Philippine National Police (PNP)Officer-in-Charge, Police Deputy Director General Leonardo A. Espina on Monday lauded the PNP’s 150,000 officers and men for maintaining security and order during the five-day State and Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis in the Philippines.
”On behalf of the PNP, I am deeply honored and proud to extend my personal gratitude and commendation to all 150,000 officers, men and women of the Philippine National Police for their commendable performance of individual and Unit roles in security and public safety operations during the 5-day State Visit and Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis in the Philippines,” Espina said.
”I know that you all made your own sacrifices in performing your professional duty as police officers to accomplish this mission.This historic visit serves to add greater spiritual and professional experience for the PNP in handling similar major events,” he said.
With the successful operations on securing Pope and the Filipinos, he also commended the public for the cooperation as well the media people for providing information for the public.
”Expressed gratitude to the highest level on the successful operations and executions lalong lalo na sa inyo (media) at napaabot sa mamamayan maraming salamt po words cannot express our gratitude kasama na po lahat ng dumalo naipakita natin sa Santo Papa.. Importante po dito nasecure po ang Pope at nagawa niya lahat ng acitivities dito sa atin both with the Pope and the Filipinos. We stick on the plan and implementation of the plan and also the cooperation of the public hindi magiging successful ang plaano kung maraming lumabag,” Espina told the reporters.
He also congratulated the other law enforcement agencies for providing security operations.
”Let me also extend the congratulations of the national leadership to all members of the military, law enforcement, and other allied agencies that composed the “total government approach in this national event,” Espina said.
He added it was generally peaceful during the Sunday event of Pope Francis despite sheer volume” of pilgrims that poured into the events at UST and Luneta that prompted the PNP to make some adjustments in security procedures to meet contingencies.
The mammoth crowd at the Luneta had to be filtered through 75 security control and screenings points put-up around the Rizal Park and Quirino Grandstand where Pope Francis celebrated a Holy Mass at 3:00 p.m., Espina said.
Despite the huge turnout, Espina commended the pilgrims and parishioners for their cooperation and support to security measures imposed by authorities.
Even as police authorities earlier noted fewer crime incidents in Metro Manila during the first three days of the Papal Visit, the PNP recorded 14 separate incidents involving criminal offenses and violations of law resulting in the arrest of three offenders, among them, a PDEA agent who violated the outstanding prohibition on the carrying of firearms in Papal Visit venues and travel routes.
PDEA Agent Sonnyboy Anonnat yielded a 9mm handgun when frisked by members of the MPD District Traffic Enforcement Unit (DTEU) along Pres. Quirino Ave in Plaza Dilao, Paco, Manila at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Anonnat reportedly tried to cross a traffic barricade on board a motorcycle when he was stopped. He also failed to present a Permit to Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFOR) for the gun.
In a separate incident in Manila on Saturday morning, a photographer was arrested for violating the no-fly zone policy by flying an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in airspace over Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
MPD operatives arrested Michael Sy Yu, 35, UAV pilot of Snap Creative Inc. for flying a UAV without a CAAP operator’s certificate.
Police accosted Yu while flying the UAV in the vicinity of Diamond Hotel where 85 Vatican-accredited journalists and 36 Vatican Bishops were billeted.
Also on Saturday, mall security personnel of SM Araneta Center, apprehended Liu Allen Tiensung Cheng for alleged shoplifting assorted candies worth Php 450.53.
Other reports culled by the NCRPO Regional Operations and Intelligence Center (RTOIC) over a 24-hour period from 4 a.m. of Jan 17 (Saturday) to 4.a.m. of Jan 18 (Sunday), recorded two injured victims in separate incidents of hit and run in Quezon City; a grenade explosion in Navotas City; six separate cases of stolen motor vehicle; a shooting incident; and a stabbing incident.
During the period, three separate fire incidents were recorded in Manila, Quezon City and Valenzuela City. PNA