Dela Rosa to highway cops: Don’t be intimidated

Bea Cupin
Dela Rosa to highway cops: Don’t be intimidated
The new chief of the Highway Patrol Group, meanwhile, also urges the public to take videos if they're apprehended as a safeguard against erring cops

MANILA, Philippines – It’s time to bring back the glory days of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group (HPG).

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Monday, July 4, reminded HPG personnel to “stand their ground” as they patrol Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), Metro Manila’s main thoroughfare.

Kapag kayo winalanghiya sa EDSA, lumaban [kayo] (If people disrespect you along EDSA, fight back). Stand your ground,” Dela Rosa told a crowd of HPG personnel gathered at Camp Crame Monday afternoon.

The HPG will be deploying 50 more of its personnel, each with his own motorcycle, to man EDSA. Since September last year, the HPG has been deployed along “Highway 54,” as part of the past administration’s efforts to ease traffic in Metro Manila.

All in all, some 250 personnel from the HPG are now deployed in shifts to man EDSA.

The kings of EDSA

Senior Superintendent Antonio Gardiola, the new chief of the HPG, called on his personnel to “bring back the glory days” of the unit. He was referring to the 90s, when the HPG was the main unit tasked to enforce traffic rules along EDSA.

Kayo lang dapat siga sa EDSA (Only you should lord over EDSA),” said Dela Rosa, adding that they should enforce the law even when dealing with the rich or the politically influential.

As long as they do their jobs right, Dela Rosa said, the PNP’s leadership and President Rodrigo Duterte would have their backs.

Dela Rosa will be leading the PNP in its effort to stop – or at least dramatically reduce – crime incidents and illegal drugs within 6 months. This was among Duterte’s main campaign promises in the 2016 elections.

His appointment has come along with what many perceive to be a tougher stance against crime and drugs. Drug users and pushers have come forward all over the country, even before Duterte and Dela Rosa officially assumed their posts.

Gardiola, meanwhile, urged the public to take videos on their cellphones should they be apprehended by HPG personnel over possible violations. That way, said Gardiola, both motorists and HPG personnel have evidence to back up allegations of extortion. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.