MANILA – The acquisition of new motorcycles will strengthen police officers’ capability to prevent and respond to street crimes, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Thursday.
PNP spokesperson Col. Ysmael Yu said the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) would greatly benefit from President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to buy new motorcycles for the police force.
“The HPG is a big part of the anti-crime campaign of the PNP. If they would get more motorcycles or equipment, it would mean they would be more effective in responding to various situations. We welcome this move because the HPG itself can best describe the situation on the ground. They make recommendations based on their observation,” Yu told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a phone interview.
In a taped public address on Wednesday night, Duterte said he saw a need to provide new motorcycles to the PNP to help address street crimes.
“The President’s (pronouncement) is aligned with the request of those who are in the operational situation especially in patrolling the streets. So we can best describe this as providing what is needed. We lack in this aspect so this is what we need to get,” he added.
Yu, meanwhile, said the deployment of police officers in plain clothes is part of its “social investigation” mechanism in ensuring peace and order.
“It is (important) to note that lawless people wear the same as the society does, while regular law enforcement officers perform at the front in uniform, so it doesn’t serve the purpose for reason that these criminals will just play around like cat and mouse. These police officers in plain clothes are utilized to better see the real attitude and behavior of our community in support of anti-criminality. This is in coordination with the local government units who also have a vital role to play,” he added.
Duterte bared that he intended to “go hard” on criminals in the last two years of his term, noting an upsurge of street crimes after quarantine classifications were relaxed.
He said he understood the “nightmare” that police are facing in chasing motorcycle-riding suspects who could easily get away after committing crimes.
Duterte, a motorcycle enthusiast, said it was not enough for cops to know how to ride a motorcycle, but should undergo training.
He asked Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to plan the purchase of motorcycles, suggesting that the 250cc motorcycles “would be a good one”.
The President also said police officers should be in plain clothes or civilian clothes to avoid easy identification by criminals. (PNA)