to be seen drinking in public. The job of the police requires the respect of the people. Therefore, they must do what it takes to gain and maintain public trust,” Año added.

Administrative charges such as dereliction of duty, insubordination and gross neglect of duty await any member of the police force who would dare defy the President’s directive, according to Año.

“We cannot have armed policemen walking around in public reeking of alcohol and not in their best state of mind as it implies lack of discipline among our uniformed personnel. Show respect for your badge and your uniform,” he added.

The DILG chief, however, said the police can drink alcoholic beverages in the confines of their own homes or private households.

In issuing the directive on police and military officers against drinking in public places, Duterte noted many incidents of violent confrontations involving drunk men in uniform.

Duterte reminded uniformed men of their sworn duty to stop criminality and the perpetrators behind it, adding they should not hesitate to use using force in the face of danger for their self-preservation.

“The duty of the police is to overcome. The duty of the criminal, they have the duty to surrender peacefully. Now if you would resist arrest and endanger the life of the police, they have a reason to kill you,” Duterte said.

With Kristina Maralit

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