MANILA Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director-General Oscar Albayalde has relieved two police officers who were apprehended for driving "colorum" or unregistered vehicles during a recent operation conducted by the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) in the cities of ParaAaque and Pasay.
Chief Insp. Juan Saldua Cipriano Jr. of the Southern Police District and Senior Police Officer 4 Ronnie Arimbuyutan Druja of the PNP Aviation Security Group were caught driving unmarked vehicles that were being used like UV Express vans picking up and charging passengers a certain fare. These vans were also marked with stickers from the Office of the President.
Both officers were confirmed to be on active service and will now be placed under the Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit (PHAU) of the PNP and will be investigated by the Counter Intelligence Task Force.
Albayalde expressed his gratitude to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for not tolerating the wrongdoing of the police.
"Nagpapasalamat ako na hindi nila pinalampas yung mali ng ating mga kapulisan. Magsilbi sana itong babala sa iba pang kapulisan (I am thankful that they did not tolerate the wrongdoings of our police. This should serve as a warning to other members of the police), the PNP chief said in a statement that was released by DOTr to the media Friday.
Albayalde assured that the PNP will fully support and cooperate with the anti-colorum operations of the DOTr.
For his part, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade expressed his dismay over the incident, while reassuring the public that anti-colorum operations will continue.
Nakakalungkot na kung sino pa iyong mga dapat nagpapatupad ng batas ay sila pa ang mismong lumalabag. Akalain mo, imbes na protektahan ang mga tao gaya ng sinumpaan nila, lalo pa nilang nilalagay sa alanganin ang buhay ng mga pasahero dahil sa pag-drive ng colorum. Mismong si Pangulong Duterte na ang nagsabi na alisin ang colorum sa kalsada, at 'yan ang gagawin natin. (It is sad to note that those who are supposed to enforce the law are the ones violating it. Instead of serving the people as they have sworn, they are putting the passengers' lives in danger because they are driving colorum vehicles. President Duterte himself has ordered a crackdown on colorum and we will do this)," Tugade said.
The I-ACT has apprehended 92 violators through its Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok and Task Force Kamao operations Thursday last week.
The operations team from I-ACT nabbed 57 violators for smoke-belching and 35 others for various violations of TBTU campaign.
Eight colorum vehicles were also impounded by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The DOTr launched last March an inter-agency task force called Task Force Kamao that will implement intensified operations against illegally operating public utility vehicles (PUVs) in compliance with the directive of Duterte.
The task force is led by the LTFRB which has jurisdiction over the franchises of PUVs. Other agencies include the Land Transportation Office, Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. (DOTR PR)
Source: Philippine News Agency