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February 26, 2023 - Sunday 10:02 PM by Erwin Tulfo

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The terrifying photo of Nicholas Stacey slumped on Filmore St., Makati after being gunned down by holdup men will certainly discourage some of his fellow New Zealanders to visit Manila.

It is not an “isolated case” as described by authorities. The notorious modus of “riding in tandem” is back in vogue.

The New Zealand national was walking with his girlfriend shortly past midnight when pounced by the motorcycle duo, initially targeting the young lady’s valuables.  The foreigner apparently tried to stop the attackers, prompting one of them to shoot him.

Police have arrested a suspect who had two previous robbery cases.  What was he doing out on the streets then, mugging people freely?

In fact, crime incidence has risen, including street crime and political violence.

We, at the Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list are calling on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to act decisively to stop violence.

The ACT-CIS Party-list enjoins all the law enforcement agencies, led by the PNP, to earnestly maintain peace and order to support the Marcos Administration and the Congress’ post-pandemic recovery efforts and nation-building.

We believe the 220,000-strong national police force, with its improved resources and logistics, is more than capable of putting an end to criminality and assassinations.

The PNP only needs a dedicated leadership that will fulfill its promise “to serve and protect” the people. The PNP leadership should set an example and inspire professionalism among its ranks.

There is a dire need for police visibility, especially during rush hours when armed holdup men prey on defenseless commuters going to work in the morning and going home at night. 

Jeepney holdup robberies are rampant in Pasong Tamo, Makati and Taft Ave. Ermita, Manila but victims often decide there is no use asking for police assistance.

Policemen always seem to be “off-duty” after 5:00 P.M.

It’s a shame that Mayor Ohto Caumbo Montawal of Tunggol, Montawal Town, Maguindanao del Sur, was shot several times in the middle of heavy traffic along Roxas Blvd. near Buendia Ave., Pasay City around 6:30PM last Wednesday.

Obviously, there were no policemen in the area available to respond to the incident immediately, not even to help manage the traffic.

As in the movies, the cavalry of PNP is too slow or does not respond at all to cries for help from crime victims.

Police officers must be held responsible for the lapses that occur within their jurisdiction or assigned area of duty during their shift or even when off-duty.

We cannot overemphasize the importance of accountability among our PNP officers.

In connection with Stacey’s case, the New Zealand government has warned its citizens against criminal gangs armed with loose guns in Manila.

"There are high rates of violent crime throughout the Philippines, including armed robbery, assault and murder.  Criminal gangs are active in the Manila area, and have drugged and robbed unsuspecting tourists.  Crime is more prevalent at night in urban areas,” it said.

Well, the aggrieved New Zealand government said it all.   

The PNP should be more visible on the streets to help prevent crime and must be quicker to respond to calls for help. They should not be sleeping on the job or “natutulog sa pansitan.”


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