MANILA – Police personnel will not be allowed to go on leave for the Christmas season as part of heightened security measures for the occasion, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Wednesday.
PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said all applications for leave from Dec. 15 to Jan. 10 next year would be canceled, pursuant to PNP chief, Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr.'s, order for increased police presence and visibility for the holiday season.
“Ibig sabihin wala na pupuwedeng mag-leave effective Dec. 15 para masiguro na may sapat tayong bilang para masiguro na yung maximum police presence na objective ng ating Chief PNP ay ma-comply. Yung ating 85 percent police ratio ay ii-implement din yan (That means no one will be able to take a leave effective Dec. 15 to ensure that we have enough numbers to ensure that the maximum police presence objective of our Chief PNP will be complied with. Our 85 percent police ratio will be implemented as well),” she told reporters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Fajardo also said policemen will be out in the streets to do patrols, including personnel rendering administrative duty in offices.
Among security measures to be implemented is the deployment of patrol teams to churches to prevent petty criminals and gangs from causing trouble to churchgoers.
The PNP also advised churchgoers not to bring jewelry and large amounts of money lest they attract the attention of muggers and thieves.
“Ang payo natin sa kababayan ay maging alerto. Yung ating personal security and safety ay lagi nating i-una at i-priority. Alam natin na excited tayo mamasyal at makihalubilo lalong lalo na yung Simbang Gabi (Our advice to our fellow citizens is to be alert. Our personal security and safety should always be our priority. We know that we are excited to go for a walk and socialize especially during the night masses),” said Fajardo.
The "Simbang Gabi" or dawn mass, which runs for nine days, serves as a prelude to the festive and meaningful celebration of Christmas which marks the birth of Jesus Christ. (PNA)