PNP eyes stiff penalties vs. lax security measures in transport hubs

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

November 21, 2023, 12:48 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo by Jesus Escaros Jr.)</em></p>

(PNA file photo by Jesus Escaros Jr.)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it would impose stiffer penalties on security agencies who would be found negligent in enforcing security measures in transport terminals.

“We will be issuing an advisory to all security agencies especially those manning different terminals to intensify their deployment and visual inspection. Kailangan higpitan ng ating mga guwardiya ang mga pumapasok na bagahe sa sasakyan, ipag-uutos po natin yan sa kanila (Our guards need to tighten inspection of the luggage entering the vehicles, we will order them to do that),” PNP Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (SOSIA) chief Brig. Gen. Gregory Bogñalbal told reporters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

The move comes amid the holiday travel rush and the shooting of two passengers inside a bus by still unidentified suspects inside a Victory Liner bus in Nueva Ecija on Nov. 15.

Bogñalbal underscored the importance of subjecting passengers and their belongings to stricter inspection and the assessment of capabilities of K9 units deployed in terminals.

"We have initiated inspections of K9 units deployed in terminals and we are assessing their capabilities and if their trainings are updated and they are capable of detecting what should be detected there. We are pleased to announce that all dogs that we have inspected are capable of detecting illegal items, especially explosives.” he said.

Geronimo de Guzman Jr., SOSIA servicing legal officer, said those found liable would be meted with a fine of PHP10,000 to PHP20,000 for the first offense; PHP20,000 to PHP50,000 for the second offense; and PHP50,000 to PHP100,000 and a possible revocation of the security agency's license for the third offense.

The PNP would also coordinate with the management of transportation terminals for the possible deployment of bus marshals and security dogs in public transportation to ensure the safety of passengers. (PNA)