Roxas: Cops won't leave posts during, after Ruby
MANILA, Philippines – Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II on Saturday, December 6, assured the public that the Philippine National Police (PNP) would be ready to respond to emergencies when and after Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) makes its presence felt in the country.
In an interview aired over dzRB, Roxas said PNP personnel, as well as personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) were ordered as early as Thursday, December 4, to secure their families so they would be able to focus on rescue or post-disaster operations.
“Para sa ganitong araw ng Sabado, [kung saan] parating na si Ruby, hanggang bukas, ang aktuwal na pagdating ni Ruby, ay nakatutok sila sa trabaho at hindi na nila iniisip or nagwo-worry sila sa kanilang mga pamilya,” Roxas said. (The order was issued so today until tomorrow, when Ruby actually arrives, the PNP and PNP will be focused on the job and not worry about their families.)
Keeping the families of emergency responders safe was one of the key lessons government learned in the aftermath of 2013’s Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
In Tacloban city, for instance, only 20 out of over 200 members of the city police force reported for work after Yolanda. Hungry and desperate typhoon survivors began looting stores in the city because it also took a while for government to streamline aid distribution.
President Benigno Aquino III, in a Thursday meeting with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) ordered the PNP to make sure its personnel would actually follow its directives. (READ: Typhoon Ruby: Aquino won't accept excuses)
Aquino said those unable to report for work will be charged for being away without leave (AWOL).
The military, meanwhile, has deployed military trucks in areas expected to be hit by Ruby ahead of its landfall.
Roxas is currently in Borongan, Eastern Samar, to lead preparations for Ruby which is expected to hit land early Sunday morning, December 7. – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com