The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said police chiefs in the regions who fail to solve cases of “indiscriminate firing” during the holiday season will be removed from their posts.
Senior Supt. Rudolph Dimas, Directorate for Operations (DO) Public Safety Division chief, read a memorandum dated November 7 stating that the police chiefs have 24 hours to clear or solve stray-bullet incidents.
In a press briefing, Dimas revealed that the memorandum would apply to all police chiefs, especially those in the lower units.
“The one-strike policy on death or injury from indiscriminate firing on Christmas and New Year will be [enforced against]all police commanders and chiefs,” he said.
Dimas added that the police chiefs “should be on guard so that indiscriminate firing will not happen again. They should have maximum deployment from their stations.”
He said the police need the help of barangay (village) officials to apprehend suspects violating the memorandum.
Village authorities, according to him, know more about residents who may be inclined to fire their guns during the holiday season.
“Of course we need the help of barangay officials because they are the ones helping us [on this]matter. They know the residents who are stubborn enough to do this thing [indiscriminate firing]. That’s why coordination with the village authorities is good,” Dimas said.
According to him, the directorate asked police regional offices for reports and data on stray-bullet incidents especially from last year but only Regions 1 and 2 have submitted reports so far.
Dimas reminded policemen that they should report to their units from 5 p.m. of December 24 to 5 a.m. of December 25 and 5 a.m. of December 31 to 5 p. m. of January 1 for deployment to areas where there would be indiscriminate firing.
Citing directorate data, he said there were 22 cases of stray-bullet incidents from December 16, 2016 to January 4, 2017. One death was reportedly recorded.
The PNP reported that the stray-bullet incidents on New Year’s Day in 2017 were 89.47 percent lower during New Year’s Day in 2016.
The police said there were only “four” cases recorded in 2017 compared to the “38” cases of 2016.