Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ban its personnel from drinking in bars, nightclubs, and in public places following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a press statement, Año said the PNP leadership should issue the necessary administrative circular to ensure that policemen conduct themselves professionally in public.
"Si Presidente na mismo ang nagsabi na bawal na uminom ang mga police sa mga bar, pub at mga kalsada. Kasuhan ninyo agad ang sinumang lalabag dito," Año, a former military chief of staff, said.
Duterte, during the DILG’s Barangay Summit on Peace and Order, ordered all law enforcers to refrain from drinking in public places because they tend to get into trouble.
Año said he expects the senior officials of the PNP from Director General Oscar Albayalde down to all chiefs of police in all cities and towns to lead by example so that their men will follow.
He said the President is right in saying that people lose their respect and trust in policemen and the entire PNP as an organization when they see drunken policemen in public.
"Nakakahiya at masagwang makita na may mga pulis na nag-iinuman sa publiko. The job of the police requires the respect of the people, therefore they must do what it takes to gain and maintain public trust,” he said.
Police officers who are seen drinking in public places may face administrative charges such as dereliction of duty, insubordination, and gross neglect of duty, Año said.
“We cannot have armed policemen walking around in public reeking of alcohol and not in their best state of mind as it implies lack of discipline among our uniformed personnel. Respetuhin ninyo ang tsapa at uniporme ninyo,” he added.
The DILG chief said the police can instead drink alcoholic beverages in the confines of their own homes or private households so as not to taint the image of the PNP.
“Paano pa makakaresponde sa isang insidente kung hilo na ang pulis dahil sa pag-inom ng alak? Mas mabuti pang sa bahay ninyo na lang kayo uminom para iwas gulo at para hindi rin kayo maasuntohan,” he said.
During the Summit, Duterte also directed the police to break off drinking sessions along sidewalks, parks, and other public places as it scares away other people. —Amita Legaspi/KBK, GMA News