PNP to bring back bus marshalls

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 17 2023 06:08 PM

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will intensify efforts to maintain peace and order in the country after senators raised concerns amid recent criminal incidents.

PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda said they will coordinate with bus companies following the killing of two people inside a bus in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.

“We need to bring back yung mga dating ginagawa, mga bus marshalls, we will do that and we will coordinate with bus companies, lalo na ngayong papasok na ang Christmas,” Acorda said after attending the Senate plenary budget deliberations on their 2024 budget.

During the budget deliberations, Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel raised other criminal cases aside from the Carranglan incident, such as the killing of a radio anchor in Misamis Occidental, the case of a missing beauty pageant contestant, as well as the still-missing sabungeros, among others.

“I think we should bring back the deterrent effect of our criminal laws,” Pimentel said.

Sen. Sonny Angara, the sponsor of the PNP budget, noted the downward trend in crimes except for homicide cases.

“The crimes seem to be down across the board except homicide, and the cases you mentioned are either homicide or murder, yun lang po ang nag-increase, the cases of physical injuries, rape, crimes against property, robbery, theft, carnapping of motor vehicles and motorcycles, bumaba siya,” Angara said.

Angara noted that homicide incidents increased from 851 last year to 907 this year while other crimes decreased.

“Pero dear sponsor yan ang pinaka-grabe homicide, patayan yan eh, that’s giving us a black eye to the international community,” Senate President Miguel Zubiri said.

Sen. Raffy Tulfo meantime raised the issue of body-worn cameras of policemen engaged in operations.

“Pwede ho ba may assurance na walang huhulihin, walang aarestuhin, walang paparahin na motorista hanggang walang body cam?” Tulfo asked.

“Yes your honor, may commitment tayo kay Chief, limited lang by their logistics kasi as of the moment 2,700 lang ho ang kabuuan ng body cams sa buong PNP to that extent, he commits to follow your line,” Angara said.

“What we are encouraging right now, aside from the directive of the Supreme Court, it is mandatory for us to bring with us our body-worn cameras especially in the implementation of warrants, but with regards to other operations, as much as practicable we will do that saka tulong na rin sa ating mga pulis kasi oftentimes after ng operations ang pulis ay binabaligtad,” Acorda told the media after the budget hearing.

Angara however noted that from the proposed P66 million budget for 2,000 body cameras from the National Expenditure Program, the Senate committed P800 million for additional 24,000 units.

“I am happy with the support of our seantors dinagdana nila ang budget for the procurement of these body worn cameras,” Acorda said.