Half were only given warnings
MANILA - Almost 16,000 people were arrested by police two weeks after the Philippine National Police (PNP) began its campaign to apprehend ordinance violators in Metro Manila.
According to Metro Manila police Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, 50 percent of the 16,000 violators were only given warnings.
“We are concerned about the violators. Kung hindi violator (If they're not a violator), definitely we cannot do something about them. We cannot even invite them, kinlaro natin ‘yon (we have clarified that),” he said.
"But sa mga violators, we found out that 50 percent of the violators na in-accost natin, were just warned. May ibang dinala sa police station, may ibang hindi. Winarningan lang."
(Regarding violators, we found out that 50 percent of the violators that we accosted were just warned. Some were brought to police stations, some were not. They were just warned.)
The remaining half were fined or penalized depending on the ordinance they violated.
“Yung remaining 50 percent, ito ngayon ang gusto nating managot pa sa paglabag sa ordinansa. Yung 30 percent non, eto ngayon yung pinag-fine natin sa provision ng LGU [local government unit] ordinances ay available, so dadalhin sa barangay," Eleazar said.
(The remaining 50 percent will be held accountable for violating ordinances. Of this number, 30 percent were fined and brought to the barangay hall.)
"'Yung remaining 20 percent, ito na yung na-file-an natin ng kaso. May mga LGU na ang provision niya ay pa-file-an talaga ng kaso. Ito ang ni-refer natin sa piskalya."
(We will file a cases against the remaining 20 percent. Some local ordinances have provisions which require filing of cases. We will refer these to the fiscal.)
Eleazar said they have filed cases against 3,000 violators and some of the violators were not brought to the police stations. Only 145 remain inside jails.
“What I’m trying to say here is that, na-find out ay ganon pala ang provision, at contrary sa iniisip ng lahat na yung ipinapakita sa atin sa TV na punong-puno ang nakakulong sa selda, hindi naman yon violators nito,” he said.
(What I’m trying to say here is that we found out that there is a provision. Contrary to what everybody is thinking, the jail cells full of inmates we see on TV, they are not violators of local laws.)
The police are coordinating with barangay officials to make use of barangay detention cells to help decongest police jails.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief called on station commanders to exercise discretion on how to handle first-time offenders.
“Kapag nahuli natin ulit sila, at nasa database na sila, saka natin sila panagutin. Panagutin whether mag-fine o kung hindi available ang fine, saka natin file-an ng kaso,” Eleazar said.
(If we apprehend them again and they're on the database, that's when we will hold them accountable, whether through fines or filing charges.)