Año directs PNP to impose ban on cops drinking in public

Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive Tuesday, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to issue the necessary administrative circular to ensure that cops conduct themselves professionally in public, banning them from drinking in bars, nightclubs, and in public places.

“Si Presidente na mismo ang nagsabi na bawal na uminom ang mga police sa mga bar, pub at mga kalsada. Kasuhan ninyo agad ang sinumang lalabag dito (The President himself said it is prohibited for the police to drink inside bars, pubs, and on the street. Charged violators immediately),” he said in a news release Wednesday.

The DILG chief said he expects the senior officials of the PNP from Director General Oscar Albayalde down to all chiefs of police in all cities and towns to lead by example so that their men will follow.

He said President Duterte is right when he said people lose their respect and trust in policemen and the entire PNP as an organization when they see drunken policemen in public.

During the DILG’s Barangay Summit on Peace and Order in the National Capital Region on Jan. 8, 2019 Duterte ordered all law enforcers to refrain from drinking in public places because they tend to get into trouble.

“Nakakahiya at masagwang makita na may mga pulis na nag-iinuman sa publiko (It’s embarassing and an eyesore when police officers are seen drinking in public). The job of the police requires the respect of the people. Therefore, they must do what it takes to gain and maintain public trust,” Año said.

He said cops who are seen drinking in public places may face administrative charges such as dereliction of duty, insubordination, and gross neglect of duty.

“We cannot have armed policemen walking around in public reeking of alcohol and not in their best state of mind as it implies lack of discipline among our uniformed personnel. Respetuhin ninyo ang tsapa at uniporme ninyo (Respect your badge and uniform),” he said.

Año said the police can instead opt to drink alcoholic beverages in the confines of their own homes or private households so as not to taint the image of the PNP.

“Paano pa makakaresponde sa isang insidente kung hilo na ang pulis dahil sa pag-inom ng alak? Mas mabuti pang sa bahay ninyo na lang kayo uminom para iwas gulo at para hindi rin kayo maasunto (How can police officers respond to an incident when they’re dizzy because they’re drunk? It’s better to drink inside your homes to stay out of trouble and not be charged),” he said.

During the Summit, Duterte also directed the police to break off drinking sessions conducted along sidewalks, parks, and other public places as it scares away other people.

Last year, Davao City, where the President had served as mayor for several years, imposed a liquor ban on its constituents by prohibiting the drinking of liquor along the streets, in parks, parking areas, among other public spaces.

Meanwhile, Director General Oscar Albayalde has reminded all PNP personnel to conduct themselves properly at all times in keeping with the rules and regulations of the organization in accordance with the PNP Ethical Doctrine and the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Standards.

He specifically cited Section 3.1 of the PNP Ethical Doctrine that states, “PNP members shall adhere to high standards of morality and decency and shall set good examples for others to follow. In no instance during their terms of office, among other things, shall they be involved as owners, operators, managers or investors in any house of ill-repute or illegal gambling den or other places devoted to vices, nor they shall patronize such places, unless on official duty, and tolerate operations of such establishments in their respective areas of responsibilities.”

On the other hand, Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., PNP spokesperson, said penalties for the commission of acts/practices in violation of the PNP Ethical Doctrine shall be in accordance with the Revised Penal Code, Republic Act (RA) No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft Practices Act and other specials laws.

For acts or omissions that merely require administrative sanctions, the applicable punishments as provided for the rules and regulations promulgated by the PNP, National Police Commission, Civil Service Commission, and DILG shall be applied, Durana said. (with reports from Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan/PNA)