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PNP gets 3 Raven choppers for anti-crime operations

For PNP Special Action Force commander Director Leocadio Santiago, it was a dream come true. Last Wednesday night, Santiago beamed with pride as three brand new helicopters touched down on the parade ground of Camp Crame, headquarters of the Philippine National Police. "It was just a dream, now there they are. It was my dream that came true. We only see them in American movies and television programs, we already own one now," Santiago said. The police recently acquired from the United States three Robinson R44 Raven II Police Helicopters, worth P104.9-million in total, to boost its anti-crime efforts. The choppers are assigned to the PNP-SAF’s Air Unit. With the addition of the new helicopters, the unit has now six choppers in its fleet. For his part, PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa said the new choppers would also be used in the police’s security campaign against partisan private armed groups (PAGs), "threat groups, and election law violators."
Criminals, beware! The PNP has acquired 3 new Robinson R44 Raven II Police Helicopters to combat crime. Robinson Helicopter Co. says that "a helicopter equals at least five ground units in search ability, and provides a tactical advantage in apprehending fleeing suspects during high speed pursuits." Image from the Robinson Helicopter Company Web site
The new police helicopters are equipped with an infrared imaging system to give the pilots the advantage of night-flying capability. The aircraft also have monitors and dual audio controllers for police radios. Criminals should be wary because the helicopters are also equipped with 500-watt searchlights and built-in loud speakers that boom “Wag kikilos, pulis ito!" "[The helicopters] will be used for command and control of our personnel on the ground, especially in times of disaster and other police operations like pursuit of bank robbers and other criminal elements at night," Santiago said. The procurement of the three choppers is part of the P10-billion PNP Capability Enhancement Program, of which P2 billion is allocated for the National Police budget per year from 2008 to 2013. Under the program, the PNP also intends to buy more firearms for policemen, land vehicles, communication equipment, and disaster response equipment. - with Sophia Dedace/RSJ, GMANews.TV